The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2014

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Page 26 of 148

26  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2014 NEW YORK CITY SIPS J ust when we thought we'd spend the month sipping sedate whites and rosés, August turned out to be a rather manly month of imbibing with scotch, beer and the men from South Africa. Here's our Dog Day drinkalogue. Bowmore, the single malt from Islay, treated us to a cool parlor game when it introduced its Small Batch Single Malt at Bill's Food & Drink, a quirky townhouse speakeasy and the perfect setting for some serious sipping. Master Distiller Ian McCallum and East Coast Ambassador Philip Pepperdine provided tabletop blend- ing kits so guests could microblend their own small batches from first- (vanilla and spice expressions) and second-fill (fruit, honey and malt) whiskies matured in ex-bourbon casks. "A lot of people get confused if you're a master blender making a single malt," said McCallum, answering the question we dared not ask. "But, we're creating a whisky with a slightly different attitude." Indeed, he says this isn't a Scotch made for the leather-chair-club crowd, but instead replaces the entry-level "Legend" label, to attract Scotch newbies to the fold. We attended the launch of Paulaner Brauhaus in a cavernous space on the Bowery—a location known for its carousel of languishing restaurants. Under a branded association with that famed Munich beer hall, veteran restaurateur Wolfgang Ban took over and installed Chef Daniel Kill (Wallse, Café Sabarsky and Blaue Gans alum) and Brewmaster Andreas Heidenreich. The Austrian-born Ban draws upon his expertise at Seäsonal and Edi and the Wolf, two popular Austrian/ German winebars in the city. Paulaner boasts an onsite microbrewery, with tanks imported from the German brewery, five brews, and a hearty menu. To that, we say good luck and Prost! South African Stellenbosch Vineyards arrived stateside with a portfolio of surprises. While we expected to like Chenin Blanc and be polite about Pinotage, it was the two expressions of Shiraz that knocked us over. And that was just fine with Managing Director Eduan Steynberg, who says he wants people to be surprised by South Africa. "We haven't been a big player in this market and never will be, but we want to show you an idea of what South Africa has to offer." The company, which exports 85 percent of its production with wines ranging from $9 to $25, suit- able for porch sipping (we were enamored of the Four Secrets Sparkling Shiraz, a blend of four vintages) or broad-shouldered enough to stand up to a spit-roasted lamb, like the peppery Credo Shiraz. Marching to a Different Summer by Lana Bortolot PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT (Left to right) General Manager Markus Tschuschnig, Chef Daniel Kill and Wolfgang Ban at Paulaner Brauhaus. Johann Diedericks (left) and Eduan Steynberg at Vareli restaurant. Master Distiller Ian McCallum (Left) and East Coast Ambassador Philip Pepperdine, at Bill's Food and Drink, NYC.

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