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July 17, 2014

A trip to Lake Garda

Viva Italia! Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of three cool summer wines from the shores of beautiful Lake Garda in Northern Italy with friend James Endicott from Acid Inc. Selections guiding the tour! We’ll start with a sparkler and a rosato from Lombardia, a wealthy and populous region with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Then we’ll cross the lake to visit the culturally-rich Veneto region with a refreshing chilled red. Bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District will round out this perfect Italian picnic. Cin cin!

Pasini San Giovanni Lugana Brut Metodo Classico

This idyllic winery has been family run since it was founded in the 1950’s and is committed to growing traditional varietals as sustainably as possible, and creating wines representative of their region and history. Made of 100% Turbiana grapes, this enigmatic sparkler is made in the Metodo Classico style- just like in Champagne, baby.  Soft bubbles, notes of golden pears, tart stone fruit, and a richness achieved with 18+ months in the bottle make this a standout new bubbly in our hard-working fridge. Although it’s not “appropriate” sommelier behavior, nothing makes me happier than the festive pop of a cork coming out of a bottle of beautiful sparkling wine. And by all means, this is a wine worth breaking the rules for! $27

Pasini San Giovanni Il Chiaretto Valtenesi 2013

"I’ve been drinkin’… watermelon…", Beyoncé sings… but maybe she’s talking about Il Chiaretto! This special rosé is native to the Valtenesi appellation on Lake Garda, and it’s been a hit here for several summers now. A blend of Groppello, Marzemino, Barbera, and Sangiovese, this short bottle packs in a ton of character.  With it’s bright acidity, refreshing minerality, and distinctive watermelon-y finish, this sassy rosato has us pretty drunk in love, too. Flawless with watermelon-feta salad, and fish all up on your grill. $17

Lanza Bardolino 2012

I know the label’s cheesy but I stand by this wine, 100%! This light, fresh, ruby-red sipper is one of my favorite pairings with salmon, year-round.  In the summer, I like to throw it in the fridge for a bit- the chill really brings out this minerality present under the clear, candid red fruit. A blend of Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella, all estate-grown and organic, this is a wine for all seasons, especially this one.  Lazy Sundays in the park, picnic lunches, casual get-togethers, twilight dates on the pier, laundry day- Lanza’s Bardolino is good for all of it. One of my favorite “go-to” bottles! $14

July 10, 2014

Crazy BeautifulAin’t no party like a rosé party….

Join us tonight, 6-9, for a tasting of one of our most popular summer wines with Cassia from Loca Linda Winery! Jolie Folle hails from a small appelation in the Cotes de Provence. The grapes are grown on a family run estate and the wine is made by sommelier and educator Brian Smith. 60% Grenache, 40% Cinsault in an eco-friendly liter bottle… it’s bang for your buck and green to boot! Our girlfriends over at Yes Way Rosé put it best- this is SUMMER WATER! We’ll be drinkin’ it up over bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District. $17

Crazy Beautiful

Ain’t no party like a rosé party….

Join us tonight, 6-9, for a tasting of one of our most popular summer wines with Cassia from Loca Linda Winery! Jolie Folle hails from a small appelation in the Cotes de Provence. The grapes are grown on a family run estate and the wine is made by sommelier and educator Brian Smith. 60% Grenache, 40% Cinsault in an eco-friendly liter bottle… it’s bang for your buck and green to boot! Our girlfriends over at Yes Way Rosé put it best- this is SUMMER WATER! We’ll be drinkin’ it up over bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District. $17

July 3, 2014

THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING: BORN IN THE USA

Somewhere in “America the Beautiful” below the spacious skies, beyond the amber waves of grain, and between the shining seas, there should’ve been mention of this country’s gorgeous vineyards! Wine has been produced in the US for over 300 years, and today wine is made in all fifty states, with 89% of production taking place in California. Tonight, 6-9 pm, we’re celebrating the bounty of our incredible country, just in time for Independence Day.  I am so excited to pour four star-spangled American wines from both coasts alongside American cheese from Eastern District and Brooklyn bread from She Wolf, with classic American rock and roll on the speakers! And please stop by and visit our friends over at Duke’s. Patrick will be pouring some fiiiine American spirits! 

