Wines of Morocco

A selection of Ouled Thaleb wines at the one-year anniversary event at Rustic L.E.S.
A selection of Ouled Thaleb wines at the one-year anniversary event at Rustic L.E.S.


by Michelle Kwan


When you think of Morocco, you may conjure up its vast stretches of desert, labyrinthine bazaars, or even the Bogart movie “Casablanca.” But have you ever thought of this Islamic nation as wine country?

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A Wine Pairing Tribute to the Pays d’Oc Region

Guests enjoying the wine and food pairings
Guests enjoying the wine and food pairings at Ai Fiori in New York City


by Michelle Kwan

 

The Pays d’Oc, encompassing the Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Hérault and Gard within The Languedoc-Roussillon, six villages in the Lozère and the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is prime wine producing country. Given the natural diversity of its terrain and warm Mediterranean climate it is no wonder that the Pays d’Oc comes forth as one of the most varied and diverse French wine producing regions in the world.

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Burgundy Takes Manhattan

Wine and food combination at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room
Wine and food combination at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room

by Michelle Kwan

 

The region of Burgundy (English for “Bourgogne”), situated in the heart of France, contains five wine-producing areas: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais. Primarily comprised of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the wines grown here are noted for their quality, diversity and adaptability to virtually every type of fare. To prove this, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) selected some top New York City restaurants to serve as testing grounds for the compatibility between Burgundy wines and various international cuisines.

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Special Valentines in New York City

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a special prix-fixe menu at Le Perigord in Midtown Manhattan
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special prix-fixe menu at Le Perigord in Midtown Manhattan

by Meryl Pearlstein


Haven’t firmed up your Valentine’s Day plans yet? No problem. Manhattan is teeming with great dining options. For the 14th of February, take a look at these delicious and varied choices:


Sfoglia


A restaurant that’s a tough reservation to score even on non-holiday evenings, Sfoglia sits across from the 92nd Street Y and offers a “cupid’s arrow” four-course prix-fixe celebration for $95. I love this restaurant on a cold night. It’s cozy with its white curtains, homey with its convivial vibe, and always pleasing with wonderful Italian cuisine. On Valentine’s Day evening they’re only serving couples, no matter whether you’re sitting at a two-top or at the communal table, so you might actually have a better chance at scoring a table. Both restaurant favorites and specials are on the menu with the likes of Maine uni with brown bread and house-made butter, buckwheat crespelle with celery root cream and caviar, and spaghetti and ruby red shrimp with Meyer lemon.

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Joios! Rooftop Tasting

Joios! Rooftop Tasting
At the Joios! Rooftop Tasting, wines are brown-bagged and labeled so as not to reveal their identity.

by Michelle Kwan


Joios, as the name would suggest, celebrates the spirit of conviviality marked by fine wine, good company, and the idea that quality bottles should be accessible to all. Bringing together oenophiles of all stripes, Joios invites participants to partake in a blind tasting focusing on specific varietals or shared characteristics. With Joios’ unique “discover and uncover” approach, wines are brown-bagged and labeled so as not to reveal their identity; participants are then asked to taste pours of each and take notes according to their impression and preference. Afterwards, a tally is taken based upon tasters’ votes and notes. Finally, the wines are unveiled and background as to provenance, age, varietal, and vineyard are discussed.


At a recent New York tasting that we attended, Grenaches from several countries were sampled, including one from Spain and a particularly noteworthy smooth and fruity French variety. To kick things off, participants’ palates were primed with a crisp, undisguised French rosé. Continue reading “Joios! Rooftop Tasting” »