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NYC Wine List: Painting the Town Red (& White & Pink…)

Posted on  | May 7, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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New York lives on the cutting edge. New Yorkers like to eat and drink there, too, as over the years the city has served as a proving ground for wining and dining concepts. With that spirit in mind, we are happy to introduce a new department to the magazine, aimed at keeping an eye on what New York’s creative and resourceful sommeliers and beverage directors are doing with the fruit of the vine in the Big Apple.

Swine Gets ‘Tappy’

The keg has served beers and ciders admirably for centuries. And now, good wine has become available by tap. Says Mariel Goddu, beverage director at the West Village Swine restaurant: “Not only is the quality exceptional, but there is no waste, making it an amazingly green option with as little a carbon foot-print as possible. Wine bottles will never, and certainly should never, be replaced, but tap wines offer an opportunity to expand a list of wines by the glass without spoilage. There’s no need to worry about oxidation or corkage since the pressurized keg actually preserves the wine, giving it a huge shelf life.”

Swine, a comfortable neighborhood restaurant devoted to all things pig, offers four tap wines that change seasonally, in addition to four whites and four reds by the glass. Right now, there is Gotham Project’s 2011 Finger Lakes Riesling and “C&C” 2012 Washington Rosé; Anassa 2011 Moschofilero from Greece; and Katas 2010 Tempranillo, from Terra Alta, Spain. All are $8 a glass, less than the other glass selections. During the nightly “Tappy Hour” prices drop to $6 a glass. Expect to see more tap wine on the dining scene.

Old + New World Converge

L’Apicio is the latest Italian venue from the team of Executive Chef Gabe Thompson, Beverage Di-rector Joe Campanale and Partner Au-gust Cardona that also owns dell’anima, L’Artusi and Anfora. The twist here is that the wine list has more of an Ameri-can accent.

Says Campanale: “In the past few years I have been excited by the growing number of American winemakers who are looking toward their roots and the old world for inspiration, ultimately making wines that are balanced, terroir-driven and more interesting, such as the Arnot-Roberts Trousseau [Clear Lake, CA] and Broc Cellars ‘Carbonic’ Carignane [Alexander Valley]. My idea was that these wines have more in common with some of my favorite Italian wines than differences.”

Campanale put together a list that compares the two. At first he thought the list would be two thirds Italian, but it ended up being about 50/50.

Puttin’ On the Feminine Touch at the Ritz

Marika Vida-Arnold, wine director at The Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South, has created a Women & Wine dining program that complements her wine list, which draws heavily from women winemakers. The by-the-glass list iden-tifies all 21 wines as being made by women, including Merry Edwards, Christine Chapelle and Susan Balbo. The dinner program brings eight well-known female wine figures into town for food and wine pairings at the recently launched Auden Bistro in the hotel. Executive chef Mark Arnao is doing the food pairings with Vida-Arnold.

“My motive was really to create a bal-ance, the Yin and Yang if you will,” says Vida-Arnold. “Our clubby male space, including the dense leather binder that houses the wine list, now has a softer side with wines made by women and poured by one.”

So far, four dinners have been held: Jean Arnold of Hanzell Vineyards; Tiziana Settimo of Aurelio Settimo in Barolo; Mia Klein of Selene Wines; and Athena Pappas and Stewart Boedecker of Boedecker Cellars in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Another is scheduled in mid-May with Sarah Quider, winemaker at Ferrari Carano, and in September with Alie Shaper of Brooklyn Oenology. The program will continue in 2014.

Tickets are $125 per person, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the women’s shelter at Crossroads Community Services.

Del Posto: Not Too Cool for School

Del Posto, a star (make that four) in the Bastianich-Batali crown, is trying to help customers learn more about Italian wines. Wine Director Jeffrey Porter has cooked up a series of events referred to as EDUdining. “Our goal is to introduce guests to the world of Ital-ian cuisine, wine and culture through the lens of Del Posto,” he notes.

Each month they select a wine re-gion and host a dinner around that re-gion on “Regional Fridays.” Chef Mark Ladner creates an off-menu selection of items that are specific to that region and Porter pairs the wines.

“Our first Regional Friday was devoted to Tuscany. The guests were treated to a cooking demo of Ribolitta [Tuscan bread/bean soup] and a how to make pici, a fresh long pasta. We also took them on a tour of the major wine regions of Tuscany—Brunello, Chianti, Bolgeri, Vino Nobile. Each dinner has eight to ten wines,” says Porter.

“I really try to focus on creating a sense of community—we have strangers coming together around one table to share and enjoy. We try to foster and promote discussions and passions for Italian food and wine,” he adds.

Next up: Alto Adige in May.


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