Congratulations, Sabrina!

We’re beaming with pride to announce that Sabrina Meinhardt, general manager of Provisions was selected by Progressive Grocer magazine as one of the ‘Top Women in Grocery.’  Congratulations, Sabrina, you deserve it!

In her honor, we’ll be uncorking some bubbly, Barmes Buecher Cremant d’Alsace 2008, on Thursday from 6-8pm.  Come raise a glass to her success!

Greene GrapeCongratulations, Sabrina!
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Summertime . . . and the drinking is Gru-Vee

We’ve recently noticed a seasonal uptick in sales of Gruner Veltliner.  Only five years ago this Austrian white wine was virtually unknown but thanks to versions like our Etz Gruner Veltliner 2009 ($13.50) that comes in a reasonably priced handy liter size great for parties, this crisp, refreshing, citrusy wine has taken the wine world by storm.  So much so that it even has a nickname, “Gru-Vee.”  Since so many of you are familiar with or getting to know this grape, we thought it would be fun to introduce you to some variations on the gruner theme.  So on Friday from 6-8pm, in addition to the Etz, we’ll pour:

Leth Gruner Veltliner Steinagrund 2010 ($18.50).  One of Mike’s favorite wines in the store year-round.  The porous, calcium-rich soil of the Wagram region in Austria where this wine comes from is considered to be nearly ideal for growing Gruner Veltliner. The Leth Winery is known for producing wines that beautifully express Wagram’s unique ‘terroir.’ This is a dry white, with flavors of white pepper and a distinct minerality.

Forstreiter Kremser Kogl Gruner Veltliner 2010 ($14).  A fantastic value gruner from the superb Austrian producer Meinhard Forstreiter. We’re a bit confused by how the winery determines the price for this cuvee because, for us, this wine drinks as good if not better than most other gruners at twice the price.  Intense grapefruit and ripe tropical fruits combine with the varietal’s requisite minerality and racy acidity making it a standout for the season.

Greene GrapeSummertime . . . and the drinking is Gru-Vee
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Rose Parade All Weekend!

Every night this weekend, we’ll be opening rose wines from our lineup for 2011 starting tonight from 6-8pm.  Provisions will provide some delicious Spanish ham to pair and will also be sampling dips from Kors D’Oeuvres at Provisions.  Wines open tonight:

Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Rosado Gran Reserva 2000 ($25.75) A venerable Rioja producer these wines are not even released until a decade or so after the vintage.  Described by the NY Times as “a pale, coppery, complex wine that compels you to smack your lips at the tactile pleasure of rolling it around your mouth. Jamón ibérico, please!”

Proprieta Sperino Rosa del Rosa Rosato 2010 ($19.75) Made with Nebbiolo grapes in Piedmont, the same grape and region as Barolo, this is a medium-bodied dry rose packed with notes of fresh strawberries and flowers.

Chateau de Roquefort Corail Rose 2010 $18.75) NY Times Best Value and Best of Tasting last year, one of the only roses we keep year-round.  The frontrunner for customer and staff favorite.

Saturday from 5-7pm we’ll open new world roses:

Susana Balbo Crios Malbec Rose 2010 ($14) The first female winemaker in Argentina consistently produces standout roses.  A strikingly vibrant color with purplish tinges, it is a rose for red wine drinkers, forceful on the palate with a spicy earthiness.

Paumanok Dry Rose 2010 ($19.00) Long Island cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon make this pale peach wine that pairs well with light seafood and salads.

And Sunday from 5-7pm we’ll open 2 contrasting French roses:

Chateau d’Oupia 2010 ($15.75) A spicy blend of syrah and grenache from the french Languedoc region.  Brambly fruit and spice with herbal notes and minerality.

Chateau de Roquefort Corail Rose 2010 $18.75) Because of its status as perennial favorite, we’ll taste this wine again on Sunday.  Fresh and light, this is quintessential Provencal rose.

