Avant garde since our debut in 2000, we look forward to sharing with you our wine and spirits discoveries. (Content by Amy Louise Pommier)
401 posts 1,033 followers 1,502 following
We’re savoring these last few days of winter with Italian-accented hearty food – porchetta accompanied by herb-roasted root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery root, turnips and fennel) which featured an Asian twist with cumin, turmeric and black mustard seeds. The Piccolo Bacco dei Quaroni Buttafuoco “Vigneto Ca’ Padroni” 2011 was wonderfully appropriate – so Italian with its dark cherry notes, with a slight bitter hint of cherry skin and pits, and a lovely earthy inflection of something like Shitake mushrooms. Its vivid yet discreet flavors danced with the porchetta’s fennel, sage, rosemary and garlic, with a hint of peppery heat, and the wine’s depth and earthy overtones were lovely with the veggies. Freenie the tabby is keeping an eye on our other cats to make sure they don’t get between her and the porchetta. Dinners like this make us glad it’s still winter!
“Green is definitely the way to go – with wine and, hey, why not everything!” enthuses Wally. “I’m totally into organic, biodynamic Rhônes like this one, but I’m eager to explore other kinds of green wines, too....just hinting...” We’ve got some fun variations on the theme, Wally – including a perky, dry organic Pinot Noir rosé from Germany, and a white and a red Vinho Verde. Feel free to try them all with us – we’ll be pouring 4:00-6:00 this afternoon – at Prospect Wine Shop!
“I’ve been trying to get that waiter’s attention for a while now,” grumbles Weston the Boxer. “I mean, here’s this beautiful bottle of old-vines Chinon, and all I need is for him to get it together and bring over a corkscrew and some glasses....” We’re walkin’ your way, Weston, corkscrew and glasses in hand. We’ll be pouring a whole mess of food-friendly wines from France, Italy and Austria – including one from the rare Roter Veltliner grape. Please feel free to join us – 4:00-6:00 this afternoon – at Prospect Wine Shop!
Even though the green shoots in the garden are hinting at spring, this evening was still definitely wintry enough for a dark-toned, fruit-inflected lamb tagine. Prunes and dried apricots (plus the basic red onion and garlic) added richness; ginger, cinnamon, orange zest, saffron, orange flower water and almonds all contributed lively perfuminess. Paulo da Silva’s Casal da Azenha 2012 (a Vinho Regional Lisboa made from the rare Ramisco grape grown near Sintra in very sandy soil) complemented the savory-fruity-perfumed-spicy tagine very nicely, with its rich, pure, vivid dark red cherry and plum notes, gently accented with a bit of leather, cinnamon, cherry skin and tree bark. This is a beautifully authentic old-style wine – unassumingly conveying simple elegance and a unique sense of place.
“What is this thing of mine for Portuguese wine?” muses Porter the Chocolate Lab mix. “It must be love!” It sure looks like it, Porter, and we totally understand, being big Portuguese wine fans ourselves. We’ll be pouring 5 delicious wines from Sintra, the Beirrada and Douro regions, the Alentejo and a serious lees-contact Alvarinho – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
It was a chilly, drizzly, tagine-y night...and we made a beef tagine with carrots, orange and pistachios, perkily aromatic with ginger, cinnamon, cumin seeds and orange flower water. We wanted to pair it with something red and spicy-spirited but not too imposing, and the Sentinelle de Massiac Minervois 2015 went deliciously with the food. The somewhat inky black raspberry fruit was rich but not heavy, with notes of black pepper and tar, and a hint of oil-cured black olive. Even in this ripe vintage, the wine was bright and lively, dancing happily with the high-toned orange and ginger notes in the tagine. Just the thing to dispel the damp chill of the evening!
“I’m so ready for an adventure with this exciting-looking Vin Rouge!” exclaims Olive. “Wines from the Loire just make me feel so French, and so eager to head for the disco and dance the night away!” We’re ready to dance with you, Olive, while we pour this delightful Gamay, along with some superb Savennières, captivating Cab Franc and marvelous Muscadet – most of them organic and/or biodynamic. Please feel free to join us and indulge in the Loire’s vivacious variety of grapes – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
At a birthday dinner for a cousin from India, we enjoyed an assortment of delicious Indian foods, including a wonderful shrimp curry and varied curried vegetables (not shown were Gujarati dal, mustard-seed sauce salmon and a fish curry, plus a spicy salad). The Hexamer “Quatzit” Riesling 2015 truly complemented everything beautifully, with its ripe but subtle fruit, light sweetness and mineral underpinning. We were happily reaffirmed in our appreciation for Riesling’s harmonious versatility!
