To Err is Human; To Drink, Divine

**Join us tonight, Friday, September 10 from 5-7pm to taste the wine of the week below paired with Creminelli Sopressata salami from the cheese/charcuterie counter at Provisions**

In the wine world, it has become somewhat of a trite marketing gimmick to tout wines just outside famous regions that allegedly drink just as well but at a fraction of the price.  But the declassification of Paolo Bea’s Montefalco Rosso ‘Vigna San Valentino’ 2006 wasn’t due to the typical gerrymandering of an appellation.  A panel of judges decided that the wine did not fit the chosen flavor profile of a Montefalco Rosso.  Ah human error, you can be friend or foe.   We tasted the wine with a group of wine experts pre-arrival and the consensus was that the wine’s fresh raspberry, strawberry and floral aromas and notes of spice and tobacco on the palate placed it perfectly in the Montefalco Rosso profile.  To us, the wine is a delicious contradiction;  pretty and elegant yet rustic at the same time. No wonder Paolo Bea was so outraged at the injustice of a wrongful classification and so confident in the quality of his wine that he printed the story of the rejection of his wine on the label.

Losing the Montefalco designation meant Paolo’s 2006 had to go to market as a simple Umbria Rosso which means that it is priced less than half of what Bea’s reds normally command ($55-$80 for entry-level and on up from there).  The wine is still Bea, still prized, still touted in the press as a wine you should run to buy.  And because it pairs well with roasts and richer fall dishes, it makes the perfect wine to welcome in cooler fall weather!

Paolo Bea 2006 Umbria Rosso ‘San Valentino’ $30 a bottle, $27 for 12 bottles or more.  We’ve got less than 5 cases on hand so to reserve yours, call (718) 797-9463.

Greene GrapeTo Err is Human; To Drink, Divine
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Shmaltz Brewery Tasting Friday at Provisions!

Shmaltz Brewing Company are a New York based brewery that makes both Coney Island and He’Brew Beers.  This Friday from 6-8pm we welcome them back to Provisions for a tasting of some new brews and some old favorites.  Come on out and a have a taste of Rejewvenator 2010 a hybrid of a Doppelbock and a Belgian style Dubbel brewed with concord grapes.   Coney Island Lager an American Amber/Red Lager brewed with a variety of hops and Czech Pilsner yeast. The Chosen Spot is a dry-hopped Rye-based Pilsner. And Steve’s favorite Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A., a Rye-Based Double-IPA.

Drop in and try some truly creative beers from a brewery that is truly original.

Greene GrapeShmaltz Brewery Tasting Friday at Provisions!
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Domaine de L’Oratoire St. Martin Haut Coustias 2005

Join us at the Brooklyn wine store Friday, June 19 from 5-7pm and taste Domaine de L’Oratoire St. Martin Haut Coustias 2005 with Creminelli sopressata from Provisions.

We don’t buy by the Parker scores but there’s no denying Robert Parker is a kingmaker of wineries, able to catapult them to heights with a great review. So it’s always a little strange when we find ourselves agreeing with his service’s assessment of a wine (not just a numerical score, which we find useless). Of the 2005 Domaine De L’Oratoire St. Martin Haut Coustias we just brought in, Parker raves: “Outstanding. A huge, peppery, Provençal nose of kirsch, blackberry and cassis is followed by a full-bodied wine with plenty of muscle, richness, and depth.”

We agree. We popped one of these open the weekend it came in and absolutely loved it. Enjoying it with a delicious rib eye, we found herbs and spice and a touch of mint on the nose with dark fruits and a subtle chocolate-y undertone on the palate. We were also pleasantly surprised to find developing notes from the few years of age on it, a nice preview of the how this wine will evolve in the years to come. A blend of mourvèdre, grenache and syrah, this red ages for 24 months in Burgundy oak barrels before release. Haut Coustias is this winery’s top label so grapes for it are sourced from the vineyards on the St. Andéol hills, thought to be on par with many of the Rhône’s better Crus such as Gigondas and Chatêauneuf-du-Pape, though the vineyards technically fall in the Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages Cairanne appellation.

However, there’s one aspect on which we disagree with Mr. Parker: price. He lists this wine as retailing for $32 a bottle but through Father’s Day we’re offering it at $25, 12 bottles or more for $22.50, (that’s almost 30% off). Quantities limited, first come, first served. To order, call (718) 797-9463.

Remember, if you’re buying for Father’s Day, there’s no need to tell dad what the wine cost you. We’ll leave it up to you whether you want him to think you’re generous or smart.

Greene GrapeDomaine de L’Oratoire St. Martin Haut Coustias 2005
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Mozzarella-Making Demo

At noon on Sunday, June 13, Laura the cheesemonger from Provisions (a/k/a “The Wizard of Mozz”) will show you how we make fresh mozzarella daily. This event is part of Food Day at FABFest, the closed-street festival on Fulton Street taking place every Sunday in June.

