School is in Session: Nebbiolo from Valtellina

A beautiful aspect of the study of wine is exploring the expression of one grape in multiple landscapes—the idea of terroir. In his latest Wine School, Eric Asimov returns to the world of classically styled wines, introducing us to the wines of Valtellina, made with the Nebbiolo grape. While most of us are probably familiar with Barolo, Barbaresco or Langhe Nebbiolo, Valtellina wines offer an altogether entirely different experience. We've been guilty of proliferating the idea that Nebbiolo will fail to thrive if planted outside of its home base of Piedmont—of course, we're thinking only of the occasional attempt out of California to create New World Barolo or Barbaresco, not the elegant ... 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 »

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 »

Top Five Steak Wines

Grilling season is now upon us, and a good grilled steak is just about the only excuse you need in warmer weather to open up a big red wine. But some red wines work with steak better than others.  Here is a top 5 list, in no particular order: 1.  Brunello di Montalcino.  Anyone who has had Steak Florentine in Tuscany knows that Sangiovese is the perfect partner for steak, and Brunello is the grandest and noblest Sangiovese. Keep it on the young side, to ensure good fruit vigor and lively tannins. Consider giving your steak full Tuscan treatment: cook it rare but with a crusty exterior (which should be coated in salt, pepper and if you like some minced rosemary or sage), and then dress ... Read More »

Chambertin for Coq au Vin?

A chef friend we work with wanted a case of Burgundy for a stew he was making. I pointed out that a case of Cotes du Rhone would be a lot cheaper and, after hours of cooking, pretty close in flavor. But he insisted on Burgundy, “I’m following a 19th century recipe that calls for a case of Chambertin!” Nowadays, of course, a case of Chambertin costs well over $3,000. That would be a pricey chicken dish. Besides, supplies are so limited you would need to go to several sources to cobble together a 12-pack. It’s probably been a very long time since that particular recipe was followed! Amusing, yes. But it also raises an important historical point that surprisingly few people are ... Read More »

A Week In Burgundy With John Truax (Part 6)

Tuesday, November 17 I had to great fortune to be invited back to Becky and Russell’s house in Bouilland for another gala luncheon and a vertical tasting of Grivot Richebourg. Thanks to a generous Burgundy collector we able to taste every single vintage of Richebourg that Etienne Grivot has made. We had 20+ vintages on the table that day. The wines were lined up on both sides of a bare wooden table. There were lots of accomplished wine tasters present from France, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and points beyond. Any wines that our gracious host could not provide came directly from Domaine Grivot for the tasting. An effervescent British taster from Hong Kong exclaimed, “Oh my. This ... Read More »

The Story of the Chick’n Shack sandwich and the Three Cru Beaujolais

Beaujolais is perhaps the most versatile wine to accompany almost all foods. Probably not good with a caramel stout brownie sundae float, but I have not tried it. However, in Lyon, a town that celebrates food, Beaujolais is served with virtually everything. A salad with warm chicken livers in a mustard vinaigrette? Check. A spinach salad with lardons and warm vinaigrette made with the bacon fat. Cool bottle of Beaujolais--yes! Salmon? Very nice with Fleurie. A roast chicken and Regnie? Yes please. Steak and fries: Morgon. Blood sausage and Chiroubles? Why not. Let's say you want Thai food and it is kind of spicy. The fruit in 100% Gamay Beaujolais and Cru Beaujolais can handle the heat ... Read More »

The Pleasures of Roast Chicken

In my family, we roast chicken every week. We buy the best quality chicken we can find (often I just stop by Eataly on the way home) and make it as simply as possible: salt and pepper heavily, then roast on cast iron for 45 minutes to an hour at a fairly high heat. We serve it with condiments: mustard, lemon, butter. Sometimes we reduce a little wine (I always have lots of left-overs in the fridge!) in the pan after the chicken is removed and serve that as a sauce. Roast chicken is delicious and my children love it. But over the years I have come to recognize roast chicken for one of its other marvelous advantages: It is an amazing partner to a very diverse range of wines.  In the ... Read More »

Burgers and Chinon in the neighborhood

Flatiron Wines is surrounded by some of the finest restaurants in the United States, indeed - some of the best on the world.  It is true - in New York you can get whatever you want. Sometimes though, you just want something simple and pleasing. I have discovered that Chinon and Cheeseburgers are about as satisfying as can be. A neighborhood insider tip - If you go to Shake Shack at 4:30 or 5 there is NO ONE IN LINE!  A little knowledge  is a dangerous thing... Recently Susannah and I enjoyed the new Shake Shack limited edition Parkburger.  Then we tried the new Roadside Shack Burger with caramelized onions simmered in beer and bacon. Susannah had hers with no cheese because ... Read More »

Music Pairing Monday Series: Digioia-Royer Hautes Cotes de Nuits and The Velvet Underground Loaded

Domaine Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 2012   $29.99 The Velvet Underground Loaded   1970 The Digioia-Royer Hautes Cotes de Nuits was slightly stern when first open but unraveled to tell a story with depth and diversity.  All the fruit comes from the plateau above Vosne-Romanee and only about 20% new oak is used, which allows the terroir to manifest in the glass.  It is at once dark and sultry while being energetic and forceful - a wine that begs for the gruff attitude and sex appeal of Lou Reed’s straight ahead vocals.  Both starting stiff and tight then unfolding into something finessed and smooth.  There’s earth, funk, beauty. The Velvet Underground’s last ... Read More »