Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy #SauvignonBlancDay

WooHoo it's Friday and it's Sauvignon Blanc Day!  Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite summertime whites.  I have a friend that all she drinks in Sauvignon Blanc, so when I'm with her, you can guess what I am drinking even if it's not summer.

Sauvignon Blanc is grown all over the world.  You most likely are familiar with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but it's also grown in South Africa, Chile, France, Uruguay, California and New York.

For more information about Sauvignon Blanc I invite you to listen to the podcast I recorded with Bryan Diaz of Summertime in a Glass.  It's an organization dedicated to building a community around Sauvignon Blanc.  You can listen to it here.

Today as your are celebrating don't forget to #SauvBlancDay and show off the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc you are drinking.

I will be uncorking a 2014 Benmarl Sauvignon Blanc. Is it 5pm yet?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cracking The Grandes Vinos Y Vinedos Garnacha Code

Founded in 1997, Grandes Vinos y Vinedos works with vineyards in 14 of the growing areas in D.O.P Carinena. They source grapes from 10,000 acres of vineyards that range in altitude from 1,000 to 2,800 feet. One third of their production is Garnacha.

I got to taste two of their selections.  Both Garnacha, one Rose and one Old Vines.

2014 Besdo de Vino is a Garnacha Rose. Antonio the Bull kissed this wine and fell in love.Beso de Vino means "Kiss of Wine" It is kissed with a beautiful raspberry color.  In fact raspberry all around.  Very strong notes of fresh raspberries on the nose and on the palate.  The taste of raspberry lingers in your olfactory for a while on the finish.  As the wine begins to open notes of fresh cherry become apparent. This wine, think summer fun. SRP $10

2014 Corona D Aragon Old Vine Garnach is sourced from the oldest vines in Villanueva de Huerva at very high altitude. The wine begins with layers of aromas from the glass of cherry, sour cherry and red currants.  The palate was bright with bing and cherries.  As the wine began to open it was bursting with black raspberry and became jammy. The fruit was really showing it's colors. SRP $10

Two great wines at affordable prices!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wine Word Wednesday: Astringent

Get Your FREE Wine & Food Pairing Cheat Sheet for Spring & Summer

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Notes From the Captain Lawrence Tasting Room: Downward (Hair of the) Dog, Anyone?