White Sun Vintners Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2012

 Winemakers from Eveningland, well-versed in the Pacific Northwest teamed up with Dominique Lafon, esteemed Burgundy winemaker to produce this elegant, old-world style Chardonnay in the new world.  Restrained oak, and lively acidity harmonize beautifully here. This is a bottle meant for the dinner table, passed between friends over simple, thoughtful food. White Sun is an inspired project, and this, one of their first vintages, is a wonderful start. $22

Keuka Lake Vineyards Vignoles, Finger Lakes 2013

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend several days working the grape harvest in New York’s Finger Lakes region this past fall.  I was floored by how much quality wine is being produced practically in our back yard, and in awe of how incredibly beautiful our back yard is! One of the wineries and teams I really enjoyed getting to know was Keuka Lake Vineyards.  Their winemaker, Moss Bittner, was spending his first (and sole) vintage in Finger Lakes, and was excitedly implementing some unique, lower-intervention vinification techniques not so commonly used in the region. Their 2013 Vignoles, a hybrid grape created in 1930 and parented partially by Pinot Noir, is insane. SUPER high acid, it’s like pure sunshine… lip puckering and almost blindingly bright… in the absolute best way. And you know, since I helped pick some of the grapes, it’s gotta be good! $17

Del Fiore Malvasia Bianca, California 2012

Named “Malvasia Del Fiore” or “Malvasia of the Flowers” because of the intense floral aromas released by the grapes the moment they ripen, this wine is steeped in history.  Malvasia is one of the oldest vitis vinifera varietals, thought to have been lauded by Pliny the Elder in his ancient Roman treatise Naturalis Historica (think: “In Vino Veritas!). Malvasia is also one of the original varietals planted in California, and this cuvee from Del Fiore really does it’s heritage justice. Aromatic and impactful, with rich stone fruit, green pear, and a flowery perfume, Del Fiore rocks with mango salsa, spicy summer rolls, and scallion pancakes. $18

Stolpman Vineyards La Cuadrilla,Ballard Canyon 2012

We reallllllly hoped this wine would be delicious as soon as we saw the lion on the label… and it totally is! La Cuadrilla is named after the hardworking full-time vineyard crew  employed by Stolpman, and some of the proceeds from the sale of this wine benefits the La Cuadrilla foundation, a non-profit that includes other wineries and is committed to the sustainability, health, and well-being of the hard working laborers that are the backbone of most vineyards. This tribute is an organically grown blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Sangiovese, 15% Grenache, and 5% Petit Sirah. 2012 was a warm vintage, and the grapes ripened perfectly producing this concentrated, noble wine, with firm tannins and a spicy finish. Steaks on the grill? Burgers with cheddar? This wine roars with hearty, meaty fare. $25

June 19, 2014

Saúde!

THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING

The Portuguese and US teams are going head to head for the World Cup this Sunday at 6 pm. Luckily for them, their wines are de-licious, so they have something good in which to drown their sorrows when we kick their butts in the beautiful game… fine wine and Cristiano Ronaldo’s ridiculous good looks. Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, to taste three Portuguese reds, each from a different, unique region, with Dorit from MatadorVino, alongside bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District.

And after, give America a little love- visit our friends at Duke’s for a whiskey tasting from a distillery in the heartland of Chicago, Illinois!

Casa Agricola Herdade do Monte da Ribeira Varal Tinto, Alentejano 2011

In the short time this wine has graced our shelves it’s become a quick favorite, one we struggle to keep stocked! A blend of native varietals Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Alfocheiro, Varal hails from Alentejano, a Southern region known for its hot, dry climate.  The wine is ruby red, juicy and joyful, with a long finish and a fresh spiciness worth talking about.  Easy to drink and fun to share. $14

Quinta da Giesta, Dao 2012

Much revered and deeply influential, winemaker Nuno Cancela de Abreu, the man behind Herdade de Gambia, certainly gets around, making wine and consulting for wineries across the country. In the majestic Dao region, however, is where he, and his family four generations ago, got started.  Focusing on native varietals that are best in each individual region, Nuno crafts this rich Dao red from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Jaen, and Tinta Roriz. The wine is delicate and nuanced, a balance of red and dark berry fruit, gentle floral aromatics, velvety tannins, and gentle acidity.  Thoughtful and unassuming, yet deeply memorable, much like the people and cities I got to know during my time in Portugal! $19

June 12, 2014

Everything’s Better with Bubbles

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a bubbly tasting with our buddy Steven Van Haren from Michael Skurnik Wines! Stock up on sparklers for your World Cup parties, back yard bbq’s, and Father’s Day brunch. We’ll be pouring three terrific ones tonight over cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf.

