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September 18, 2014

Sweater weather is better weather for drinking wine.

Red Wine Tasting Tonight 6-9pm

Come taste wine from Argentina, Southern Italy, and Bordeaux.  

Nothing like a little wine and cheese to take the chill out of the air.  If you still need some help after that, Duke’s is pouring RUM tonight, same time!

DIAMANDES PERLITA MALBEC-SYRAH 2012 ARGENTINA

A long time favorite here at Dandelion for it’s drinkability and value. Malbec and Syrah come together as harmoniously at the modern design of the winery does with its dramatic mountainous backdrop. In 2005, the Bonnie family, owner of renowned Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere and Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, decided to leave France in search of new horizons in the world of wine. It all began with the acquisition of a single 130 hectare block of land in the hear of the Uco Valley, to the south of Mendoza. By the Andes Mountains, Bodega DiamAndes boasts an ideal terroir; temperate climate due to the altitude and sandy soils with large amounts of rock, allow Malbec, Argentina’s king varietal to fully express itself.  $13

I CAPITANI GUAGLIONE IRPINIA AGLIANICO 2010 ITALY

Some argue that Aglianico is the most important red grape of Southern Italy and it’s in the inner part of Campania where it reaches its maximum expression. This is a young and fruity example of Aglianico called “Guaglione” which loosely translates to “Dude”. There is no oak used in making this wine so the result is bright and fresh. Or as the producer describes, “Straightforward and sincere, as only the youth can be.” Speaking of the producer, the family has been farming and cultivating the land in Torre le Nocelle, a small town in the heart of Irpinia, for over a century. The wine is delicious and a great match for… you guessed it… PASTA! Carb up. Drink up. Warm up.  $20

CHATEAU DE CERONS GRAVES 2010 BORDEAUX FRANCE

 Chateau de Cerons is a lovely manor house, and now a listed historic monument built in the early 18th century on a terrace overlooking the Garonne River. Xavier and Caroline Perromat took over the management of their family’s estate in 2012. Caroline came to Dandelion Wine earlier this year and was as charming as her wines. The Cerons appellation, bordering Sauternes, is one of the oldest appellations of Bordeaux and an enclave in the Graves region. They make a red, a dry white, and a sweet white named for Cerons, similar to Sauternes. We bought both the red and the sweet white. (Maybe we’ll crack a bottle of that tonight too.) We loved the 2010 Rouge because it was so drinkable right out of the bottle, unlike so many Bordeaux we taste that need to lay down for a decade or 2. Come see for yourself!  $32

September 11, 2014

Tonight we welcome our friend Anthony Lamonaca of Golden Vines Imports.  Anthony has become family to us here at Dandelion Wine.  He rarely shows up without a bag of goodies for us from his favorite spots in the neighborhood or his recent travels to Europe.  We’ve been to his house in Westchester for dinner and he gives me a hard time when I take too much time off from work.  Anthony was born and raised in Williamsburg.  He made wine for 20 years there while working a finance job downtown.  Seven years ago he left his trader job and started working in every facet of the wine industry (restaurants, retail, distribution) before starting his very own importing business.  

Tonight is as much about him as it is his wine for which we share a mutual passion for.  A guy like Anthony wouldn’t import just any wine… come taste his “old-school” selections tonight from 6-9pm.  

And after you gobble on some cheese from Eastern District and sip on our wine, wander over to Duke’s Liquor Box for an ABSINTHE tasting!  

Daniel Reverdy & Fils 2012 SancerreLoire Valley, France

 Who doesn’t love a great Sancerre?  This is Dandy’s favorite at the moment.  Crisp, clean minerality and mouth-watering acidity makes this the perfect wine for these humid NYC days or the perfect wine to pair with dinner of all kinds.  Very food friendly, versatile, and complex.  $22 

Colle di San Domenico 2012 Falanghina Campania, Italy

Falanghina?  What’s that, you say?  Awesome stuff.  This is one of our best values in the shop, but not as popular as it should be maybe due to it’s strange name.  When we open it, everyone loves it.  It’s dry and round with a hint of almond and smoke.  Pair with seafood or Chinese take-out.  $13 

