Hamptons Eats: Riesling or Pinot Noir…enJoie offers Thanksgiving wine pairing advice

Hamptons Eats:Riesling or Pinot Noir…enJoie offers Thanksgiving wine pairing advice
Judia Black of enJoie, a wine and lifestyle events company, hosted a tasty, and very informative Thanksgiving wine pairing at Minton’s in Harlem this past Saturday. The class provided examples of wine to be enjoyed with a variety of dishes typically served on Thanksgiving Day. Attendees explored how to navigate the wines’ many different personalities, similarly to adjusting and interacting with the many personalities of guests who attend Thanksgiving dinner. The wines were American grown in celebration of the American holiday and were prime examples that there is no need to look over the pond for quality wine, but right in our own backyard.

The class consisted of six tastings. Each guest received an informational sheet that listed the wines in the order they were to be tasted. Kicking things off was a sparking wine from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Next was a light and neutral Riesling from the Finger Lakes. Following was a full-bodied Chardonnay, which pairs nicely with creamy cheeses. The California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel were crowd favorites. The grand finale, and icing on the cake, so to speak, was an Iced Cider, a dessert wine made of apples, which were picked, pressed, frozen, and fermented in Vermont.2

A spread of wine-compatible snacks was provided to accompany the tastings. The French Stilton Bleu, from the infamous Murray’s Cheese, went nicely with the Zinfandel. A Swiss triple-crème Brie from Murray’s was a perfect match for the Pinot Noir. Toasted baguettes, blanched almonds, and apricots were also snacked.

If planning to pair wine with a Thanksgiving meal, here are some suggestions based on the selection from the class. The sparkling wine pairs well with appetizers; anything from crab cakes, to caviar. If squash or sweet potato dishes are on the menu, the Riesling or Chardonnay will be a great match. The Zinfandel collaborates well with strong cheeses, pork, and poultry. And for the turkey, this Pinot Noir can never go wrong. 1
A memorable moment, one that encompassed the significance of enjoying wine on Thanksgiving, was when Judia mentioned applying our five senses. Of the five, the sense of hearing is perhaps the most difficult to find a connection to when drinking. After some thought, the class shared ideas which included the sound of pouring wine and the sound of a cork popping. Judia’s theory is that the fifth sense is applied as we enjoy the wine and listen to those who surround us and create the environment. As we taste the wine and listen to the conversations and sounds of the friends and family we share with, it creates a complete experience. On Thanksgiving we are surrounded by loved ones, delicious comforting food, and perfectly paired wine. What’s more to be thankful for than that?

3Please see a list of the wines mentioned above:
Gruet Blance Noirs, Brut NV, Pinot Noir, Albuquerque, New Mexico
2013 Ryan Williams Reisling, Finger Lakes, New York
2012 Adele, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California
2012 Artesa, Pinot Noir, Carneros Region of Napa, California
2012 Brown Estate, Zinfandel, Napa, California
Eden Northern Spy, Northern Spy Apples, West Charleston, Vermont

For a wonderful selection of wines visit Sag Harbor Liquor Store….FREE DELIVERY…they also offer a 15 % discount off mixed cases of wine and sparkling www.sagharborliquorstore.com

Bedell Cellars First Crush

Cutchogue: Bedell Cellars First Crush
On a shockingly bitter cold Tuesday in November, Bedell Cellars of Cutchogue held an exciting launch party celebrating the release of Bedell First Crush Red 2013 and the winery’s collaboration with artist Mickalene Thomas; who’s art proudly decorates the bottle. The expected 200 guests stayed warm at the Four Seasons in NYC and indulged in a variety of Bedell wines in suitable honor of the winery.

Bedell Cellars’ owner and Hollywood film producer Michael Lynne, mingled with guests with a smile on his face that never faltered. Among those invited were several whom are well known in the art and entertainment community including Stacy Engman, a curator at the National Arts Club in New York; Mashonda Tefiere, previously married to musical artist Swizz Beats; and Will Cotton, a famous painter whose inspiration is sourced from Katy Perry.

The 2013 First Crush is an exquisite blend of 60% merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, from grapes picked from younger vines. Lettie Teague of The Wall Street Journal describes it as, “A light juicy blend, pretty, uncomplicated, marked by soft tannins and bright red berry fruit.” It is absolutely delicious and delightfully smooth. Among other wines poured were an oak barreled chardonnay, a stainless steel chardonnay, and the Musée, another red blend with heavy, velvety tannins and a long finish. 3-2

Accompanying the wine were elegant hor dourves of steak carpaccio with truffle oil, seared tuna with mango chutney, duck wontons, and fried oysters among several others. Guests reacted very positively grabbing bites just as quickly as wine was being poured. Each food passed was more delicious than the last and thankfully were not in short supply.