“Mixes are so cool – blends are beautiful – it’s all good!” proclaims lovely Lyla. “I just don’t know which of the wonderful blends at today’s tasting I should try first....” We can offer some guidance there, Lyla, about the blends we’re pouring – from France (a biodynamic Rhône), Portugal, California and Washington State. Please feel free to join us to find out more about why and how wines are made from mixes of grape varieties – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
We’re delighted to celebrate dogs all year long, every year! And what better way to ring in the Year of the Dog than with Champagne! Mutt-Mutt’s very attached to his favorite Brut Nature, and we’ve got a wide selection of “grower Champagnes” to add a deliciously bubbly note to your Lunar New Year. Feel free to visit us to peruse our bubblies and other festive things to drink – and bring your canine friends!
Damp, chilly Valentine’s night – warming, homey stew. A cornucopia of root veggies, including celery root, brightened with fennel and celery and given an umami depth with pork. DeForville’s Barbera d’Asti “Ca’ del Buc” 2014 complemented the stew beautifully, showing savory ripe black cherry notes, totally melded with earth and leather overtones that interwove with the root vegetables, a hint of sarsaparilla that played into the celery, and the Barbera’s lively acidity that lifted the richness of the pork. (We note that Eric Asimov chose DeForville’s Barbaresco from this vintage as his favorite in today’s NY Times wine column – the Barbera shows off this producer’s distinctive character in a more early-accessible vein.) All in all, a fine, comfort-food winter dinner!
Is it puppy love, love at first sight, or true love?” wonders Luna the Labradoodle. “I’ll be sure from the very first sip – and I hope someone brings this bottle of bubbly home to me on Valentine’s Day so I can fully experience this romance!” We’re here to fulfill your longings, Luna – in fact we’re pouring this rosé Cava and four other Spanish wines (red and white) this very afternoon – 4:00-6:00 – at Prospect Wine Shop!
“I’m sitting extremely pretty,” proclaims Oliver, “Because I’ve got a bottle of terrific artisanal whiskey from Upstate right in front of me, and I’m seriously hoping to lap some up.” We’re definitely impressed, Oliver – so much so that we’ll be pouring this fabulous small-production Bourbon and a corn whiskey, too, for your delectation – 5:30-8:30 this evening – at Prospect Wine Shop!
The chilly, rainy evening seemed to call for a homey, warming fruity-spicy chicken tagine, accompanied by sweet potatoes roasted with Indian spices, including nigella seeds. The chicken had simmered with ginger, rosemary, Thai chiles, tomatoes and apricots. The wine choice was kind of odd, admittedly....We were thinking that a Kabinett Phalz Riesling might have been appropriate, but we didn’t have one on hand. A fruity, lighter Rhône might have been fine, too, but a lovely Bourgogne Rouge 2014 from Jean-Marc Pillot was what we found in the cellar – and it seemed opportune to enjoy it while its sleek dark red cherry fruit was still vivid. A hint of underbrush and a waft of marzipan, with an underlining of darker cherry skin completed the picture. The fruit in the wine accorded well with the tagine, though a wine with a bit of spice and/or sweetness would probably have been a better match. Still, improvisation has its considerable pleasures!
“After careful inspection, I’d say this Late Bottled Vintage Port has excellent potential,” Phineas sniffs. “I’d appreciate it, though, if I could taste it, so I can verify my hunch. And I wouldn’t mind comparing it with some Sherry or Madeira...just to, you know, put it in proper perspective.” But of course, Phineas – we’ll be pouring all 3 types of fortified wines – a Late Bottled Vintage and a Tawny Port, an Oloroso Sherry and a 5-year old Sercial Madeira. Please feel free to join us – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
“Barolo makes me so nostalgic for Italy, and for my days of truffle hunting,” sighs Sammy. “And the more I sniff, the more it makes me long for all of those marvelous Italian wines I love....I can’t wait to savor this evocative traditional-style Barolo!” You can enjoy the wine and the memories, Sammy – we’ll be pouring a range of Italian wines – from Sicily, the Emilia-Romagna and Piemonte – all full of distinctive character. Please feel free to join us – 4:00-6:00 -at Prospect Wine Shop!
“Mencia moves me!” exclaims Gio. “Every time I sniff some of that subtle Galician red wine I feel like dancing to Spanish music....and hunting for some delicious salchichas....” We’re with you, there, Gio – we think Galician Mencias are fabulous “food wines,” and we’ll be pouring a trio of them, plus a Monastrell from Jumilla. Please feel free to join us 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
“I’ll roll over any time there’s rye Whiskey involved,” enthuses Peanut. “And I’ll do my special double-roll if it’s a super-delicious artisanal Rye from right here in Brooklyn. Now let’s open that bottle!” We’ll not only open this bottle and pour some for you to taste, Peanut – we’ll be sampling a terrific Old Fashioned made with this Brooklyn–crafted Rye. Please feel free to join us – 5:45-8:30 this evening – at Prospect Wine Shop!
