A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WINE GEEK

Now that is a nice splash!

Now that is a nice splash!

What a Monday I had this week. I woke up slammed down some serious fuel (coffee) and was off and runnin’.

Having two businesses in this town doesn’t allow for too much fun time but if you love what you are doing the work can be enjoyable. The wine world is my world. I love it love it love it.

Wine knowledge is one of the few things my mind can retain…most of the time…and the more I can be around wine people and get the word out of, “WINE TO THE PEOPLE” the better.

So Monday was crazy cool and I thought I would do a bit of a snap shot of a day in the life of a wine geek.After the coffee slam-down I started my wine day. As always I headed down to In Vino to check up on the prep for the day. Andres had everything under control there so it was time to head to an event that became a lively and in depth discussion about the wine and gourmet food world and American culture intertwined with Spanish cheese and wine from Rioja.

Not just any Rioja.

At noon I had the honor and the pleasure of being invited to a lunch with Maria Martinez Sierra head winemaker of Bodegas Montecillo in Alta Rioja, Spain. Myself and a focused group of fellow wine geeks had a chance to taste a preview of Montecillo’s Albarino to be released in May as well as Maria’s Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.
All the wines were wonderful.

The Albarino will be on the shelf of Alphabet City Wine Co. as soon as it comes to the states. It is the definition of easy drinking white but the catch is it is very well made. You can taste the soil composition in the wine with its bracing acidity and lively minerality. The climate shines through in crisp apple and ripe tropical fruit notes. You will be able to find my wife and I in Central Park during Symphony In The Park with a blanket some nibbles and a couple bottles of this beauty.

The Crianza was smooth and round with a lightweight on the palate save for the depth of young fruit.

The Reserva was smooth as well and medium bodied with more concentration of dark cherry fruit yet retaining its buoyant quality.

The Gran Reserva was a pleasure to observe, swirl, sip and enjoy. It had a wonderful dark concentrated color with hints of age creeping around the edges of the wine in shades of dark brick and rust. The nose was mature with a dried fruit bouquet. You could tell this wine was made with little human intervention and in a good year. The palate was a calm lake of mature dark fruit with a distinct tannin structure lightly holding up the rest of the wine yet keeping the acidity in check while allowing the body of the wine to show its diverse earthy parts.

After sampling the wines and noshing on some delicious indigenous Cheeses as well some chorizo and other goodies from Spain provided by Spencer Chesman CEO of igourmet.com we all sat down in the living room in an ultra casual atmosphere and listened to Maria talk about her approach to wine making as well as little history of Bodegas Montecillo.

Her passion and conviction was enough to fill the room. We all caught the fever of discussion as she passed it off to Spencer who talked about the difference between the American approach and the European approach to gourmet. This sparked quite a in-depth dialogue among all of us and after a while I looked over at Maria who was smiling and taking it all in. Here we were just a bunch of geeky gourmands trying to figure it out fueled by her energy. It was wonderful. These are the kind of things I thrive on. Deep discussions about the world I love the most in the city I love the most.

After one more glass of wine and a tour of the amazing duplex that I could fit three or four of my apartments in I was off to the Biodynamic/Organic Wine Tasting.

This was an amazing event but a lot of hard work. I often hear from people, “Man, I wish I had your job,” probably thinking how charmed it must be. And yes there are moments of charm in this wonderful industry but to enjoy those moments one must work one’s ass off. And that is what I was doing.

David and are taking on a new project that deals with an all-organic and biodynamic wine program. So we were there to find the perfect wines for the idea our client had in mind. He was there earlier in the day and left to do some In Vino work handing off what tables he had hit. I then visited every table and tasted every bottle that I felt was appropriate for the gig.

A lot of sipping swirling and spitting and three hours later I had a pretty good idea what I liked and didn’t like knowing David had done the same.

Then it was time for a charmed moment. I went around saying hi to the people that I know in the industry and met new people exchanging business cards and geeking out about how amazing most of the wine was at this particular tasting.

After a couple of revisits to specific tables for some sips sans spitting I was off to In Vino to do my three-hour shift behind the bar.

I love working behind the bar. I just hang out back there and rap with the customers about wine and try to give them all the info they need to enjoy their glass, half-liter or bottle. I pour tastes and get into some deep discussions about different aspects of this wonderful natural phenomenon. Customers have come to know In Vino as a haven for wine geeks so they love to come in and enjoy a glass or two and pick our brains over some solid Italian fare.

At 9pm the place was hopping and Andres and Christina had everything under control. I was off to an industry dinner at the infamous Momofuku Saam. I had never been here for a proper dinner so I was pretty intrigued about what everyone has been going bananas about.

I met up with David on the way and we walked north winding through the East Village in the true New York style of hitting the walk signs when they are lit zigzagging through the city to your location. Walking fast and with confidence as if you could do it with your eyes closed. We discussed the day and what we had tried and prepped ourselves for our meeting the next day about the organic gig.

Alas, we were there. Saam. We met up with the importer, sat down, popped some bubbs and went to it. This particular importer is one of our favorites. We get some of the best wine in our shop from these guys and it was an honor to sit and break bread with them…. sweetbreads that is.

I live literally across the street from Saam so it was a hop skip and a jump to get to my couch. I sat and caught up on Top Chef in preparation for the finale (which sucked. Carla oh Carla why!? Hosea is such a class-A tool!) And I was off to bed dreaming of anthocyanins and mychrozial symbiosis…just kidding…not really.

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One response to this post.

  1. Dude, I still haven’t written up my post about the Bodegas Montecillo. I’ll be all over it this weekend.

    Will you be at the NYWE? If so, I’m going tonight, I’ll see you there.

    Reply

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