Gruet Brut, New Mexico

The Gruets, a brother-sister team from Champagne, bought land near dusty Truth or Consequences, New Mexico when they were in their 20s.  Inspired by a family vacation with their father and clearly down for a challenge, Nathalie and Laurent got straight to work growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the goal of making an old world style sparkling like their ancestors. One of the best domestic sparklers we’ve ever come across.  Sophisticated, full-bodied and toasty, with notes of green apple and grapefruit.  Drink while watching the US team dominate! $18

Naveran Cava, Penedes 2011

A house favorite! Organic Cava from a family owned estate founded in 1901. This classic blend of Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada, grown in gravely- limestone soil, is vintage dated, meaning all the grapes come from a single year’s harvest.  This is incredibly unique for a sparkling wine offering this kind of value! We can’t even believe it’s real! But it is and we love it.  Naveran offers incredible complexity- soft bubbles, gentle tropical fruit, and cool minerality. Pair with anything- fried foods, pancakes, Billie Holiday… the possibilities are endless. $16

Raventos i Blanc de Nit, Barcelona 2011

This is one of my favorite things on the shelf- I drink, gift, and recommend it for most celebratory occassions! The Raventos family has been operating this vineyard since 1495 and they know they have something special in Conca.  They’ve been working towards getting their tiny region designated as an official appellation to set them apart from other Spanish sparklers. Made from hand-harvested Monastrell grapes, De Nit is the prettiest, palest pink, with gentle bubbles, and a fresh, crisp character. This gorgeous wine calls for a toast! $25

June 5, 2014

BYO CRAYONS

Our friend André Hueston Mack, winemaker and illustrator extraordinaire, is back tonight for another fun tasting at Dandy, 6-9 pm… and he’s got something for everyone. André has penned an awesome coloring book for foodies both young and young-at-heart! “Small Thyme Cooks” is chock-full of drawings and activities featuring famous (and infamous) chefs from New York and beyond. Re-imagine Sam Mason’s tattoos, hunt for mushrooms with Anthony Bourdain, and menu plan with Eric Ripert- no reservations needed. Come celebrate the release of his first volume tonight while tasting three Mouton Noir wines from the Oregon and Washington (described below by the man himself). We’ll have cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf.

Love Drunk Rosé, Willamette Valley 2013

"The 2013 Love Drunk is an intoxicating rosé. Much like new love, it clouds the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise, and lips to pucker.  Provocative aromas of strawberry and raspberry, followed by refreshing flavors of wild strawberry, watermelon rind, and a hint of kiwi." $18

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Red 2010

"Horseshoes & Handgrenades is fruit-driven, full-bodied complex red blend sourced from Southern Oregon and Red Mountain Washington.  The rich, ripe, voluptuous fruit comes from Syrah and Tempranillo from Oregon with just enough Washington Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to give it complexity and structure.  Think cherry pits and leather whips!" $19


Oregogne Pinot Noir, Willammette Valley 2011

 

"2012 Oregogne, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley: Blended from two single vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills A.V.A. at different elevations.  Bright cherry fruit, blueberry, bramble and sous-bois, followed by flowing minerality from start to finish" $45

May 29, 2014

PINK IS THE FLAVOR


Please join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for our first ever Rosé Parté with the fabulous Nikki and Erica of Yes Way Rosé fame! The ladies were recently featured on Vogue.com, where they waxed poetic on pink wine and the Yes Way Rosé lifestyle:
 
"There are so many things we love about it, starting with the gorgeous pale pink color and the way a bottle of rosé inspires the best, laid-back, happy summer vibes (or #rosévibes as we say). A bottle of rosé can instantly transport you to another place, and we really think it can elevate any experience, whether that’s dining out, at a wedding, a picnic, or a house party. There’s just nothing depressing about going into a wine store and picking up a bottle of rosé. The perfect rosé is young, crisp, dry, and pairs well with all foods at all times."
 
We couldn’t agree more and we can’t wait to drink some of our fave Frenchies with you tonight! We’ll have bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District.

VRAC, Vin de Pays Mediterranée 2013

There’s a new drug sweeping our fair neighborhood and there is nothing to be done about it. VRAC addiction is real, and it’s about to hit it’s peak. This easy, crisp Mediterranean rosé, a blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Cinsault, is one of our best selling wines every year, despite the fact that it usually dries up before sweater weather. VRAC refers to the bulk wine villagers fill their jugs with at their local vineyards, and we treat it pretty much the same way. We buy PALATES of this stuff, and you guys drink it alllll up. And we love you for that. Not a VRAC Head yet? Tonight might change your mind. It’s available in bottles AND boxes- you won’t find an easier (or less expensive) way to feed your burning need. No shame, we all have our vices. $11 750 ml bottle/ $30 3 L box

