THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING
I can think of no better way to spend a gloomy fall day than curled up on the couch under a quilt with a good book (or my growing stack of unread magazines), a simmering pot of soup on the stove, mellow jams on the record player (Joni Mitchell, in my world), and a richly textured bottle of red wine, opening up more with every glass. Or maybe with a few friends over, pizza delivery, and scrabble, and obviously, more than one bottle of wine. It almost makes me hope that this gray weather will continue to the weekend, so I have an excuse to spend such a lovely day at home! But since most of us probably can’t realistically spend our Thursdays on the sofa, tonight’s wine tasting at Dandy is the next best thing!
The Rhone region of Southern France produces some of the most famous (and delicious) wines in the world for many reasons- a long history of winemaking, unique terroir and microclimates, and sloping vineyards on either bank of the Rhone River to name a few. Generally divided into two distinct sub-regions, the cooler Northern Rhone, specializing in Syrah-based reds, and the warmer Southern Rhone, with full-bodied blends often heavier in Grenache. Some of the world’s priciest bottles and some of the best values on the market both hail from the Rhone, and across the board there are memorable wines to fit everyones’ palate and budget.
Join us this evening, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of three fantastic Southern Rhone reds with Lena from IPO Wines, alongside cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf!
"I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food." - W.C. Fields
Kermit Lynch Cypress Cuvee Cotes du Rhone 2010
Kermit Lynch has spent almost four decades as an importer and retailer, forging long relationships with growers and gaining invaluable experience in some of the greatest winemaking regions of France and Italy (so basically, the world). He was an early champion of the superior quality of wines that are bottled without fining or filtering and set the gold standard for the many small importers and distributors that have set up shop since. So, with all that under his belt, it seems fitting that he’s now seen to blending a few wines with the help of some friends and labeling them with his name! The Cypress Cuvee (an homage to Vincent VanGogh) is made with the help and fruit of Louis Barruol a fourteenth generation grower and winemaker in Gigondas operated by his family since the 16th century. 75% Syrah, 15% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre, mostly sourced from the ironically named Vinsobres appellation in the Southern Rhone, vinified and aged in concrete tanks and bottled with all the love and wisdom of Kermit himself. $17
Domaine la Garrigue Vacqueyras 2010
85% Grenache and 10% Syrah, with the rest equal parts Mourvedre and Cinsault, from a Southern region hugged by Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This full-bodied, lively wine has a ton going on- freshly macerated blackberries, saddle leather, savory herbs, spicy licorice, cassis, black pepper, and dewy forest floor- SO much character in 750 mL! After a bit of decanting, this wine shines like crazy, but I think you could hide it away for a while to drink for years to come. Pair this beaut with pot roast, beef stew, and hearty, roasted root vegetables… in my dreams there’s also a fireplace and a bearskin rug and , but a couple bodega candles and a cozy blanket are good too. $26
Philippe Gimel Saint Jean du Barroux L’Argile 2008
L’Argile is located in the Cotes-du-Ventoux in the Southeastern portion of the Rhone. 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Carignan, and 5% Cinsault, aged in concrete and stainless steel, this is a juicier, more rustic style wine, medium-bodied with lush red fruit, soft acidity, fine tannins, and that earthy French “Je ne sais quoi” we know and love oh so much. I read this great article in the Times last night about cooking for yourself at home and dining alone. Tamar Adler urged me, the reader, to treat myself right- to prepare and experience nice meals on my own, and of course, that includes drinking good wine. “I’ve rarely seen such needless teetotalling as among happy drinkers faced with an hour at a table on their own. No. If it’s fine in a crowd, then be a crowd of one.” Here, here! I pledge to heed that advice, and a bottle like the L’Argile is a good way to go (delicious on day two and three, by the way), paired simply but luxuriously with a good creamy cheese, a loaf of rustic French bread, an egg, a small salad of seasonal veg, real glassware and a cloth napkin. TV off, phone put away, sitting at the table… our lives are all so busy and even alone, we’re more connected than ever to work, family, friends, highschool acquaintances, celebrities, and the news. It sounds truly decadent (and well deserved) to enjoy thirty five minutes, a lovely meal, and a glass of wine in solitude! Let me know how it goes. $30