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 »

Free Billecart-Salmon Seminar

We're thrilled to be hosting a free guided tasting of the wines of Billecart-Salmon Monday, November 13, from 7:8:30 pm at the New York store. Billecart-Salmon is perhaps best known for their pale, salmon-colored rosé Champagne, a true benchmark of elegance and class. But their whole line up is amazing and each of their bottlings is worth knowing. At this free seminar you'll get the chance to see much of their range in multiple vintages: Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Brut Reserve Champagne, NV -- $49.99 Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Brut Rosé, NV -- $74.99 Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Extra Brut, 2007 -- $87.99 Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs, 2006 -- $184.99 Billecart-Salmon, ... Read More »

Winemaker tasting with Olivier Merlin–Today in New York Shop

[caption id="attachment_11482" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Man and Horse Making Great Wine[/caption] Olivier Merlin is one of the great winemakers of Burgundy. His family vineyards aren't centered on any of the illustrious appellations of the Cote d'Or, but on the Maconais. He's one of the hard-working talents showing just how great the wines from this undervalued region can be: complex, mineral, ageworthy... delicious! His whites are some of the best value white wines in the whole world. We're thrilled to have him in the shop today to share his wines and talk about what it takes to make top flight wines, vintage in and vintage out. Wines will be available at a discount for all ... 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 »

Free Tri-State Wine Delivery to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Nobody likes to pay shipping charges, so we are thrilled to be able to announce that the New York store now offers free shipping on all online orders above $129 to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut! Yup, whether you need a case of rosé for a party, a special bottle of Cabernet for a dinner, or a special gift for a client, we will get it there for you, no extra charge. We’re going to try to keep tweaking and expanding this program, so please let us know how you like it and what we could do to improve it here or in the note of your order. And if you do like it, please share it with your friends! Here are some details: · Your online order must be over $129, before tax and after ... Read More »

Fucci: One of Italy’s Greatest Wines? Or the World’s?

"Aglianico del Vulture is potentially one of the world’s—not just Italy’s—greatest wines and no single bottling demonstrates its quality better than the Titolo" - Ian D'Agata, Vinous If you love the great Nebbiolos of Piedmont, then you are also certain to love the red wines of Campania and Basilicata made from the Aglianico grape. Like Nebbiolo, it has naturally high acidities, good structure, and superb aromatics. In fact, many experienced blind tasters (and us!) have been known to confuse top examples with great Barolo. Xarel-lo may have been our Fall obsession; this winter we worship Aglianico. So our ears perked up when a friend of the shop talked about how much he loved ... Read More »

Bartolo Mascarello’s Dolcetto: Here Now, for a Hot second!

We've been championing Piedmont's "little grapes"–Dolcetto, Freisa, Pelaverga, etc.–for years now, both in our newsletters and in the shop. So we were psyched when Eric Asimov turned to Dolcetto for November's New York Times Wine School. It was a great piece, as always. But it did include one wine that was a bit of a tease: Bartolo Mascarello's Dolcetto. Like all of Bartolo's wines, the Dolcetto is amazing. It both exemplifies and transcends the type. Like all great Dolcetto it's a delicious, fruit-focused taste of Piedmontese terroir when it's young. But unlike most Dolcetto (which you should drink, as Hugh Johnson says, youngest available), it ages magically. With a few months or ... Read More »

The Reasonable Cellar:  Savary Chablis

Keeping a cellar may seem fussy, complicated and expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Just a year ago, I purchased a case of Savary Chablis 2012. With a 10% case discount, it was about $22 per bottle. I took the case, and I put it in my basement. It was not a refrigerated space, but it never gets that warm in the summer, probably never above 70. This is not ideal for long term storage, but just fine for a year. Recently I was stumbling around the basement looking for my kid's ice skates, and there was the case. We are selling the 2014 right now in the shop, and online. It's a great vintage, but not yet quite where I like my village-level Chablis. Young Chablis is fresh and piercing, and I ... Read More »