La Galope, Comté Tolosan 2013

I’ve been guzzling cold glasses of this stuff at the bar at Alameda, my home away from home, and can tell you first hand that it’s terrific with ramps, sweet peas, asparagus… and I’m sure pretty much everything else at the farmer’s market. This deeply festive wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Gascony. It’s super bright and extremely delicious- notes of pink grapefruit, wild strawberries, and mandarin orange abound. An absolutely delightful bottle for any and all occasions this summer brings your way. $14

Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf Vin Rosé, Loire 2013

Winemaker Thierry Puzelat is practically royalty in the Loire Valley- his family’s name pops up in documents on wine that date back to the 15th century! He’s known far and wide as a rock star of the “natural” wine movement. His low-intervention practices set the standard for many of his peers. This zesty, funky stunner of a rosé is ridiculously easy to drink. Low sulfur, unfiltered Gamay at only 9.5% alcohol? Dreams really do come true! Strawberry sweet tarts on the nose, uplifting and dry on the palate… don’t suppress your urge to open (and drink) a second bottle before you’ve finished the first. $23

May 22, 2014

Holiday Weekend Wine

Memorial day heralds the return of Summer Fridays, white dresses, and concerts in the park, bike rides to Red Hook, brown bagging it on the pier… the world is our oyster! BOTTOMS UP! Tonight, we have three perfect options for the long weekend and beyond. Join us 6-9 pm for a tasting of some new old-world wines (all under $20!) with our friend Tom Vanick from Verity Wine Merchants. We’ll have bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District! And be sure to stop by Duke’s for a tasting of Brooklyn Bourbon afterwards!

Domaine du Fief aux Dames Muscadet 2012

Speaking of oysters… nothing pairs better with our fave bivalves than Muscadet, they’re a match made in heaven… or the Loire Valley. Light and easy, with a distinctive seashell minerality and a savory quality that comes with the traditional extended time spent on the lees. This is a no brainer with shellfish of any kind! $14

Adoli Ghis Antonopoulos 2012


I traveled to Greece last summer and will never be the same.  The scenery looked exactly like a postcard, everyone was so relaxed, the fresh fish was ridiculous, and there was so a lot of good wine to match! As the birth place of Bacchus himself, we shouldn’t expect anything less than mythical wines. This dry, full-bodied white from the Peloponnese, a blend of local varietals Asproudes and Lagorthi with Chardonnay, brings back fond vacation memories. Notes of apricots and white flowers on the nose give way to striking minerality on the palate. Pair with Mediterranean cuisine and imagine you’re here!  $16 

Familia Castaño Hécula Monastrell 2010

Monastrell, the Spanish name for the Mourvèdre grape, typically makes a big, jammy style red, and this one doesn’t disappoint. But higher altitude vineyards give Hecula a drier profile, with firm tannins and a leaner quality than some of it’s peers. Meaty and satisfying with a long, dark-fruited finish, this is an incredible bang-for-your-buck bottle! $13

May 15, 2014

Thursday Night Tasting

Join the Dandelion Crew and our friend Kerin Auth for a first-class tasting tour of the Iberian Peninsula, tonight, 6-9 pm, right here at Dandy! Kerin is one of our favorite people to drink and talk all things Spain with, and her knowledge and Spanish are unmatched (seriously, I could listen to her speak for hours). Tonight she’s taking us for a ride through Portugal, and three different regions of Spain alongside cheese from ED and bread from She Wolf.

Be sure to stop by and visit our friends at Duke’s Liquor Box for their Whiskey and Gin tasting, going on concurrently! Get loose! The weekend is almost here…

Pazo de Galegos Premium Selection, Rias Baixas 2012

This aromatic Albarino hails from an important winery in the Rias Baixas region in Galicia in Northwest Spain. In order to be called a “Pazo”, a property must have both an inn where pilgrims can stay and a small vineyard. Pazo de Galegos is “a place that nourishes the heart and soul”, with vines dating back to the 1950s in the sought after sub-zone Valle del Ulla. They bottle only a small amount of wine, and what they make is focused and special. Located a little further inland than many of the Albarino vineyards of Galicia, the vines benefit from the drier, warmer climate, producing grapes that consistently reach full ripeness year after year, not an easy task for the difficult to grow Albarino grape. The resulting wine is delicate and elegant, with sophisticated white flower aromas- orange blossoms, dogwood, honeysuckle. A hint of the distant sea breezes imparts a delightful minerality on the finish. A charm with fresh seafood. $24

