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Archive for July, 2010

Negroni, Dark & Stormy, Mint Julip, Salty Dog, Pimms Cup, Blood & Sand, and Sazerac.  The cocktail list at Aria Wine Bar outshines the list of wines; and a sweep of the eye around the room confirms it—Sarah, Caitlin, and I seemed to be the only one’s drinking wine.  A wine bar that specializes in organic and biodynamic wines or a bar that emphasizes the women behind the vine?  It’s hard to tell.  The space is charming, but there’s no way of knowing the intent behind Aria.

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Celebrating summer’s swelter, we drank Vouvray at last week’s Wine Club–hoping to capture a bottled breeze from the Loire, just south of Vouvray.  Thriving on tuffeau–sea floor sediment, 90 million years old–topped with gravel and clay, Chenin Blanc has been grown in Vouvray since the early Middle Ages.  With moody weather affecting the delicate development of the appellation’s moelleux wines (sweet with ripeness or noble rot), in less prime years, sec wines are made.
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Every year, McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail follows the Tour de France and the wine regions it passes through.  Asked to contribute a post, I watched Stage 16 through the Pyrénées, which finished in Pau–home to Jurançon–and ruminated on racing and wine:

It’s been a few years since I’ve followed the Tour with fervor—the same number of years since I sold my Zipps to study wine.  For four to five seasons I raced, following the wheels of a one-year romance with my first road bike.  Racing became everything, and then, worn from training and competition, I picked up the bottle to study and started to run.

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Honey Spice fingered

A soft-dried apricot

And sipped cream fresh

From a cup-

Spotting a cluster of fungi

She pulled a knife

And stepped from the cellar

Into light

Chåteau D’Yquem 1995

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A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz, of Catavino, hosted the NYC kickoff for the European Wine Blogger Conference, in Vienna, this fall.   And so, without yet considering if I even wanted to attend the conference, I showed up at the Austrian Cultural Forum, a couple of weeks ago in Midtown.  Behind a table that stretched across the room, stood Paul, pouring his and Carlo’s Darcy and Huber wines from Vienna.  Gabriella and Ryan circulated, engaging, not floating, with many of the 20+ people in the room.  Opposite Paul, Monika Caha Selections showed some intriguing wines:  Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Höh 2008–floral with ginger and quince, and ripe, yet fresh, stone fruits.  KWSelection poured some crowd pleasers–especially the reds produced by Hillinger, which were all were too big for my palate.

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She lifts the hatch to the attic

and a slice of light

cuts across her face

Ascending

darkness to light

Bright she is blinded…

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