We enjoyed this long-weekend version of Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives two nights in a row – the varied spices more melded and savory the second time around. Cinnamon, paprika, cloves, bay leaves, saffron and a bit of peperoncino all danced a lovely dance together – warming on a winter night. The Domaine de Fenouillet Ventoux Rouge 2016 was an appropriately rustic (in a good way) accompaniment – gently earthy baked red cherries and black raspberries with notes of black pepper and autumn leaves, not heavy, adding just the right south-of-France bistro-y tone to the ensemble.
“What’s goin’ on here?” wonders our girl Pearl. “I mean, here’s this beautiful bottle of Burgundy, but where’s the human with the corkscrew – not to mention the dog treats?” We’re right here, Pearl, ready to pour a variety of Pinot Noirs – from Burgundy, the Languedoc, California and Oregon. Please feel free to join us – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
We enjoyed this hearty Pork Stew with Pears and Sweet Potatoes (John Willoughby, NY Times) on a wintery evening. There was a lovely synergy of flavors, including caraway seeds, allspice, bay leaves – and a dollop of grainy mustard on top – it seemed inspired by Medieval cuisine. Plouzeau’s graceful Chinon “Les Cornuelles” 2009 was at a perfect point in its evolution – rather silky savory dark fruit (joining with the Bosc pear element in the stew) interwoven with notes of leather, autumn woods, aromatic roots – and licorice, which especially connected well with the caraway seeds. The food and wine created a kind of savory-fruit synergistic symphony. Dessert was pears in Port (the deeply flavorful, not too sweet Quinta do Infantado Ruby, infused with citrus peels, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns and grains of paradise) with Adirondack Creamery’s Syrian Date and Walnut ice cream – a wonderful warm-toned winter combination!
“It’s SO cold outside – I’d love some of that Languedoc old-vines Carignan to warm up with,” Stella sighs. “And I think I sniff some Grenache and Syrah in the vicinity, too.” Right you are, Stella – we’ve got a quartet of Languedoc reds for you, some of them organic, all of them filled with the rich flavors that come from southern French soil and sunshine. Feel free to come and taste them all – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
We celebrated the beginning of a new year on a very wintry night with a hearty goose with apple-and-prune stuffing, plus collards, with some blue potatoes and multicolored baby carrots roasted in goose fat, with dried sage and rosemary from the garden. Searching in the cellar for an ideal goose wine, we were delighted to find Fourrier’s Morey St.-Denis “Clos Solon” Vieille Vigne 2009. It was still revealing some ripe dark cherry fruit, but in a brooding, mysterious way – no longer brightly young, but the wine has quite a way to go before reaching maturity. There were subtly charry overtones, wafts of iron oxide-laden rare roast beef blood, and an intimation of autumn woods that promises to grow as this very elegant and rather majestic wine develops.
“Prospect Wine Shop has a lovely back deck,” muses Gracie,, “But right now I’d rather warm up inside with some wonderful bubbly.” You’re more than welcome to, Gracie – we’ll be pouring two beautiful grower Champagnes and a distinctively delicious Crémant de Bourgogne to make you feel all warm and cozy, and inspire your New Year’s Eve celebrations – 4:00-6:00 today – inside at Prospect Wine Shop!
We wish all of our friends a most joyous holiday, as we head toward a food and wine gathering, with the vividly lovely Drew Pinot Noir “Mid-elevation Mendocino Ridge” 2016 and the sublime Franz Hirtzberger’s Neuberger Smaragd 2013 in hand. May all of you enjoy your day with food and wine and spirits, family and friends, and whatever brings good cheer. And may we all hope for peace and love to prevail, somehow, on our planet!
“Oh, there’s nothing like Grand Cru grower Champagne for the holidays,” sighs Desmond. “I’m absolutely longing for someone to come over and pop the cork!” Yes!! Desmond – we’re here to fulfill your desires – we’ll be pouring three Grand Cru small–grower Champagnes to add to the grandeur of the holiday season. Please feel free to join us in this delicious indulgence – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!
“I’m totally into amore – I mean amaro,” swoons Mutt-Mutt. “Amaro, amore, whatever – it’s all delicious, even this beautiful wax seal...but I bet the amaro inside tastes even better, and I’m longing for someone to crack that seal and pour me a little bit!” Yes, Mutt-Mutt, we’re eager to share the magic of this organic, Brooklyn-artisanal amaro, and a couple of other organic, artisanal spirits – all perfect for holiday cocktails! Please feel free to join us – 5:30-8:30 this evening – at Prospect Wine Shop!
“No, really, I AM a true Jedi warrior,” yips Patch. “Cork you will pop and revealed will be the full power of the Force!” We’re with you, Patch, so enthusiastically aligned with the Force that we’ll be popping the corks and pouring 3 Champagnes and a Crémant de Bourgogne – 3 of these made by woman-winemakers, and they’re all organic. Please feel free to join forces with us and taste them all – 4:00-6:00 today – at Prospect Wine Shop!