Armas de Guerra Rosado 2013

100% Mencia from Bierzo, this vivacious, kicky wine is just what we need to break into the hardcore rosé weather we know is just around the corner. The importer recommends it with “pizza and white meats”, and I’ll add tacos, veggie burgers, and potato chips to that list. Basically, this wine is versatile, joyful, and ridiculously easy to drink. It’s got tropical notes to spare- guava, pineapple, key lime, and passion fruit to name a few- but it finishes dry as can be and deeply refreshing. If the summer months are as hot as the Farmer’s Almanac predicts, I’m buying a case of pink wine and setting up a baby pool on my roof. Everyone is welcome- just bring more rosé! With bottles like this (after a winter like that), we can survive whatever heat mother nature sends our way, in style. I say, bring it on. Bottoms up! $13

Filipa Pato Baga 2012

About a year and a half ago, right after Hurricane Sandy, I flew to Portugal for a ten day adventure on my own.  I fell in love with everything- the people, the food, the culture, and the wine. On one of my last days in the gorgeous capitol city of Lisboa, I returned to a wine shop I had already become a regular in and asked the owner to recommend a few bottles I could take home with me that weren’t available in the US.  This was one of them, and I was thrilled to see that it’s made it’s way to our shores at a recent tasting!  Filipa Pato is one of Portugal’s leading young winemakers, and she has history on her side- she’s the 5th generation in her family to produce wines in Bairrada. Now sourcing and growing grapes in the neighboring Dao region as well, she makes dynamic wines from various native varietals. This wine, made from native Bairrada grape Baga, shows her attention to both her heritage and her extensive learning in other wine regions of the world, especially Burgundy.  Elegant but concentrated, powerful but nuanced, this is a wine to form memories with.  Dinners with loved ones, magical trips, starry nights… the possibilities are endless. $20

Bodegas Borbon Orleans Manzanilla Fina Sanlucar de Barrameda

It’s high time we get sherry off the dusty top shelf and onto the dinner table. The Orleans Borbon winery is owned by the Spanish royal family, and up til now, the production has generally been reserved for their exclusive consumption. I think we all deserve to drink like kings, and luckily, now we can. Salty, savory, almond-y, and refreshing- this sherry pairs amazingly with a variety of foods- anything fried, all kinds of fish, cured meats, super-spicy Asian… the possibilities are endless. The original “natural” wine, sherry has been trending recently, and I’m excited to share this one of exceptional quality and value with you tonight! $13

April 17, 2014

Wine for Spring Feasts

The weather’s weird but Spring is here, and we can feel the difference in our souls. Windows are being opened, the farmer’s markets are starting to bustle with people and produce again, and we’re dancing in the streets and drinking in the park. Tonight’s tasting features one of the sure signs of the season- Rosé! Our friend Michael from Wineberry will be pouring two tremendous pink wines (one from a box), as well as a delightful Italian red, the perfect pairings for a weekend away, spontaneous Sunday brunches with friends, or traditional family dinners. Enjoy them tonight, 6-9 pm, alongside bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District.

Chateau Tassin Rosé Box, Bordeaux 2013

3L of delightful Bordeaux rosé packaged ingeniously in a wooden box? Oh, hell yeah! 3L is the equivilant of four bottles of wine on the shelf, and if you’re not on the boxed wine band wagon yet, this is a good way to test the waters. Vacuum packed in a bag within a box, the wine stays fresh for about a month, protected from two of fresh wines biggest enemies: excess air and light. So you can have a glass or two one day and come back a few days later for more of the same vibrant, lustrous wine… and repeat! Perfect for the solo drinker and large gatherings alike. The gorgeous packaging and incredible value has made Wineberry’s boxes a cult favorite of outdoorsy brides, smart party hosts, and those who want “just a glass” a day. Come on, everybody is doing it… $41

Domaine Vico Rosé, Corsica 2013

The beautiful island of Corsica has a rich and unique culture rooted in it’s lengthy history as part of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Italy, and now in the present day, as one of the 27 regions of France. Jean Vico planted his vineyards in the mountains of the Northeastern in 1902 at the very limit of the wine growing regions of the island at the time. His pioneering paid off, and over a century later the wines in his name remain beautiful expressions of the terroir. Native varietal Niellucciu blended with Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault makes for an incredibly versatile and delicious libation- terrific with salmon (in all forms), caviar, fresh salads, and seafood tacos. $22

I Capitani Guaglione, Irpinia 2010

Capitani is a family-run vineyard passionate about creating and promoting the wines from Irpinia, a DOCG region of Campania in Southern Italy. A blend of Aglianico and Sangiovese, Guaglione is named for the regional slang equivilant to “dude”. Spicy and smoky, with bright red berry fruit this utterly satisfying red is a great pairing with eggplant parm, peppery roasted meats, and firey fra diavolo. Buonissimo! $20