A Brief Catch Up.

Apparently it’s not just Simone and Craig that read my blog, but also Brian and Jordan. Thanks, guys! It’s been brought to my attention that I have been a bit slag on posts, so here we are.

A wee catch up…

What feels like years ago (1.5 weeks), I was (last minute) invited to a really spectacular luncheon with some really lovely wine women. Nikita of Mascot by Harlan, Harlan’s newest project of affordable (read: $120 retail-I’ll stop with the parenthesis) wines, gathered women from the trade for an incredible spread at Upland.

Mascot was great- really sexy, velvety, generous with fruit, and absolutely worthy of the Harlan name. I can say that now that I’ve tried 0.00035 mL of Harlan. Upland was also totally spot on. The minimum for a private room includes catering for 15. We were 6.5 as one left after the first course, of which there were many. Barley topped beef tartar, a really yummy avocado salad, totally comforting Parmesan soaked rigatoni, steak covered in romesco, and literally (I’m using this correctly) an entire chicken per person.

And then dessert. Needless to say we all walked home with bags of food, but more importantly, with some solid new connections to some truly awesome women.

Tuesday I had my first MW tasting group. Gabriella and Jonathan, both Stage 1ers with me, came by for a blind “Bordeaux blends” tasting where we all impressed ourselves. 1995 Chateau Pontensac from Tribeca Wine Merchants, Jonathan’s delicious Super Tuscan Millepassi, and Gabriella’s very NW sentinel from Washington, and iconic 1999 Guido Al Tasso Super Tuscan. A great start to what’s going to (literally) consume our next 3 years. 

Domaine Hauvette has quickly become my favorite new find. From Provence, both the whites and reds are absolutely outstanding. Most are fermented in concrete egg which I believe imparts this really supple and textural mouth feel.

Master of Wine begins! Last Thursday and Friday were 2 full days of seminars for Stage 1 students. There were 10 or so of us, most from New York or nearby, but a couple of guys from Atlanta, a woman friend Cleveland, one from Nashville, and a man from Napa, too.

Blind tasting #1- Roussanne! No one got it. 

Post MW I head into work for a few hours and was greeted with this stunner.  A project from famous Sommeliers, this Cali Pinot was elegant, perfumed, and very un-Cali, which is a good thing as often they are cloying and just too in-your-face fruity.

Day 2 we started with a 9 am 2.25 hour blind tasting of reds. I have done several of these in Hong Kong with Debra Meiburg MW so felt pretty good about my tasting even though there were quite a few I missed. It became very apparent how much tasting practice is ahead this year. 

Saturday post work we had a pizza-crawl in. New York is crazy enough on a Saturday night, but throw in Halloween and it’s a nightmare. Ben ordered Prince Street which was square and quite decadent, Lombardy’s which is very New York classic, and Rubirosa’s, pictured above, which was the clear favorite with it’s crack-like vodka sauce. Why isn’t vodka sauce pizza a thing everywhere?

Obviously there was sabering. 2002 Henri Giraud Argonne. I’ve been lucky enough to have the 2004 on several occasions and it always blew me away for its complexity. This is a seriously meditative wine the deserves a bit of reverence. The 2002 was no different, but proved more yeasty and tight. It’s one to revisit in a decade or so.

Dan admiring the 1998 Sandrone Le Vigne, solid, and Argonne with Prince Street.


Afterward Brandon and I hit some new hotel bar in FiDi that proved to have good drinks but pretty snotty service.

Then there was a week of more stuff, but that’ll have to wait because I’m going to Australia! TODAY!


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