This afternoon, as the microwave clock turned one and the bell rang, I left a roomful of eighth graders and their fictional constructs, booked it down the stairs, and caught a gypsy cab to the subway at 149th and 3rd Avenue, in the Bronx. From there I hopped the 5 to the 6 to Eleven Madison Park, for a winemaker’s lunch with Chantal-Brégeon of Champagne Philippe Gonet.
Archive for October, 2010
Following a blissful class with Eddie at Jivamukti, Caitlin and I walked and talked east to 6th Street, between B and C. Grape & Grain. Open for five years, with four next door at Against the Grain, where craft beers are served, Grape & Grain was new to us both and we were utterly delighted. The wine list not long, but engaging. The bartender, our gracious host, offered tastes before he poured, and within a few hours, at 8 or 9 or 10, he was one-manning a room near-full of guests, whose voices were muted by the silver-tin ceilings and red brick walls.
A short while ago, Brian, Lindsay, and Emmet moved to Chappaqua, and so on a Sunday afternoon, we took the train to meet them. Our initial Imbibe New York Wine Club date was set for the morning after Jennifer’s birthday, and so Brian chose Champagne–the lush coat of a monkey’s back that would provide just nip we needed to recover from her birthday debauch.
Last Saturday, David and I attended Get Real NY–a Cask Beer (and food??) Festival. Alternatively termed “real ale”, cask ale/lager is served in its natural state–unfiltered, unpasteurized, and without the added carbonation that traditionally helps beer move towards its destination–the tap. And just as with wine, cask ales are treated with fining agents that bind to the unfiltered sediment and drop to the bottle of the cask, making for a clearer drink. Served at room temperature with light carbonation–a pure result of fermentation–cask ale was once a beverage for the masses, when bottled ales were reserved for the upper class. Nowadays, “real” ale is a treat, its presence at any bar a sure indication that one has arrived at the gates of beer lover’s heaven.