Wow! Everything is crazy right now. I have slipped into a world that was probably inevitable anyway. I have been serious into wine for over four years now going from heavy interest to true enthusiast to obsessive passionate into pure geekiness. I love wine and have decided to explore it in all aspects. I love the history of it. I love the mystery of it. I love the community that involves wine and I love sharing wine with good company. I figure the next step would be to take my mission and message about wine to the masses not only on the Internet but also on the street. Myself and two other geeks that have found themselves frequently mentioned in the ramblings of this crazy blog have decided to open a wine shop in Manhattan. An opportunity came our way and we decided to jump on it. Everything I have talked about in these posts about how wine can be good and affordable at the same time and how the service in wine shops can improve tremendously as well as the atmosphere and how wine should be fun and approachable and not pretentious and esoteric I would like to bring to life and fix them solid in reality.
We are, of course going to set up shop in The East Village and the name of the place will be Alphabet City Wine Co. keeping true to this area of New York’s past and giving respect to the people who have lived here and endured the city’s changes as it went from being called The Lower East Side to Alphabet City to the current East Village. I have really always been the East Village it’s just had different names from decade to decade. This is all depends on us acquiring an “on-premises beer and wine license.” These are not very easy to come by and take a long time to be issued. It will take us a good six months before we can actually sell wine in our shop so we are in deep demographic research mode to prove to the State Liquor Authority that this neighborhood is on the up and up. I won’t bore you with all the details but if it all works out we will be selling wine by Thanksgiving helping people find good, quality, valued wine for all those New York Thanksgiving get-togethers.
Speaking of good wine under twenty bucks. I have some great ones to talk about. In my next post I want to tell all of you about a great day in the park with good friends and an awesome trip to the near by wine shop for some spontaneous wine buying. Man that was fun. Talk to you guys soon. Cheers!
I would like to take a break for a moment from the Cali wines and talk about a bottle that was given to me recently as a gift. I will say up front that this wine is over twenty bucks. But I just have to talk about it. And it is worth every penny. This wine is from an area of the world I have never tried so it was pretty exciting for me. The area of the world I am speaking of is Uruguay. Everyone these days knows about Argentina’s malbec, which actually came from the Cahors region of France where it is known as auxerrois as well as the Loire Valley where it is known as cot. And we are becoming very well acquainted with Chile’s carmenere grape which also from France (from the Bordeaux region) as well as their cabernet sauvignon (interestingly enough, carmenere is related to cabernet sauvignon so it kind of makes sense why they both are doing so well there). But there is another grape from France doing very well in Uruguay, tannat. Tannat comes from the Madiran region in southwest France. It made its way to Uruguay in the 1800’s and has been the wine that the Gaucho (cowboys) drink with their steaks for decades. I am still researching the history of Uruguay’s viticulture practices and will be trying more very soon but for now, let me get to talkin’ about this here vino. (more…)
A very good friend of fellow wine geek and mine is also an amazing Jazz musician. His name is Patrick Wolff and, on a mean, methodic and focused sax heads the Patrick Wolff Trio, along with Chris Van Voorst on a soulful bass and Yujiro Nakamura on some slammin-ist drums. Otherwise known on The East Village Wine Geek as Mr. Wolff, he happens to have a gig this Saturday night at one of the coolest Jazz venues happening right now, Zebulon. Now this joint is not necessarily known for their wines but they do have some down right solid French and Spanish wine by the bottle and by the glass. I have seen these guys play before and I feel they are bringing something new to the stage when it comes to Jazz. Yes, they flow through some wonderful standards but what really gets the room moving is when they get into the originals. The rhythms they play with and the challenges they take with their movements is a testament to the confidence they have as musicians. They really know their craft and if any of you out there are reading this in NYC. Please give this trio a listen.
Zebulon is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 258 Wythe Ave. Between North 3rd and Metropolitan Avenue. If you’re In Manhattan take the L to the Bedford stop. Walk south on Bedford and take a right on North Third. Walk two blocks and take another right on Wythe Ave. and you are there. It has a nice and worn white and green looking awning and there is a kick-ass diner across the street for before or after the show. After Mr. Wolff finishes with the trio he goes on to jam out free stylee with the Afro-beat band, Asiko.
The Patrick Wolff Trio goes on at 9pm sharp and there is no cover! How cool is that. You think that’s cool…check this out. I am going to be in Boston that night so I was pretty bummed at first that I was going to miss it. But I won’t because Zebulon web casts their shows!!! I love it! So Saturday night my wife and I will be sitting our hotel room watching the show. Here is the link to watch the show. And if you like the music you can visit his myspace page here or buy his CD online here. The CD is just very well done and shows how tight these guys are. Not only that but the album cover art done by Micelle Franco is down right awesome. It is a beautiful cover. At my work we have The Patrick Wolff Trio on the iPod and people really seem to just sit back and relax when it come through the speakers. I have even paired a wine with this CD here.