Il Fitto 2009 Syrah Cortona Tuscany, Italy

 Another wine that everyone loves once we open it and pour it into their glass.  100% Syrah from Tuscany aged 15 months in oak barrels.  As the temps drop we start roasting birds and game again… this wine is what you want as the leaves fall.  Also great with cheese.  Come see for yourself.  $16

Bricco Maiolica 2012 Dolcetto Diano d’Alba Piemonte, Italy

 What an elegant example of Dolcetto…  This wine is dark and mysterious.  When I think of what to write, I keep coming up with dark fruit and earth.  It’s full and dry, yet I can’t place my finger on what makes this wine so good every time I have it.  It’s a mystery, but the very best kind.  It’s wine like this that gets me excited for snow.  $23

 

September 4, 2014

Thursday Night Tasting

Vinotas Selections

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of three distinctive wines from France and California! We’ll have bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District. And, if you were unable to make the opening last night, be sure to check out the new art on the walls! Our friend Ann Parry’s wonderful prints will be on display (and for sale) in the shop through the month of September, and they are not to be missed. 

Same time, 6-9, our partners in crime across the way at Duke’s Liquor Box will be having a tasting of a VERY SPECIAL shochu… a very singular experience is promised! 

L’enclos des Braves, Gaillac,France

The small Gaillac AOC lies in the southwest part of France, just northeast of Toulouse, and as our importer-buddy Michel discovered on a buying trip to France, there are some really cool wines being made there from native, ancestral grape varieties.  And Nicolas Lebrun is one producer doing just that! He founded L’enclos de Braves in 2005, after working at various wineries in the area for 12 years prior. The small plot he settled on is less than 15 acres of hilly, limestone-rich soil.  His grapes, all on vines 20-35 years old, are grown biodynamically. The wines, made with indigenous yeasts and minimal sulfer, evoke a unique sense of the place they hail from. And the bottles are priced amazingly- what more can we ask for!?!?

Les Gourmands Gaillac Blanc 2013

A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and native variety Loin de l’Oiel, this is a cheerful, zippy wine with lots of bright, sunny acidity and refreshing green, herbaceous notes. A fun alternative to single-varietal Sauvignon Blancs- a peaceful, easy feelin’ for these hot September days. Great with tacos, indian summer, and The Eagles $15

Les Gourmands Gaillac Rouge 2011

Les Gourmands rouge is made up of 70% Duras, and 30% Braucol- your two new favorite grapes you’ve never heard of! Together, these ancestral varietals make a wine that is dark and nuanced, masculine and full-bodied, but well-balanced with shining minerality and a finish that goes on forever. And marvelously, this wine is great for serveral days after opening… so you can have a glass Monday and revisit it on Wednesday, if you have that kind of self control. $15

Cabot Vineyards, Humboldt County, California

Humboldt Country is a unique region on the North Coast of California that boasts soaring redwood groves, forested canyons, and cool Pacific breezes, as well as marijuana farms and wild vineyards like Cabot! Cabot is the northernmost winery in the state of California.  Farmer John Cabot planted his first grapes there in 1998 using organic principles, and his wines are made with minimal intervention in the cellars. Sourcing grapes from five nearby vineyards, John strives to make wines that tell the story of where they’ve come from, and we think these are stories worth telling! 

Klamath Cuvee 2008

A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 25% Syrah from John’s plots in the rugged Klamath River Valley, this is a wild wine with a LOT going on. Smoke and tobacco, black peppery spicy, dark concentrated fruit, dried herbs, and moments of soaring acidity take you on quite a ride, but firm tannic structure keeps it grounded on the finish. A match made in heaven for grilled meats, so don’t close up that bbq quite yet! $18

August 28, 2014

It’s been a phenomenal summer so far, and it’s not over yet! Labor Day Weekend is one of our favorite times to host barbecues and join friends in the Rockaways, and this one promises to be absolutely beautiful. Join us tonight 6-9 pm, in preparation, with a tasting of three summery whites with our friend Ben from Bonhomie Wine Imports! We’ll have cheese from ED and bread from She Wolf.

While you’re at it on Franklin Street, we suggest you start with wine and finish with whiskey- our friends at Duke’s and Moonlight Mile will be hosting a joint tasting tonight! 

Heading out of town for the holiday or expecting company? Stock up in advance! We offer 5% off six packs, and 10% off cases of 12, and deliver after 5pm daily!

