The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2014

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28  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2014 NEW YORK CITY SIPS by Lana Bortolot K arl Wente, Fifth Generation Winemaker for Wente Family Estates, hosted a lunch for seven sommeliers from Manhattan's top tables at Marea, with the assistance of master of ceremony Michael Green, who introduced Karl as a "farmer of flavors and textures." One in a series of road trip lunches to major markets, Karl said the purpose was to "get people to taste what's coming out of Livermore," using his small-production The Nth Degree artisanal wines as an example. The somms' tasting skills were put to the test as they sipped through eight wines, pairing them with items from the Marea menu and also suggest- ing dishes from their own restaurants for each wine. The recent Central Otago Pinot Noir celebration gave advocacy group Complexity New Zealand Fine Wine a launch pad for talking about the wines coming out of this high-altitude vineyard on the South Island. It's the only continental climate in the otherwise maritime country, and the campaign focuses on the cold-climate attributes, which deliver mineral- driven Pinots. With rapid growth since the 1990s and an uptick in quality, the region (1,365 hectares, about 70% of which is planted with Pinot Noir) is applying for geographic indication status. The wines we tasted at Charlie Palmer's Aureole res- taurant ranged from traditional Burgundian styles—earthy and focused with red fruits—to biodynamic wines with smoky, sweet-spicy and mineral notes. Prices ranged from $22- to mid-$40s SRP, with the higher-end wines reaching $95 SRP. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, The Dead Rabbit launched its new cocktail menu, a "celebration of Irish whiskey" as well as the life of John Morrissey, the Tammany Hall–era boxer and gang leader for whom the pub is named. Four cocktails lead the new charge ranging from the deep and spicy Counter Punch (a Jameson Black Barrel and Jamaican rum blend) to the Thunderbolt, a chocolate-banana-ginger nightcap with Powers John's Lane Release. Thirty-five cocktails and the rise and fall of Irish whiskey are gorgeously portrayed in a small book that's part graphic novel and part McSweeney's illustrated history book. Around Town CALIFORNIA AND NEW ZEALAND WINEMAKERS VISIT . . . PLUS: IRISH COCKTAILS! At Marea, Karl Wente (center) tunes up his taste buds with NYC somms, including Carrie Strong, Wine Director at Aureole (right of Karl), Matthew Conway from Marc Forgione (left of Karl) and Eleonora Tirapelle, Sommelier from SD26 (foreground). Aureole Wine Director Carrie Strong (left) with Chef Charlie Palmer and Stephanie Schwalb of Complexity New Zealand Fine Wine. PHOTO: DANIEL KRIEGER PHOTO: DANIEL KRIEGER PHOTO: DANIEL KRIEGER PHOTO: DANIEL KRIEGER Franky Marshall and Bobby Hiddleston toast the newest cocktail menu at The Dead Rabbit. TP0414_001-33.indd 28 3/21/14 11:53 AM

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