Some time into the evening, Michael Lynne addressed the attendees, announcing the release of First Crush and introducing Mickalene Thomas whom also spoke to the crowd of the wine and her artwork. She described First Crush as being very easy to drink and would also make for an excellent art piece after drinking! Both speakers radiated positive energy and the crowd gave a loud and long applause to honor the collaboration. 4-2

The evening was a lovely celebratory event of art, great food, and excellent wine. To name this newly launched Bedell wine First Crush is an understatement. It truly seems more appropriate to be titled “First Love.”

Hamptons Eats: Wine and cheese: what milk is-­‐to cookies

Hamptons Eats: Wine and cheese: what milk is-­‐to cookies, with slightly more sophistication. Two glorious (food groups?) that when joined together create double the tasting pleasure. For those of you who are familiar with the many varieties of wines and cheeses, you may also be aware of the many possibilities for pairing them. For those in which wine and cheese are a foreign territory, a land in which you do not speak the language, there’s good news! You can learn. Here is a brief (and very general guide) for pairing wine and cheese that will leave you more knowledgeable and possibly with your mouth watering!
To understand a pairing is to recognize the flavors from the wine you are sipping, the cheese you are nibbling, and how it will taste when they collaborate. The goal is for each to complement the other. It is also, as many things are, about balance. Finding the right balance between the characteristics of what you seek to pair will ensure a satisfying flavor experience.
Wine-Cheese-And-Sausage jpg
Let’s say you are celebrating a big accomplishment (go you!) You are sipping on some sparkling wine and are in need of a snack (all those bubbles!). Lucky for you the carbonation from those bubbles will cut through a thick and creamy cheese, making the two a perfect pair. I would suggest a triple cream Brie for between those sips of bubbly. The combination of the two is really something to celebrate!
White wines. There are so many options! Picture a relaxing afternoon at one of the vineyards on the North Fork. New world chardonnays, mostly made in the USA, (and those from our very own north fork vineyards), can evoke a buttery, oaky flavor as well as notes of tropical fruits. A chardonnay with these flavors invites a medium-­‐sharp cheddar to make a match. The softness of the wine compliments the sharpness of the
cheddar. Feeling like a kid again? Try it with a cheddar grilled cheese!
One could easily compare red wine to a lover. It can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So it’s a really good thing it couples so well with many delicious cheeses. It’s a dynamic duo and the 3 of you will be very happy together. Pinot Noir is arguably the most commonly drank red wine. It is a great starting red, for those whom are not typically red-­‐wine drinkers but are looking to branch out and expand their palates. Light, fresh, and fruity; pinot noir pairs nicely with a pungent, fierce, and flavorful goat cheese. A little bit goes a very long way when it comes to goat cheese thanks to its fantastic tang. When the pinot noir softens the pungency of the goat cheese, the flavors harmonize.
A successful pairing is the result of the wine and cheese complementing each other and creating an enjoyable tasting experience. By following the examples above, or just experimenting with your own palate (there really is no right or wrong!), get ready to get tasting! And if all else fails, you can never go wrong with cookies and milk.

A Great Evening at Sen NYC with Warm Apple Sake

A Great Evening at Sen NYC with Warm Apple Sake…Greetings Hamptons Mouthpiece readers…I love good food, it makes me so happy. I love when I go out to eat and everything is right, the ambiance, the service, the drinks, the appetizers, the main course and finally… the dessert. I leave there wanting more, dreaming of my next visit as I am walking out of the door, not focusing on the cost only wanting the experience again. Do you know what I am talking about?
Friday I had the extreme pleasure of dining at Sen in NYC and it left me DSC00932wanting more. Jeffrey Resnick, Toranosuke Matsuoka & Jesse Matsuoka have brought their very popular restaurant in Sag Harbor to Manhattan, with Chef Bryan S. Emperor behind the stove and Head Sushi chef Hiro Sawatari. This location opened in Mid September and is centrally located in Chelsea & Flat Iron district but also easily assessable to both uptown and downtown residents.

I arrived around 6pm and was pleasantly pleased with the ambiance of the place, the colors are warm and intimate.  Jesse greeted me and gave me a tour of the place as I waited for my cousin Deidre to join me. Located in the front is a lounge area that is very spacious and definitely inviting for an after work crowd who would like to just have drinks and socialize. If the bar scene is your thing than you would love this bar..it is the dominant focal point of the restaurant. It is a beautiful wrap around with real oak on the bottom that are also equipped with hooks for women to hang their bags. The back of the bar is a sushi bar, much larger than the Sag Harbor location, it reminded me of the Benihana’s restaurant. The bartenders are very good looking and for that reason alone is why I will be back. I loved the attention to detail in the design of the place, like the warm colors, the oak wood on the bar and the bark on the walls in the back of the restaurant. I personally found it extremely alluring.