Stefan Meyer Silvaner, Pfalz 2012

A great American once said “Give me liters or give me death!”, so we’ve got liters for ya! This organic Silvaner from young producer Stefan Meyer is terroir driven, dry, and versatile, not to mention completely delicious. Aromatic and lean, this is a wine that will cool you off when the temp. rises, please your pickiest dinner guests, and answer that nagging question “should I have just one more glass?” with an emphatic “YES”! $16

Clotilde Davenne Sauvignon, Saint-Bris 2013

 This Sauvignon Blanc is a standout, hailing from the only appellation in Chardonnay-filled Burgundy where it’s permitted to be produced. Clotilde Davenne is a Burgundy veteran, making wine for bigger-name Chablis producers before starting her own eponymous vineyard. She vinifies her wines in all stainless steel, to bring out the unique qualities of the grapes and the spectacular Jurassic soil in which they’re grown. Lean, herbaceous, crisp, and clean, with a touch of lime zest and grass. A great new option for both die-hard Sancerre fans and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc drinkers. $19

Weingut Spáter-Veit Riesling, Mosel 2012

Through the tireless efforts of many busy New York City sommeliers, we’ve seen an incredible surge in Riesling’s popularity over the last few years. It truly is an incredibly versatile grape, producing a wide-range of styles from bone-dry to dessert. This trocken (dry) offering from Weingut Spater-Veit comes from one of the top sites in Germany’s Mosel region. The use of indigenous yeasts and stainless steel tanks brings out the true character of the grape and the prized regional terroir. Crisp yellow apple, white flowers, green pears, and lemon, with a steely finish- this is a wonderfully multi-faceted wine for long-time Riesling fans and newer converts alike.  $14

August 21, 2014

Our friend Midori from small importer Joto Sake is the number one reason we even have a sake selection worth talking about. Her knowledge, passion, and delicious sakes got us interested in learning more about (and drinking more of) this traditional fermented rice beverage. We’re thrilled to have her here tonight to share stories and sake with us over cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf. 

Our friend Midori from small importer Joto Sake is the number one reason we even have a sake selection worth talking about. Her knowledge, passion, and delicious sakes got us interested in learning more about (and drinking more of) this traditional fermented rice beverage. We’re thrilled to have her here tonight to share stories and sake with us over cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf. 

August 14, 2014

Drink Pink

No doubt about it, the summer of 2014 has been sponsored by rosé. Never before have we seen such a frenzy!!! Everyone has discovered what we have known all along- it’s delicious, it’s not just for the ladies, and there are excellent options at a variety of price points from all over the world. Well folks, it’s still summer. And what better time than the most beautiful day ever, smack-dab in the middle of August to DRINK MORE ROSÉ? No time like the present, I say. Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, and our friend Steven VanHaren from Michael Skurnik Wines, for a tasting of three tasty pink bevs. We’ll have cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf!

Zestos Rosado, Madrid 2013

Hailing from the high altitude, under-the-radar vineyards of San Martin Valdeiglesias just northwest of Madrid, the old-vine Garnacha grapes that make up this wine, like 90% of those grown in the region, are farmed organically. They believe that “Old vines make better wines”, and we tend to agree.  Their lower yields of fully, evenly ripened grapes make consistent high-quality wines, and we’ve been crazy about this one for a few vintages now. Vibrant and elegant, with classic fresh strawberry notes that practically scream “summer fun” and pair with anything and everything. Provençal in style and substance for a fraction of the price? Don’t mind if I do! $11

Liquid Geography Rosado, Bullas 2013

Olé is one of our favorite wine importers for a variety of reasons- they carry awesome wines, many of exceptional value and everyone who works there is just so lovely to work with, helpful, knowledgeable, and kind, and excited about the wines they bring in! Enter, this fantastic rosé, a pet project of Olé’s founder Patrick Mata and three of his esteemed friends in the wine world. Every dollar of the proceeds from this wine, Olé donates to the TJ Martell Foundation for cancer research. How’s that for giving back?! Organic Monastrell (what the French call Mourvedre) from the region in southeast Spain where it originated, Liquid Geo’ boasts refreshing minerality and citrusy acidity with a touch of spice. Drink for a cause! $13

