“And those people who would always drink the Musigny over a Monthelie no matter what they have on their plate are not wine lovers. They are status seekers.”-Kermit Lynch
For the fifth or sixth time, I am reading Lynch’s book Adventures on the Wine Route. I learn something new each time I pick it up. A mark of a classic, right? And as my perspectives on life and wine have altered in the past five years(obvious), Adventures on the Wine Route has grown exponentially with meaning and symbolism. When I revisit in 5 years, I will chuckle at the youthful, idealistic scribble I have jotted next to passages like the one above. The book is poetic, humble, and full of character–much like the wines Kermit has been importing for the last three decades.
(photo via nytimes)
When pairing wine and food, I am always thinking regionally; and so should you. There is a reason why Crottin de Chavignol and Sauvignon from the left bank are wedded for eternity. So, two days back when I bought a whole brook trout, garlic,anchovies/pine nuts(whole foods market) and spinach from the Union Square Greenmarket–I knew exactly which wine would be served. Actually, I had no choice in the matter because fresh fish+garlic+olive oil+pine nuts+greens= southern French red. You could do a white as well, like a herbal Cotes du Rhone Blanc; but the damp nyc weather requires a savory red.
I chose a charming bottle of the 2006 Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois ‘la bastide‘($12-$17Vintage 59 Imports). Several years ago, I worked almost an entire harvest with Coupe Roses–something like three and a half weeks. The work was demanding, both physically and mentally. Nevertheless, an amazing experience which has shaped my attitudes towards the supremacy of artisan wine making. Their vineyards are some of the highest in the appellation and the wines are marked with better balance and perfume than most– the main reason why they compliment food so well. The “la bastide” is an approachable blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan. Savory and feminine. Dark, yet bright. Drink cool to the touch, like I used to after a long day of work under the Mediterranean sun.
After spending several months in hibernation, I am back! Obviously, many of you have abandoned Jaime Brockway and I cannot blame you for this. A blog without updates is like industrial wine–dead and depressing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if my readership in the future consists of just my jewish grandmother. Though, she would be happier if I were a lawyer in Brooklyn.
The other night I met a dear friend of mine at Ten Bells wine bar in the Lower East Side(Broome Street btwn Ludlow and Orchard). It was my first time and I was delighted with the entire experience. The restaurant is dark, inviting, and warm. It was a perfect choice for a sub-zero evening in nyc. The crowd is mixed, but the chatter of the french language is noticeable and pleasant. The entire menu(including wine) is posted on a rustic chalkboard against the wall. I like the look and idea, but practically it’s very inconvenient in a wine bar with no overhead lights and a few sporadic candles. Nevertheless, the wine list includes many of my favorites like Thierry Puzelat and Alice and Oliver Demoor(Louis/Dressner). I had one glass of the nutty, old vine Sauvignon Blanc from Claude Courtois(Jenny and Francois $8. by the glass) I beleive the vintage was 2004. And two lively glasses of Non-Vintage bubbly Melon de Bourgogne from Marc Pesnot(Jenny and Francois $8. by the glass) Both wines paired nicely with the homemade duck rillette. Ten Bells is the type of approachable, innovative wine bar which could inspire a lot of flowery praise. Thankfully, it’s only about a 15 minute subway ride from my flat.