As I continued my wait for my cousin to arrive, Jesse suggested that I try the Warm Warm Apple SakeApple Cider sake, I did and it was delicious. I was happy to hear that they were using products from Long Island, like the the Apple Cider, it also included cinnamon cloves, lemon & orange peel but the kicker was the spiked Brazilian rum…..YUMMMMMMMY…this totally warmed me up.

Dee finally arrived and we were seated at our table…our evening was going to consist of a variety of sampler dishes from the menu. There were items that I liked more than others and some that I personally did not care for, not that these dishes were not delicious my pallets just did not care for them.
Tuna Tar Tar We started our 1st course  with Edamame & Tuna Tar Tar…I really liked the takuan pickle shallot & the spicy yuzu dressing in the Tar Tar.
Jesse decided to bring us a sampler of 3 different Sake drinks….The 1st one was a traditional Sake..2nd one was a sweeter Plum Sake and the 3rd one was a more mature Sake with a definite hit….I went with the 2nd choice a more sweeter Sake….Dee went with the more traditional Sake.
Our 2nd course was a Salad with Daikon Sprout, Spanish onion & Sour plum sauce…I alad with Daikon Sprout, have to admit it was my least favorite because it contained a bitter taste but it was very tasty and one that many might like.

3rd Course: We were brought a sampler tray of various items from the starter menu….Tatsuta, marinated chicken wings, Wagyu Croquette, “Japanese Meat Balls” with Katsu sauce, & Kinchaku “Miso marinated cheese with sweet red crab.  It was delicious, I thoroughly enjoyed everything, it satisfied everyone of my taste buds. Unfortunately for you my readers this sampler dish is not on the menu, you would need to order every item individually. I recommend ordering all 3.

Tatsuta, marinated chicken wings, Wagyu Croquette, "Japanese Meat Balls" with Katsu sauce, & Kinchaku "Miso marinated cheese with sweet red crab


Our 4th course was a surprise array of sushi by the piece. I warned Jesse that I did not like raw food and I have to admit I was so scared of what would be brought out for us to sample, but to my delight it was rather good. Being the adventurous person that I am I tried everything. It included raw fluke, raw King salmon, BBQ Eel, cooked shrimp & Japanese egg…I did not care for the egg but that is because I really do not like eggs anymore, I was not in love with the Fluke either but Dee loved the fluke. I was surprised that I loved the salmon, it had a buttery taste and it just melted in my mouth, who knew this would be the night that I embraced sushi…I also liked the shrimp and the BBQ Eel, it was an interesting taste and one that I would experience again.
fluke, King salmon, BBQ Eel,  shrimp & Japanese egg
Hawaiian Blue PrawnsOur 5th Sampler was the Hawaiian Blue Prawns…these prawns are shipped overnight from Hawaii and I will say I loved it. The heads were included in this selection and this was my first time having the courage to taste one. It always felt creepy eating anything where the eyes were staring back at you. It was delightful and I think I enjoyed the head of the shrimp more so than the shrimp itself because it was full of amazing juices that captivated my taste buds. Dee was being a coward and refused to taste, but lucky for me I ate hers…yum yum
Our 6th course was from Chef Emperor’s Specialty selection…Gyu Negima “Stone-fired Gyu Negima "Stone-fired dry-aged Prime Fillet Mignon dry-aged Prime Fillet Mignon cooked in Kani Miso Butter and mitsuba cress. I am not a red meat fan, but this presentation was so amazing and it smelled so wonderful. The flame was still burning under the pot as it was brought to the table, and you were in control of how you preferred your steak to be cooked.  Our mouths were watering with anticipation of our first bite, and to our delight it did not disappoint. It felt like we were taking a bite of heaven, it was so succulent, juicy, seasoned to perfection, tender and I know I am saying it again but it really did melt in my mouth. I could taste the miso butter in every bite and I was in my fantasy world of food.
Wow we were in overload and everyone of our taste buds were definitely being fulfilled. I thought our meal was coming to an end but Jesse came over and spoke to us about the tradition of a Japanese Restaurant and how the rice and soup are typically served at the end of a meal. I guess the best are saved for last and maybe this metaphor might make sense, at the beginning of an exercise regime you start with the warm-up, then you transition into a more aerobic high impact exercise and at the end you finish with a warm-down. Such is the case with my meal…we started with appetizers*salad*sushi*main course*rice*soup…..
 Shoyu Truffle Butter rice with mixed mushroom

It was suggested that we try the Shoyu Truffle Butter rice with mixed mushroom, soy sauce & truffle butter. The rice is cooked per order in a cedar box and I was anxious to taste it. This was different for me, I was not use to eating the rice at the end of a meal. Rice by itself is very filling and to wait until the end to have the rice is a new and interesting concept for most Americans. I have to tell you my friends, I loved it.