Terre Nere Etna Rosato, Sicily 2013

We’re generally fascinated by everything Terre Nere makes, and their rosato is no exception. This dry, steely, savory pink wine, an organic blend of Nerello Mascalede and Nerello Cappucio, was first made in 2007, in honor of wine maker’s three year old daughter, who like many little girls, loves anything and everything rosy hued. Aiming to make a rosé with “the body of a white and the soul of a red” is no easy task, but he set about to do it and each year I think he gets closer to his ideal. A little more serious than some, this rosé is thoughtful and regal, and ages well. The vineyard recommends it with classic Italian aperitivo- think prosciutto and melon, salami and figs, and formaggio! $23

August 7, 2014

Nómade Wines

Argentina

Please join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a wine tasting of Tomás Achával’s Nómade label. Thomás sources wines from several regions, highlighting classic varietals grown in the best possible conditions. We’ll have two tonight, alongside cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf!

Torrontes 2012

Arguably the most distinctive indigenous grape in Argentina, the only country in which it is produced, Torrontes is characterized by heady floral aromatics and bright exotic tropical fruit. Nómade’s Torrontes hails from old vines grown at 5,445 feet above sea level in Cafayate, in the middle of the Calchaqui Valleys, the best site in the Andes for Torrontes. Orange blossom and jasmine, along with mint, lychee, pineapple, and pear- drink with spicy foods or sushi! $14

Malbec 2011

Hailing from a 75-year-old vineyard in Valle de Uco, Mendoza, this Malbec has become a best-seller in a season when most full-bodied reds have fallen by the wayside. Old vines, low yields, and high-altitude vineyards all contribute to producing grapes with higher acid and lower sugar- which means better quality fruit over-all. The wine is aged 8 months in a combination of French and American oak before bottling. The outcome is a Malbec with considerable spice and character, concentrated red and black berries and baking spices with an elegant brightness on the finish.  A Malbec for all seasons! $17

July 31, 2014

ITALIAN WINE TASTING

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a diverse Italian wine tasting with our friend Evan from Omniwines! We’ll showcase three special bottles from across the boot, with bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District.

And be sure to stop by and see our buddies over at Duke’s, same time, where Whiskey is on the bill!  

Casa d’Ambra Ischia Bianco 2013

This is Ischia. The largest island in the bay of Naples is incredibly picturesque and atmospheric, with a colorful past. An important stop on the route between Greece and Northern Italy, it’s history is punctuated with periodic catastrophic eruptions of its now extinct volcano. This bianco, made from native Biancollelo grapes grown throughout the island in those rich volcanic soils, is a gorgeous export from this fascinating place. Anjou pear, key lime, and green apple finish with this saline, savory quality I love to find in island whites, this is a natural choice for a meal from the sea. Did y’all hear that Greenpoint Fish and Lobsteropened yesterday? That’s right, we don’t need no stinkin’ G train to get great fish! YES! $19

Piedmont Wine Project Gambai 2012

A blend of Barbera, Ruché, and Pelaverga, some of my favorite grapes in Italy if not the world, this is a fun, casual approach to these classic native varietals of the venerable Piemonte region.  Gambai, which means “boot” in the Piedmont dialect, is a tribute to the wine making heritage of this boot-shaped country. The three grapes combine beautifully, each bringing something special to the table. The Barbera, which comprises 60% of the blend, endows it with a sturdy acidity and clear cherry fruit, the Ruché, at 30%, provides it’s characteristic rose-y floral notes, and 10% Pelaverga adds a spicy peppercorn quality up-front the continues through in the finish. There’s a lot going on in the region and a lot going on in this bottle! Pair with meats and cheeses, olives, crostini, and good conversation. $16

Maso Michei Trentino Pinot Nero 2010

Located in the dangerously steep but deeply idyllic slopes of Ronchi di Ala in Trentino, Masso Michei is a small, relatively new winery founded by Giuseppe and Michela Bruni, who left their fast-paced banking careers just over a decade ago to pursue their passion and dedicate themselves to the land.  At this extreme elevation (between 820 and 890 meters), machine work is impossible and work on the vineyards can be life threatening, but also incredibly rewarding. “My dream was not to be the richest man in the world, but the freest,” Giuseppe has said.  This noble humility translates to his wines, like this delightful Pinot Nero. Bright and playful, with mineral undertones, gracious fruit, and a maverick spirit. Inspiring and invigorating! $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 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