"Fetch me now, Jane, a glass of wine from the dining-room..." ~ Jane Eyre
I am hosting a wine-tasting party this weekend!
My desire to know more about wine started last year when I first ate at Otto in the Village. The wine bar there hosted Italian wine tasting classes, and I signed up for a class. I took the class last September - it was a lovely introduction to Italian wines. I went solo, which was exciting to me. At the wine bar, I partnered with a very sweet grad student at NYU who was studying restaurant management. Sadly, I don't remember much about the wines after the whites. The spitoons were high, so it was impossible to spit. The sommelier/instructor was hot, so I was staring at him more than I was listening to him. By the second red, my head was in a wine wonderland. Apologies to J.Sarah and Cassie who met me for lunch afterwards at Otto; my speech was slurring until I had some pizza in me.
This past Christmas, my father gave me the Eyewitness Companion Guide book on Wines of the World. I love my father for so many different reasons, one being that he is always conscientious about what I desire to learn and he promotes the learning by giving me resources. This is the same man who took me to Barnes and Nobles when its first large store opened on Long Island and purchased over $200 worth of books for me, and who took me to the E.W. Public Library every Friday night throughout my childhood and teenage years. These are one of the very many things I thank him for.
The book one wine is a large compendium of each region of the world that produces wine. It details grapes, regions, labels, vintages, etc. There are tons of photos, maps, and guides to wineries all over the world. It is an amazing book, but oh it is daunting to read. There is so much to know. Too much to know. After first reading it during the weekend at the Hershey Spa, I developed a great deal of respect for sommeliers.
One day I would love to go to Napa and tour the wine region there, but I must assert that Long Island has a wonderful wine region located on the North Fork. I love going out there in all seasons except for winter, but even then it is not a bad experience. The wineries are cozy and warm. I am looking forward to heading out there this spring with Chaz. On weekends the wineries have live music, and right now a picnic with wine and jazz sounds like a little sip of heaven.
I went shopping yesterday for the wine tasting party; it was enjoyable and relaxing.
I was able to find some wonderful tablecloths, plates, and napkins which have a wine grape pattern on them. I picked up various cheeses (including a port log - those are so delicious), crackers, flatbreads, mixed nuts, fruits, and some gourmet cookies to go with dessert wine. Of course the main focus of the tasting is the choice of wines.
I decided to go Californian for the wine. Starting with the whites, I have a Papio Chardonnay and and Estrella Pino Grigio. For the reds, I have a Barefoot Cellars Merlot and a Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon. I have a Long Island dessert wine from Duck Walk Vineyards: Blueberry Port. I am going to make index cards with information about each wine for my guests.
Cheers to your weekend. I hope you enjoy some wine wherever you are, too.
A Guide For You
http://ottopizzeria.com/ (Lidia's son and Mario Batali own this awesome wine bar and pizzeria)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756605172/002-1238076-6359221?v=glance&n=283155 (This is the book my father gave me)
http://www.liwines.com/ (This is an excellent guide to Long Island vineyards)
Reader, welcome to my life.
- Name: ThursdayNext
- Location: New York, United States