Red miso soup with mushroom aWe ended our meal slightly nontraditional for me, instead of dessert and coffee we had a red miso soup with mushroom and tofu topped with a umami foam. I have to admit the presentation looked like a cup of cappuccino so it was a little weird. If you are a creature of visual presentation and prefer your soup in a bowl then you might be somewhat turned off. As for me I base my decisions on taste, and that is what this entire evening was for me, taking risks and trying new things. I loved it, the tofu was delicious and being in a cup was not a deterrence for me.
In Japanese tradition the evening ended as it began with Sake…but not just any Sake DSC00958the “creme de sole”…The Japanese rendition of an after dinner cognac…it warmed my body as the warm sake at the beginning had warmed me.
Hamptons MouthPiece readers, as you can see I enjoyed my Sen NYC dining experience and I recommend this place the next time you visit the city or if you live there. They will be looking to add some entertainment to the place, I personally think that would be a really nice touch. The restaurant is moderately priced, they are located at 12 west 21st Street, between 5 & 6th avenues. I would suggest calling for reservations.
Don’t forget to visit their Sag Harbor location next time you are in Hamptons..As always Hamptons MouthPiece keeping you in the know!!!!!

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A Delightful Lunch at Bobby Van’s Grill in NYC

Rockefeller Center 2012Greetings Hamptons MouthPiece Readers….Earlier this week my lovely daughter and I drove into Manhattan, saw the tree at Rockefeller Center and had lunch at Bobby Van’s…we were anxious to visit because we enjoyed the food at the Bridgehampton location. The traffic was horrible going into the city but 3 hours later we arrived and parked on the East side and walked over to the West Side. We arrived around 130pm and the place was fully occupied with a lunch crowd. Everyone was smartly dressed in business attire and although every seat in the restaurant was occupied the acoustics in the restaurant were not so over-whelming. It felt private and you were able to hold a conversation within your party.
Dani LeggardWe checked our coats which was very nice to not be tied down to big bulky coats at the table, and we were seated immediately even though we were nearly an hour late from our reserved time. Our waiter Mike introduced himself and asked for our drink order, Dani settled for water and I ordered my usual Seltzer with a splash of cranberry and lime. Soon after bread was delivered, a nice variety, but I wish it was warm, however had it been I would have devoured it so maybe that was a blessing for my waist side.

Lump crab cake.Bobby VansWe placed our orders and I chose to start with an appetizer…I ordered the lump crab cake. It was delectable and melted in my mouth. It made me excited about the next dish. Dani decided not to have an appetizer since she was having a very heavy lunch she wanted to savor her taste buds for her meal.

It was time for our main dish, I chose to order the Lemon & Pepper Shrimp and Danielle ordered the Petite Lemon Pepper shrimpFilet Mignon, each dish came with a side order of hash browns. My dish was pleasantly delicious although the first bite was a bit over-whelming with the zest of the lemon but after that I really enjoyed the meal and cleared the plate.

Danielle loved her steak, it was juicy & succulent, melted in your mouth. The dipping sauce on the side was ridiculously amazing and the hash browns just completed the meal. The petite size was a perfect serving size for her.Petite Filet MignonWe both cleared our plates and decided to complete our dining experience we needed desert. Mike our waiter came over and we asked him for some recommendations we completely appreciated his honesty and his recommendations were right on target. Danielle ordered the Creme Brûlée and I ordered the Chocolate Truffle Cake with Homemade Whipped Creme e. OMG….DELICIOUS!!!!

Overall we had a pleasant dining experience. The place was lively, the service was wonderful, the food was amazing. I found the place to be a perfect choice for groups because they seem to specialize in group style portions; we saw many tables sharing a meal. Next time I am NYC I plan on visiting in the evening to check out the bar scene because I bet that is awesome. This is a restaurant to add to your list of NYC places to visit, especially if you are in the mood for steak.Creme Brûlée

Bobby Van’s Grill will be open for New Year’s Eve offering a premier of traditional American Grill fare, classics steakhouse favorites, fresh seafood and wood-fired pizza. Bobby Van’s is at 135 west 50th Street (bet: 6 &7th ave ) Price is expensive, but worth it. I said today I would rather spend $150 and enjoy my meal than $30 and walk away feel incomplete….
If you are in the Hamptons be sure to stop by their Hamptons place on Main Street in Bridgehampton, NY

As Always Hamptons MouthPiece keeping you in the know!!!!

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