There are peculiar pairings, such as Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, or, say, beer and yoga. And there are others that seem to go together nicely, such as J.J. Rogener, a student at New York Medical College in Valhalla, and Kinga Shudak, from the Bronx and, before that, Poland. They met online, and chose Captain Lawrence for the all important first face-to-face. “She said she likes to sit outside,” says J.J., a regular in the tasting room. “I like to drink beer and I love Captain Lawrence.”
The pair is sipping the Hop Commander IPA on the patio on a gorgeous weekend afternoon. A guitar-and-bass duo with the no-nonsense name “Bob & Norm” is strumming away. “I like beer,” says Kinga, “so this is perfect.”
Now, back to the beer and yoga. Captain Lawrence is hosting an event that brings the two together starting May 9, with Lauren Crowley of Westchester Yogini conducting the class, and the brewery guys pouring the samples. Kinga doesn’t go for yoga—beer or not. “It’s boring,” she says. “I like to do something more active.”
J.J. dabbled in yoga and pilates years back, he says, while diving competitively in college. “Let’s put it this way,” he says. “If I were ever to do yoga again, I’d do it in a brewery.”
Kinga laughs. For what it’s worth, she and J.J. seem to go well together. But no pressure, kids.
Across the patio, Kathy and Bruce Daniell of Bethel, Connecticut are a bit further along in their partnership. It’s her birthday, and a sizeable party has made the trip to Captain Lawrence. “It was my husband’s idea,” says a grateful Kathy.
The jokes flow freely and the samples go down easily for the Connecticut cabal. Jennifer Fender (“like the guitar,” she says) thinks beer and yoga might actually fly. “I think drinking beer makes you more flexible,” she says. “Beer would definitely make yoga more interesting.”
It is pointed out that the event is titled, somewhat indelicately, “Stretching & Belching.” “You’re good at both,” quips her husband.
Rich Danise of Brookfield sips the Hop Commander and says he’s working his way on up to the Seeking Alpha triple IPA, curious to see how the draft version may differ from what he’s had in the bottle. “It’s got a great mouth feel,” he says of the hoppy monster. “It’s surprisingly drinkable, considering the alcohol level.” (That would be 11%, if you’re scoring at home.)
Bruce asks for a photo (top) of the group to capture the sun-splashed moment. “This will be our Christmas card,” he says.
Despite the favorable weather, some have chosen a seat inside the tasting room. Like the Daniell party, Jenna Blakeslee and A.J. Johnson hail from Connecticut, where Jenna is a studio operator at ESPN. She rocks a Manchester United jersey; both are en route to Yankee Stadium for a New York Football Club match—but not before hitting a half dozen or so breweries, including Yonkers Brewing, Bronx Brewery and Gun Hill Brewery. Both are fans of the Brown Bird Ale at Captain Lawrence. “There’s a little sweetness,” says Jenna. “It’s very direct, not too full of itself—there’s something for everyone with that beer.”
A.J. agrees. “It’s a beer you can enjoy inside or outside,” she adds.
Both ladies brew at home—their latest effort was an Oktoberfest concoction dubbed Unibrau. A.J. isn’t going for the yoga and beer (Yogi Beera, anyone?); she prefers those wacky Beer Mile races. But Jenna isn’t dismissing the quirky concept. “Drinking beer helps you relax, and so does yoga,” she says. “I feel like they’d go well together.”
Back outside, Bob & Norm have set down their instruments for a well deserved pizza from the Gleason’s guys. It’s the first CL visit for Ossining resident Norm Dodge (“like the automobile,” he says). “I’d heard a lot about it and so far everything has lived up to expectations,” Norm says. “I love the whole setting.”
–Michael Malone (
Could the setting work for people doing planks and downward dogs while sipping craft brew? Norm smiles. “I’ve heard of hot yoga,” he says. “Why not hops yoga?”
—Michael Malone (
Captain Lawrence Brewing, at 444 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, is open Wednesday through Friday (4-8 p.m.), Saturday (12-6 p.m.) and Sunday (12-5). The author is paid by Captain Lawrence, partially in India Pale Ale. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Long Island Wine Country: Macari Vineyards

I haven't been out to Long Island Wine Country in a while so I was glad to be able to taste some wines from there during NY Drinks NY.

Macari Vineyards is located in Mattituck, NY on the North Fork.  The 500 acre estate has been in the Macari family for over 50 years and the vineyards were established in 1995.

Their 2013 Katherine's Field Sauvignon Blanc was a bit grassy on the nose with strong citrus.  Nice acidity and lemon on the palate. I caught some white spice on the finish. SRP $22

Picked 3 weeks before the rest of their Chardonnay the 2014 Early Wine is fermented in steel and bottled by the end of  November. Much lighter than many Chardonnays in color. Green fruit aromas (think green apple, green pears) and a little residual sugar on the taste, this wine had flavors of green apple, pear and lemon rind with nice acidity. SRP $18

Cabernet Franc is one of my favorites!  Macari 2010 Cabernet Franc is aged for 24 months in French oak with 10% of it new oak and the rest neutral oak.  Plum and dark fruit aromas.  The wine is smooth with soft tannins and some spice on the finish.  SRP $35

Dos Aguas - Two waters and the grapes for this wine was grown between the two body of waters, the Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay.  The 2010 is a blend of 81% Merlot 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc.  It spent 18 months in oak.  There was strong hints of blueberry aromas coming from the glass.  Dark fruit and tannins on the palate with the black spice of Cabernet Franc on the finish.  It truly begins with Merlot, taste of Cabernet Sauvignon and finishes with Cabernet Franc. $SRP 30

Marcari hand harvests their 2007 Merlot that is picked from 30 year old vines.  Aromas that are very jammy and full of berries coming from the glass.  It's slightly complex with blueberry pie on the palate along with some sour cherry and some dark fruit and a hint of pepper spice on the finish. SRP $36

If you are out on the North Fork Macari is worth the stop.

Get Your FREE Wine & Food Pairing Cheat Sheet for Spring & Summer

Friday, April 17, 2015

Malbec Facts on World Malbec Day

World Malbec Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina's wine industry. On that day, back in 1853, he tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines. Among the vines he brought was Malbec.  Today Argentina is known for their Malbec.

Malbec 101
Get Your FREE Wine & Food Pairing Cheat Sheet for Spring & Summer