James Bond and the terroir of Cognac

Is there terroir in Cognac? In "Goldfinger" there is a great scene where James Bond and M are having dinner with Colonel Smithers of the Bank of England and learning about the gold business. After a presumably sumptuous dinner the banker brandishes a beautiful cut crystal decanter and says, "Have a little more of this rather disappointing brandy." M looks at and sniffs at his glass and asks, "Why, what is the matter with it?" Know-it-all James Bond states categorically, "I'd say it was a 30 year old Fine and indifferently blended with an overdose of Bon Bois." The banker replies, "Quite right." M, obviously perturbed says, "Colonel Smithers is giving the lecture 007." James ... Read More »

Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie winemaker tasting!

[caption id="attachment_11602" align="alignleft" width="600"] Gilbert and Ghuilhaume Clusel at work[/caption] Meet-the-winemaker tasting with Clusel Roch Cote Rotie's Cote Rotie is one of France's great regions... and bottles of Cote Rotie are generally priced accordingly. So these aren't wines we get to open very often. But today is special! Not only are we opening spectacular Cote Rotie from a top vintage, we also have the winemaker in the Manhattan store to pour the wines and talk about them. We hope you'll join us for this rare, free Cote Rotie tasting, Friday, November 17 from 5:00-7:00 pm at our Manhattan shop on Broadway between 21st and 22nd! (If you happen to be hanging out ... Read More »

Free Bourbon, Gin and Reisetbauer Tasting

Beautiful stills, beautiful spiritsMichael Skurnik is famous for importing many of the world's greatest wines. But they also carry spirits--and their selection is every bit as great as you'd expect. Join us Thursday, November 16 from 5-7pm, when Ginger pours 3 gems from Skurnik's portfolio: Medley Bros., Bourbon, $24.99 Classic Bourbon at a great price. Have a taste neat. Neversink Spirits Gin, $44.99 From a base of New York State apples, corn, wheat and barley, this local gin is distilled through a blend of 11 botanicals to create a well balanced, floral and aromatic spirit.  The botanicals are chosen to pair with apples, including three types of fresh citrus, star anise, cardamom, ... Read More »

Chateauneuf du Pape Dinner with Vieux Telegraphe Winemaker, Daniel Brunier

[caption id="attachment_11478" align="alignleft" width="960"] Daniel with old vines and Galets Roulés[/caption]           We are super-thrilled to be able to invite you to an intimate dinner with Daniel Brunier, proprietor and head winemaker of Vieux Télégraphe. Vieux Télégraphe is one of the best wines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, from one of its supreme sites and made by some of its greatest talents, and this promises to be a wonderful and exceptionally rare opportunity. When: Tuesday, October 24th, 8pm Where: Blue Ribbon Federal Grille, 84 William Street, New York Price: $190 (including food, wine, tax and tip) Sold Out For Now... We are exploring ... Read More »

Cru Bourgeois Part 1

I’ve been drinking a lot of Bordeaux lately. Mostly, this is because I was in Bordeaux. But not for a fancy trip; I didn’t visit a single Grand Cru Chateau. I was there to explore and drink Cru Bourgeois. If you love wine, especially Bordeaux, you need to pay special attention to this category. It provides some of the very best values in the world for red wines in the $20 - $50 range. And I’m going to explain why in a short series of posts. This first post is for a little background.  What is Cru Bourgeois? To be a Cru Bourgeois a chateau must come from one of the Medoc’s eight AOC’s: Medoc, Haut-Medoc, Margaux, St. Julien, Pauillac, St. Estephe, Moulis, and Listrac-Medoc. ... Read More »

Herri Mina

Pétrus is at the absolute apogee of the wine world. And it isn't just a trophy wine for people with far too much money, although it is that, in part. Just like some other untouchables (DRC comes to mind) the château actually makes utterly sublime wines that show the utmost respect for local tradition and terroir. That the wine is so honest and true to itself is in no small part thanks to Jean-Claude Berrouet, who oversaw 40 vintages there, including many of the great wines that put Pétrus into the wine world's pole position. But Berrouet wasn't satisfied playing only at those rarefied heights: he also craved that quintessentially French experience of working on more modest, humbler wines—country ... Read More »

Don’t miss out on the 2014 Red Burgundy Vintage!

2014 was one of those rare vintages in Burgundy that was equally good for red and white wines.  Most of the hyperbole was directed to the fantastic quality of the white wines.  Indeed it is true that from Macon, through the Cote Chalonnaise and in the great growths of the Cote de Beaune - even all the way up to Chablis - the 2014 white Burgundies were hailed by everybody as the greatest vintage since 1992 and so on and on.  They are undeniably marvelous. However - 2014 Reds are being overlooked and this is a sad state of affairs.  Because of the hoopla over 2015 red Burgundy, people are forgetting about one of the best red wine vintages we have seen in a long time. The 2014 red burgundies ... Read More »

Reveling in Rioja

Recently, I had the pleasure of going on a Rioja DOCa Trade Tour, sponsored by the Consejo Regulador— the control board governing the wine region of Rioja, first established in 1925. Along with seven others, I was taken to some of the most well known Bodegas of the region, as well as some more off the beaten path. I learned a lot about Rioja, both the wines and the region. Not to be confused with the political region of La Rioja, the wine region of Rioja crosses political boundaries, with some of its bodegas and vineyards falling in the Basque country and Navarre. Made up of three subregions, Rioja consists of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja, and Rioja Alavesa. The climates are remarkably different, ... Read More »

Fenouillet Rosé

If you subscribe to our newsletter, you may recall a story we ran last year in our newsletter about "The Once a Year Marvel that is Rosenthal's Very Best Value." It was Fenouillet's red wine, an oddball blend of Merlot and Marcellan that's priced like a mass-market grocery store wine but made with love by a small family domaine. Right now we have a slightly different version of this marvel: Fenouillet's rosé. We tend to think of rosé as falling into one of two categories. There are the vins de soif (wines for thirst), light-colored rosés you drink as an aperitif on your rooftop, and vins gastronomiques, slightly darker rosés that pair well with food. The Fenouillet is somewhere ... Read More »

Exploring the Fingerlakes

I recently spent a few days in the Fingerlakes, and though I certainly had my fair share of Riesling and Cabernet Franc, I was also excited about some unexpected wines that several wineries are producing. Chardonnay, Merlot, and even Saperavi are being made with increasing success, not to mention the myriad sparkling wines (both Riesling and non) that have begun popping up. It may be a few years before these are perfected, but as the region continues to grow in technique and tradition, it’s only a matter of time. It wasn’t until the 1950s that vitis vinifera first made its way to the Fingerlakes region, although before that native grape varietals were being grown and made into wine ... Read More »