Cool. So check these guys out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Cheers!
Rambling through the Santa Cruz mountains on a beautiful, sunny weekend afternoon, my wife and I decided to hit at a few vineyards before heading north for a couple of days in San Francisco. The scenery up there is, at times, breathtaking. You are slowly (and I mean, slowly) rambling up some winding one-way road surrounded by foliage with the sun peeking in dotted patterns through the leaves onto the weatherworn pavement for fifteen minutes or so. Suddenly the trees clear and you see for yourself what you have just climbed as the road twists through a cliffed valley at about 3000 feet above sea level and outside the passenger’s side window all you see is miles and miles of redwood forest covering mountainous hills below. The map says go straight and then turn here. Go for one or two miles and turn left. Go up this very narrow, steep hill and right smack dab in the middle of redwoods and altitudes is a sprawling vineyard starting at the top of a hill and sloping downward out of view. Before us, acre upon acre of cleared land with vines just now producing buds with the Santa Cruz Mountains as a backdrop burning off the last of the morning fog. Very descriptive, I know but there is really no other way to tell it. (more…)
Santa Cruz is a beautiful place. I don’t really consider it a city as much I consider it a town. It just has that feel, a town-feel. It isn’t huge but it is a nice size. Most importantly tough it’s the vibe. This town feels like a day at the beach everyday. And they do have a beach. This was my first California experience. We flew into San Francisco, hopped in a rental and headed south to Santa Cruz to stay with my wife’s aunt and uncle who have lived there for forty or so years. We flew in at night so my orientation was all off. I thought I saw downtown San Fran in the distance but couldn’t grasp it all. Even on the way down when we drove through Silicon Valley I couldn’t really get a feel for it. But the next day it all came into focus. (more…)
Well, it didn’t happen. I had these ideas of writing posts while in the moment, on the road after a day of wine tasting. Sitting down as the sun set in whatever area of the state I was in and pondering the characteristics of whatever my wife and I had tasted. This was not the case. And I am not disappointed, though. I don’t think I mentioned this before we left but this was my first time ever on the west coast. I had never been to California before. My wife on the other hand has most of her extended family out there so, for her it was a nostalgic reunion because it had been almost two years since she and I had seen some of them at our wedding. And there were others she hadn’t seen in six to ten years and that I had never met. So this was a pretty packed-in trip and I loved every minute of it. (more…)
I am a little embarrassed but this is my first post in about a month. I have spent the last three or four weeks without a computer. Macs are the most stable computers on the market but even the mighty Mac slows to a roll every once in a while. I’ve had this power book for four years now and nothing has gone wrong. All of the sudden out of the blue a domino effect occurred and it was one thing after another until the poor thing just wouldn’t start. I won’t waste time with the details of my technical woes. Let’s just say that I am still having issues but I was going insane not being able to post anything ramblings. It feels good to be back and I have a lot to talk about. I will make this one short and start and really get into it with a fresh post. Well short for one of my posts.
This is April and on the 23rd my wife and I will have been married for two years. Pretty cool. For our anniversary we are going to trek across California for twelve days. She has family out there so we are just going to cruise up and down the 101 and see relatives and hit wineries throughout the trip in different areas of the state. I am going to attempt to blog from the road. I have never done this and hope it works out. I will have my Mac with me so it shouldn’t be too hard.
During this forced hiatus something very cool has happened to this wine geek. Not only have I tried a bunch of really good wine that I really have to tell you guys about but an opportunity has come my way. Myself and two other wine geeks have decided to open a wine shop in beautiful New York City. It has been an interesting road recently getting this all together and I would love to capture it little by little as myself and the two other guys get closer and closer to having an awesome little shop in the East Village that will hopefully get our message out there that buying wine can and should be fun whether you have a good grasp on wine or whether you have no grasp whatsoever and want to know more.
I hope I didn’t loose too many of guys during this unfortunate period but if you are reading this know that I am sorry and it is good to be back. Talk to y’all soon.
This is my new home. Like any other new home it has to be re-painted and requires a few customized repairs to make it…just right. What you see surrounding these words is a temporary template that will serve as my colors that get me through the transition process. I will be putting my links back up very soon. I don’t like not having all my links up because I dig and am big on keeping this community on the expanse. So that will be the first thing besides starting to get back to the point of this whole thing and that is the vino.
