May 2013
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-Rob-
erts 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
arika Vida-Arnold, wine director
at The Ritz-Carlton on Central
Park South, has created a Women
& Wine dining program that comple-
ments 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
“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; Tiz-
iana 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 Commu-
nity Services.
Del Posto: Not Too
Cool for School
el 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 de-
voted 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 com-
ing 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.
Have any tips on NYC wine lists and programs?
Please email us at
ABOVE: The Ritz-Carlton at
Central Park commissioned
original artwork for the Women
and Wine Dinner Series, held in
the hotel’s Auden Bistro.
RIGHT: Del Posto Wine Director
Jeffrey Porter has cooked up a
series of EDUdining events.
Joe Campanale
is known for his
Italian wine lists, but
L’Apicio is about
half American.
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