FABFest will also have a special food demo table set up 12-6pm where you can learn how to make a chilled cucumber soup with Louisa Shafia, author of Lucid Food (12pm), get an introduction to Nigerian food with Buka restaurant (1pm), learn how to make jam from summer’s fruit abundance from Anarchy in a Jar (2pm), learn the secrets of sugar and how to decorate a cake with Michael Allen (3pm), learn how to use pickled vegetables to make easy summer appetizers with Rick’s Pick’s (4pm) and investigate turkish cuisine with Deniz restaurant (5pm). All demos include free samples to taste!

Greene GrapeMozzarella-Making Demo
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Cava Sangria Recipe

Join us this Friday, May 14 from 5-7pm in the wine store to taste our direct import Ronsard Cava straight and in a Cava Sangria from the recipe below. Take 5% off any wine or spirit purchase with a receipt from Provisions for $10 or more.

We’ve taken great care so that our Ronsard Cava tastes as close to how it would if you were sipping it in the organic vineyard in Penedes, Spain where it is from. Because we direct import our cava, we can ensure it never suffers from travel fatigue caused by improper shipping or storage or an extensive amount of time sitting on warehouse or store shelves, the factors that Eric Asimov pointed out in his column this week can cause cava to seem not “fresh.”

From the cellars of a cava producer that has been in the business since 1790 to our shelves, our cava is stored at ideal cellar temperature.

Cava Sangria


1 bottle of Cava
1 bottle of white wine (unoaked)
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (we are using the last blood oranges of the season)
2 oranges, segmented if possible or thinly sliced
2 apples, cut in chunks
1 cup of water
½ cup of sugar
6 cinnamon sticks


Put sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved (simmer about 5 minutes). Let mixture cool and remove cinnamon sticks. Slice fruit and prepare orange juice. Combine all ingredients except for ice and cava and let chill several hours. Just before serving, add cava (you can wait until this stage to add the wine too if you want). Serve over ice. Mint garnish optional!

Greene GrapeCava Sangria Recipe
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Ginger Ginger Ale Tasting & Moscow Mule Recipe

Today from 2-4pm at Provisions taste ginger ale made with real ginger, not ginger extract. This ginger ale was made in house at restaurants run by Bruce Cost and its popularity spurred him to bottle and sell it.

In three flavors, original, jasmine and pomegranate hibiscus, this gingery beverage is fast becoming one of our favorite summer sips. Real bits of ginger float in the bottom and give it a special kick. It mixes well in place of ginger beer or ginger ale with bourbon to make a Presbyterian cocktail or with vodka and lime in a Moscow Mule.

Moscow Mule Recipe

2 oz. vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
4 oz. ginger beer or ginger ale
lime wedge

Pour the vodka and the lime juice into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with ginger beer or ginger ale and stir briefly. Squeeze the lime wedge into the drink then drop it in.

Greene GrapeGinger Ginger Ale Tasting & Moscow Mule Recipe
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Try Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur Tonight

Join us tonight in the Brooklyn wine store from 6-8pm to try ginger lemonade made with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and sparkling lemonade.

Inspired by the french tradition of infusing cognac and eaux de vie with herbs and fruits, Canton is a unique spirit. Hand-peeled fresh Vietnamese baby ginger macerates in V.S.O.P. & X.O. grande champagne cognacs along with Tahitian vanilla, Provençal honey and Tunisian ginseng until the cognac base is infused with flavor. No colorants or preservatives are used during the process so the flavor is pure.

We’ve found that Canton adds a spicy, vibrant, aromatic kick to whatever cocktail we’re mixing. We’ve used it to spice up a margarita by substituting it for 1/2 the triple sec and added it to pineapple juice and vodka. The possibilities for experimenting with cooking and baking are also limitless.

Greene GrapeTry Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur Tonight
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Cherry Blossom Cocktail

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden just reported that the cherry blossoms are in full bloom now! There’s free admission today from 8am-6pm and you can find a map of the blooms here. After strolling around the garden, come home and try a cherry blossom cocktail. Even though cherry blossoms are not from the same trees that bear the fruit used to make cherry brandy, we think this drink, which marries sour and sweet flavors, captures the ephemeral beauty of these blossoms well.

1 1/2 oz brandy
1 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz triple sec
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Greene GrapeCherry Blossom Cocktail
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Friday Night’s Meet Your Monger

Every Friday night the Brooklyn wine store has been welcoming one of the cheesemongers from Provisions from 5-7pm. They arrive bearing gifts of cheese that we select a wine to pair with. In honor of Earth Day coming up, this week, our mongers are going local and tasting two Vermont cheeses. Mike’s going local too and choosing some Long Island wines to pair.

Cheeses to be served include Sholten Family Farm Weybridge, a tiny 3 ounce puck of organic cow’s milk with a bloomy rind and a soft and luscious center, aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill and Consider Bardwell Manchester, a washed rind, raw goat’s milk cheese. Semi-firm with a musty, barnyardy and somewhat sweet bite.

To pair, the wine store will serve Paumanok Chenin Blanc 2009 and Paumanok Dry Rosé 2009.

Greene GrapeFriday Night’s Meet Your Monger
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