Speaking of vino. My wife and I recently were able to have a night together in our crazy busy lives to sit down one night and have some din din with a bottle of Ventana 2003 chardonnay from Monterey, California. I did a post on the syrah of the same vintage a couple of weeks a go and was very impressed with the structure Ventana has achieved with American oak. They use Minnesota oak and I am still looking into the different options of American Oak but it seems to work. It also carries through well with the chard (you guys don’t mind if I say chard, do you? I know it is so industry cheese but man is it fun. Yo, you gonna hook up some of the chard?). (more…)
Ladies and gentlemen The East Village Wine Geek is moving. Yes, I have thought about it. Freaked out about it, pondered it and hammered it out. Blogger.com is cool and all but I want to keep the community of wine a growing entity. Let’s make this thing huge. Blogs made Time magazine, man.
It is not always easy moving. Taking precious belongings out of their comfortable existence and uprooting them to a new environment. The transport is always nerve-racking. Hopefully you don’t lose anything in the process. Where did my Eddie Money’s Greatest Hits CD go? Oh well, must have lost it in the move. And when you finally get from point A to point B there you are with all your stuff in a new location where does everything go? You have even more work ahead of you trying to re-establish your footing. This is my new place. This is where all my stuff, save for my Eddie Money CD, will learn to settle.
I have spoken about redteeth.com recently and how awesome they are. Well, they have offered my little blog a new home. They are going to help give The East Village Wine Geek a little bit of a makeover. Some new colors, new links, maybe even a logo or something, I don’t know. What is really important about this is it’s a way to expand the already growing online wine community. I am taking my energy and morphing it with someone else’s to build this network of wine on the net. When I saw that I had an opportunity to move my ramblings to a more secure platform and make this blog thing even more fun. I jumped to it (after my paranoia settled actually). I must admit I was nervous. I am not one of those bloggers that knows everything about the bells and whistles. I just know how to write, post and add a link and a photo or two.
I am here to talk about wine, food and life and my focus will never change. I am just going somewhere a little more safe and secure. No problems with a server crashing. No constant platform updates asking me to change my username or password and no more of those pesky Viagra and other random synthetic drug promos in my comments section.
So I ask, plead and implore you, please bare with me as I make my transition. I will attempt to post during this time but when the craziness of file transfer begins I will be out of commission for a day or two. As I am writing this I believe I am assuring myself of the safe transition more than I am you guys. I fell I am talking to you and talking myself down at the same time. Either way, it is happening. I will see y’all on the other side. I will post my new access information on this blog when I find out what it is. I am nervous about this and do not want to loose you guys. You have been very supportive from the get and I want to make sure you will be able to find me if you want. I still have to talk about the Ventana chardonnay from Monterey as well as a kosher Spanish wine and a night with Musar from Lebanon. Talk to you guys soon.
Who…me? No, I’m not nervous. Are you nervous? No, I am not nervous. Stop it I am not nervous. You’re nervous aren’t you? I need a glass of wine. Time to ponder and relax and just let it happen man.
Blogs are great. Bloggers are people like you and me with other things going on in their lives, who can’t help but tell the world about their passions. I love writing about wine, food and life and wrapping stories around tasting notes. Since this web log thing has caught on, the communities that have been formed are astounding. Whatever industry you are in, you can find a blog that has the inside info and leaves a place for you to have a voice, even if you are not the blogger. You as a reader of blogs can leave comments, start debates and spark new ideas for the blogger you are talking to, to write about. It is a beautiful thing when the people have a voice.
Food and wine blogs are everywhere on the net. There are home cooking blogs, video food and wine blogs, restaurant review blogs, wine blogs, the list goes on and on. In this quiet storm of opinions and views on everything culinary, there is something new emerging. It did not come from the blog-o-sphere. No, it came from the idea that was Friendster and that is now My Space. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you…FoodCandy.com. The mastermind behind this amazing site, is a wonderful man who goes by the moniker, Db. Food Candy takes the idea of a focused online community and hones in on it. Foodcandy.com is like a My Space for foodies and culinary fanatics. The same way you create your own profile on My Space, you can create your own page and share your love for the food in the city in which you reside, or talk to other city folk from around the country about what is happening in their neck of the woods.
Food Candy also has meet-ups in NYC every once in a while. This is very cool, just a bunch of like-minded foodies hanging out, talking shop. Db was nice enough to interview me for Food Candy about this blog and my passion for wine. Interview aside, I realize I have been so into the Food Candy site, that I haven’t taken the time to expose it to you guys. You wine geeks, you foodies, and you gastronomic freaky deekies, check this site out. It is a way to form a long lasting relationship with people with very similar interests. Holla!