Greene GrapeRose Parade All Weekend!
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Weekend Tastings

From 6-8pm at the wine store, come try Benoit Gautier Vouvray 2008 ($14), which the NY Times called “balanced and pleasing with spicy citrus flavors” in giving it the same two and a half stars as wines twice the price.  What the Times  tasting panel described as “more than a touch of sweetness” we find to be just a hint making it the perfect wine to transition from spring to summer.  In Mike’s words “definitely a winner at $14” and a marvelously affordable introduction to the Loire Valley’s expression of the Chenin Blanc grape.  Laura from the cheese counter will select a cheese to pair.

On Saturday from 2-4 pm at Provisions we’ll sample Naif’s African hot sauces with a demo by Naif herself!  Come try 3 traditional hot sauces from North Africa. They are hot but have a great balance of flavor.  Great to serve on couscous, rice, meat, fish, vegetables.  Sounds like you’ll need the touch of sweetness in that Vouvray to cut the heat!

Finally on Saturday from 5-7 pm you can sample Violette Royale cocktails at the wine store made with Rothman + Winter Creme de Violette.

Greene GrapeWeekend Tastings
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Bouza Do Rei Albarino 2009

Join us tomorrow, Friday April 15 from 6-8pm to try this week’s wine of the week Bouza do Rei Albarino 2009 ($16.50) with Capri fresh goat cheese from Westfield Farm in Connecticut.  If you read the article in yesterday’s NY Times Dining Section on special wine bargains, you know why we’ve been able to offer you such great deals recently.  The wine world has had an excess of good juice and rather than sit on a wine, many importers are selling at or close to cost just to convert inventory into cash.  The Times thinks this trend of being able to buy great wines at a discount can’t last much longer but we’ve had great success just being an alert merchant willing to act.  That’s especially true with our wine this week, Bouza Do Rei’s Albarino Rias Baixas 2009 ($16.50)

If this wine sounds familiar, it should.  The 2008 vintage of this wine was on our shelves at $20.50 and was well-received and a staff favorite.  So when we were presented with an opportunity to offer you an even better vintage of a wine you already loved at 20% off (30% off if bought by the case), we bought all of it.  The Bouza Do Rei 2009 drinks perfectly now with classic Albarino aromas of apricot and peach and zippy acidity bringing it all in balance.  This wine would be perfect in summer but the inventory we got will likely not last so we recommend buy and hold.

Bouza Do Rei grows only Albarino grapes.  This single-minded focus resulted in one of their 2009 Albarinos being included as a top 100 wine of the year this past November.  Nestled in the low hills of the northernwestern coastal Rias Baixas region of Spain, the grapes experience ideal growing conditions with cool breezes at night blowing off the warm summer days, allowing for maximum ripeness.  This will not be the last you will hear of this estate and when you see the price of the 2010 on the shelves next year, we hope you’ll remember us fondly.

Bouzo Do Rei Albarino 2009 ($16.50 a bottle, $14.02 on 12 bottles or more).  While supplies last.  To order call us at (718) 797-9463.

Greene GrapeBouza Do Rei Albarino 2009
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Rhone Town Throw Down

Join us tonight, Friday, April 8 from 6-8pm as we try two Cotes-du-Rhone Villages wines from named villages Cairanne and Visan.

Think of the Southern Rhone and you think of either Chateauneuf-du-Pape, rich, spicy, exquisite and priced accordingly, or simple Cotes-du-Rhone, an affable, juicy, spicy easy-drinking wine that makes up three quarters of the production in the region.  In between these two signposts sits a handful of villages that set loftier standards regarding both viticulture and vinification than a basic Cotes-du-Rhone yet without the recognizable brand name like Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Grapes grown from these different villages can be blended together to make Cotes-du-Rhone Villages or can be vinified separately in which case the name of the village may be printed on the label.  It is at the named village level that we feel the wines from the Southern Rhone start to get serious (and seriously tasty).  And we aim to prove it to you this Friday from 6-8pm when we taste these two village-level reds from the Rhone region:

Domaine Alary Cairanne 2008 ($19.75) Domaine Alary produces some of the best wines in Cairanne, the village largely regarded as the most prestigious of the Cotes-du-Rhone Villages.  The Alary family played a starring role in elevating Cairanne’s reputation to where it is today and Denis Alary, the youngest in a long line of winemakers, has continued his family’s tradition garnering worldwide recognition for the quality of his wines.   The 2008 Cairanne is dark, filled with black fruits and sweet spice with minerality lacing the fruit and appealing herbal notes on the finish.

