Archive for March, 2009


On a school night, on the Upper West Side, Buceo 95 was quiet by ten, except for the twelve seat bar.  It had been bustling since half past eight, and on Friday, says Suzanne, it’s hard to find a seat.  Tucked away on 95th Street, just off Amsterdam, Bueco 95 opened nearly a year and a half ago, and I wish I’d known about it back then.  With a red striped awning, the place screams for summertime seating; and according to counterman JC, who is quite animated and friendly, this, along with live jazz, is an uptown possibility. (more…)


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Last night I met Priya, for her bi-monthly dose of wine, at Wined Up on Broadway, blocks from the Flatiron.  Puzzled by the blaring music on the stairs, we climbed hesitantly to the second floor and found the bar packed like a jar of anchovies, and to our right, a dining area with tables and chairs.  Passing hanging gnarled vines, we sat and opened the menu to look for a wine.  I looked and looked and looked some more; the list is long.  There are one hundred offerings of Old World Reds by the bottle, and fifty New.  White varieties, including Sparkling Wine and Champagne (Old World and New), totaled nearly one hundred too.  Needless to say, it took some time before deciding upon a bottle of Crozes Hermitage Yann Chave, 2006 ($60), a lovely soft, ruby red Northern Rhone that developed in complexity as it aired. (more…)

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Last night, still a little fuzzy from Thursday’s vertical tasting of Gundlach Bundschu with Snooth, I met Caitlin at Sorella, an Italian wine bar on Allen Street, just south of Delancey.  With a ceiling comprised of what looks like wine barrel slats, Sorella is a narrow spot with dim lights, a trickling crowd, and a mix that included The Raconteurs for music.  Behind a dark wood, bottle rack facade stands a nine seat bar of walnut, a second tap bar with four stools, and a larger ten seat table in the back.  In the rear sits the dining room, offering a carnivorous selection of eats, which we didn’t touch. (more…)

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Near the end of the night, after Suzanne and Kelleigh had left, I swirled the contents of my glass and inhaled a gulp of fresh lilac.  Lilac? I said to Cathy, I don’t remember sensing that!  And because I’d forgotten which of the five Carmeneres I was drinking, we sniffed through the bottles and soon found that the scent was coming from Portal del Alto Gran Reserva, 2005, the exact same wine that Cathy had earlier poured from her glass.  How could that be?  What had been elected the least favorite wine of the night had completely transformed before our eyes after aerating for a few hours, leading us to conclude that if one is patient, she can expect to reap great rewards at blue-light prices, from a bottle of Carmenere. (more…)

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Imbibe New York has joined VinVillage, a nationwide network for wine lovers that consists of villages;  New York State has five: New York City, Albany, Finger Lakes, Long Island Wine Country, and Hudson Valley.   Check them out to discover many things wine related, in a city, town, or village near you.

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On line at the Javits Center 30 minutes before the New York Wine Expo began, Suzanne and Daniel ensured us a six o’clock start.  Joined by Cathy, and later Jenn and Matt, Imbibe had a crew of six seeking an educational debacle–a night offering over six hundred wines.  My aim was to map an agenda, which was never realized.  It was impossible.  With the exception of a few small sections–Portugal and Argentina, and a table of Chateauneuf-du-Pape–there was no strategy behind the floor plan.  So instead we wandered.  And rather than seeking specific regions–hoping to contrast and compare–we sampled a smattering number of wines from everywhere: New Zealand, France, Spain, South Africa, Argentina, California, and Portugal.  And if I can decipher my notes correctly, I’ll be writing on a few below. (more…)

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