The whole month of August we’ll be celebrating the ‘left behinds’. Yes, you unsung heroes who don’t get to summer in the Hamptons or call in for summer Fridays. You’re welcome at the Greene Grape wine store every Friday in August from 6-8pm to sample a different summer cocktail. Your tippling ticket:
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.
NY Mag’s Shop-A-Matic picked the Bitter Truth Traveler’s Set of bitters as a ‘must have’ for Spring. We agree that spring is the best time to start practicing your mixology skills for summer cocktail season and with the traveler’s set, you’re well-stocked.
The Bitter Truth Traveler’s Set includes 5 different kinds of bitters: celery, orange, creole, old-time aromatic & Jerry Thomas. Perfect for any globetrotting mixologist because they can be put in your carry on luggage! Available at the wine store, 765 Fulton between South Oxford and South Portland.
Just in time for St. Patty’s Day, the wine store got in a case of Feckin Irish Whiskey ($26). Feckin blends the highest quality Irish malt and grain whiskey that has been distilled in traditional copper pot stills.
Unpeated, it has smooth, gentle and sweet malty notes with aromatic infusions of heather, cane sugar, a whisp of smoke and a dollop of sweet honey molasses.
Don’t forget to toast to your health in gaelic when you raise your glass: Sláinte!
Ransom Old Tom Gin might be the most unique gin we’ve seen in a long time. An historic tipple, Old Tom is a sweeter style of gin that was popular in England in the 18th Century. Out of production for a long time, the style was revived by Tad Seedstedt of Oregon’s Ransom Spirits and Ransom Wine Company and is a crucial ingredient in a Martinez cocktail (recipe below).
This gin was chosen as a unique liquor to give for Valentine’s Day by NY Magazine’s Shop-A-Matic.
2 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Old Tom gin
1 bar-spoon Maraschino
1 dash aromatic bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a quartered slice of lemon.
Tonight from 6-8pm we’ll sample Charleston Sercial Madeira from the Rare Wine Company along with some special red and white wines.
Madeira was so popular in the 1800s, just as brownstone Brooklyn was being built, that a wine list dated in the year 1844 from the Astor House (which used to be in Manhattan at Broadway and Vesey) features half a page of madeira wines and just a handful of first growth bordeaux and grand cru burgundies. Madeira makes a great gift – it can last up to a year after being opened
Charleston Sercial is nutty and tangy with some sweetness but is relatively dry compared to most madeira.
Mike recently added some wines and spirits specifically geared at the home cook. For cooking, we recommend H.M. Borges medium dry madeira ($12). For the cook, we recommend the Charleston Sercial.
With apologies to the Jacksons for the title of this post, we’d like to announce a fun free tasting today, Sunday December 12 from 4-6pm at the wine store. Colin from Kings County Distillery will be by to pour samples of his Moonshine made right here in Brooklyn. The flask-style 200ml bottle makes a great stocking stuffer.
Pair a bottle of this spirit with Max Watman’s book, “Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine” from Greenlight Books right across the street and you’ve got a great holiday gift. White Dog is a tale of the history of prohibition and the science of distilling with an edge-of-your-seat courtroom scene and even a diversion into amateur stock car racing.
Greene GrapeSunshine, Moonshine, Good Times, Boogie
Tasting Table recently featured Underberg bitters (only $2 each) as a cure for holiday overindulgence instructing that “this shockingly bitter, aggressively alcoholic Germanic beverage is meant to be taken in one swig from its handsome miniature bottle, which promises that ‘after a good meal’ it will confer brightness and alertness on the drinker.”