Domain Roche-Audran’s Visan “Pere Mayeux” 2007 ($21.50) Visan, another notable Rhone village, sits futher north and is known for soils similar to the soils in Chateauneuf-du-Pape; rocky with red and black alluvial (grainy, sandy soil that is a result of flowing water) deposits covered by large, round stones.  Within Visan, Domaine Roche-Audran makes outstanding wines and in a recent tasting, their “Pere Mayeux” cuvee really jumped out at us.  With a dark bouquet of sweet spice, pepper, cherries, coffee, and hints of cocoa and a nose that adds black and dried fruits to the mix, it’s a true testament to the power of the underdog.

Greene GrapeRhone Town Throw Down
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NY Times ‘Best Value’ Lagrein Tasting

Join us this Friday from 6-8pm at the wine store to sample the ‘best value’ wine from today’s NY Times tasting of Lagreins, San Pietro Alto Adige Lagrein 2008.

From the Times, the San Pietro Lagrein is a “spicy, plummy, juicy and succulent” wine that “delivers straightforward pleasure.” We also found pleasant mineral notes and a balanced acidity that makes a very food-friendly red. And at $15 a bottle ($12.75 for 12 bottles or more), it’s a pretty decent deal.

Order San Pietro Alto Adige Lagrein 2008 online

Greene GrapeNY Times ‘Best Value’ Lagrein Tasting
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LaLoo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream

Join us today, Saturday, March 26 from 2-4pm to try samples of LaLoo’s goat milk ice cream.

Delicious and creamy, Laloo’s is made with 100% goat’s milk and combines a custard-like-old-fashioned-ice-cream-parlor-taste with superior digestibility. Goat’s milk has more protein and calcium and a natural structure with alkaline properties that allow lactose sensitive people to indulge, too! Smooth, rich and dense, Laloo’s rivals has less than half the fat of gelato.

Greene GrapeLaLoo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream
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A Wine to Guard

Join us tomorrow, Friday March 25 from 6-8pm at the wine store to taste Mas de Martin’s 2006 Cuvée Roi Patriote, a red from France’s Languedoc region, along with La Quercia’s Prosciutto Rosso and some olives from Provisions’s olive bar.

A Wine to Guard

Though delayed gratification brings great rewards in wine, it is often no match for the seductive power of its evil twin, instant gratification. Perhaps this is why the French refer to a wine that can benefit from substantial aging as a ‘vin de garde’ which literally translated means “wine to guard.”

Recently we took a call from an importer asking if we were interested in a ‘vin de garde’ that he had cellared since release three years ago under perfect aging conditions in a temperature- and humidity-controlled warehouse. Excited by a shot at outsourced self-restraint, we immediately made an appointment to taste the wine and loved it so much we offered to buy it all. This, in turn, made the importer so happy that he gave us an excellent price. A win:wine situation, if you will.

The current vintage for Languedoc reds is 2009 (soon to be 2010) so we’re thrilled to offer a little blast from the past, the 2006 Mas de Martin Cuvee Roi Patriote. Built to age, this powerful red combines Chateauneuf-du-Pape grapes Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre with Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in a voluptuous wine with an aromatic nose of wild herbs and black olives and concentrated black berry fruit. A wine of this structure and quality will even improve over the next 3-5 years. That is, if you can wait that long.

At original price, this wine would go on our shelves at $25. But for the next week, we’re offering Mas de Martin’s Cuvée Roi Patriote 2006 at $19.75 a bottle ($17.78/bottle for 12 bottles or more). Limited supply, when it’s gone, it’s gone. To order, call us at (718) 797-9463.

Greene GrapeA Wine to Guard
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