Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts


Recap: Art Strut 2015 Brought Together Soho Galleries and I Won Art!

I don't really need an excuse to wander around SoHo looking at art and drinking wine, but Art Strut 2015 gave me a reason to do just that last week.

Sponsored by lifestyle website Soho Strut, Art Strut reminded me of the once-upon-a-time community event Fashion's Night Out, but swapping fine arts for fashion and in a smaller sect of the city. My friend and I began at LUMAS (362 West Broadway), where we were greeted with refreshingly chilled white wine and a rocking performance by La La Lush. I loved the art at LUMAS because it was seemingly affordable and all pieces required no framing and were ready to hang.

LUMAS Art Gallery
LUMAS Gallery

La La Lush at LUMAS Art Gallery
La La Lush

Next stop was LIK Gallery (419 West Broadway) where we were enthralled with the travel and landscape photography of Peter Lik. I seriously wanted to head straight home, pack my bag, and grab a passport after being inspired by some of Lik's pieces. We also enjoyed the musical stylings of Jana Pelle and sipped on oaky chardonnay.

LIK Gallery SoHo
LIK Gallery

Jana Pelle at LIK Gallery SoHo
Jana Pelle

Stop number three was Martin-Lawrence Galleries (457 West Broadway) where we closed down the show--gallery hopping ended at 8--and listened to Benny Oyama sing some tunes.

Martin Lawrence Galleries
Martin Lawrence Galleries

Benny Oyama at Martin Lawrence Galleries
Benny Oyama

Then it was time to pick up our tickets in the form of limited-edition Moleskine notebooks...don't mind if I do!

Limited-edition Moleskine Art Strut Notebooks
Limited-edition Art Strut Moleskine Notebook

The party continued over at the pop-up gallery featuring local artists Barbara Thomas, Zuzanna Kozlowska, Linda Mason, Zigi Ben Haim and Laura Kaplan and live music by Cat, Cat, Cat, KT Mulholland and Lily Lane. Wine and whiskey was provided by The Handy Liquor Bar (where we also hung out at the after party).

Pop-up Art Gallery

Pop-up Art Gallery

There was also a silent auction benefitting ACE Programs for the Homeless, and I absolutely LOVE silent auctions--something about the rush, winning, and benefitting a good cause I guess.

Silent Auction (I loved the rose!)

I got in a bit of a bidding war over Rüdiger J. Vogel's Jetty, but ended up winning! I can't wait to hang it up at home and have a fun reminder of an "Awesome in New York" night.

Rüdiger J. Vogel's Jetty
Rüdiger J. Vogel's Jetty
I won the silent auction!
I won the silent auction!
Stay tuned for more Soho Strut events--on Thursday, May 14th from 7-9pm, they are hosting 'Cocktails & Conversations' at The Handy Liquor Bar. Tickets are $20 are and include a cocktail.


AWESOME DEAL: Wine and Mixology Classes at Back Label Wine Merchants

Summer is just about here and that means it's time to stop drinking alone in the doldrums of your apartment. Back Label Wine Merchants recently posted part 1 of their summer wine and mixology class schedule and at $40 a pop (you get a $20 voucher to buy anything in the store after), each one is a steal!

Here are the deets:

  • Wine 101- Nature vs. Nurture - Thursday 6/5, 7pm - 8pm
Join us for an introduction to how wine is made and why it’s so darned enjoyable. This class will cover the basics of viticulture and show how farming plays a huge role in shaping what you experience in the glass.
  • Austria 101! - Saturday 6/7, 4pm - 5pm
In a world where minerality is provocative and Rieslings are as dry as they get, join us for a tour through the great Austrian countryside and their commitment to exceptional farming and viticulture. Austrian wine specialist, Jodi Stern, will lead us on our journey and some of the greats Austria has to offer!
  • Champagne 101 in 3 Parts – Part 2 “Champagne & Cheese″ - Thursday 6/12, 7pm - 8pm
There’s nothing like bubbles and cheese especially those from Champagne and our friends at Spoonwood Cabin Farm (Jacksonville, Vermont). The great cheeses of Spoonwood Cabin Farm are tiny-production, artisanal French-style, semi-soft cheeses that aren’t readily available in this country. This class is not to be missed! Call today to sign up and reserve your seat!
  • 8 Kickass Grapes you’ve Never Heard of and Why They Matter - Saturday 6/14, 4pm - 5pm
There are so many grapes out there and so little time it feels like, at least to us.  The odds are you have actually tried some of these and wines and don’t even know it! If in fact that is not true, this is the perfect moment to come on in and start a new wine adventure. Guest Speaker – Evan Spingarn
  • True Wine Connoisseurs: Where Wine and Music Meet - Thursday 6/19, 5pm - 8pm
5 years ago Will Tell played a joke on his friend Sadat X by placing in his hands a bottle of wine instead of cognac while in the studio.  From that moment there was no turning back, the result was nearly 70 videos, a great love of wine and a lot of laughs.  Together they’ll put on a class that will not quickly be forgotten.
  • Mixology 101 - Saturday 6/21, 4pm - 5pm
Rock star bartender Robby Haynes, owner of the new and popular Chicago bar Analogue, will be here while in NYC to lead this badass class involving the dos and don’ts of mixology and what inspirations lead to world class cocktails! Robby is best known by Chicagoans as the star bartender of Wicker Park’s Violet Hour.
  • Champagne 101 in 3 Parts- Part 3 “Cote des Blancs″ - Thursday 6/26, 7pm - 8pm
The Cote des Blancs is a unique and very special place within the renowned region of Champagne. This class will cover just how special it is showcasing its soil types, climate and decadent expressions. Want to really learn about Champagne? We triple dog dare ya! Ouch.
  • Summer Single Malts - Saturday 6/28, 4pm - 5pm
Single Malt Scotch is not just for the colder months. Join us as we explore the finer and lighter side of this classic Scotch whisky!

To book a class, call (212) 229-WINE or order online at


Happy Moscato Day!

Burgers may have claimed the whole month, but today is all about Moscato, the sweet and flavorful wine we all love with a little dessert (or all on its own!).

To kick off the celebration, Gallo Family Vineyards sent me a bottle of their red Moscato, which was very exciting to me as I didn't even realize it came in any varietal besides white! It was a refreshing, easy-to-drink wine that would definitely go very well with some ice cream or cheesecake--nothing too fancy because sometimes you don't want to do any thinking when you're drinking. Am I right?

Follow Gallow Family Vineyards (@GalloFamily) on Twitter today at 7pm EST and use the hashtag #moscatoday to join the party! You can also "Moscato-fy" yourself with a quiz to determine which Moscato best fits your personality. Happy Moscato Day!


Rioja, Rioja, Rioja!

If mint juleps and margaritas aren't your thing this weekend, might we suggest some wine? Rioja to be exact. Spain's most renowned wine region is putting on a party tomorrow and you're invited!

The inaugural Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival will be held in Brooklyn at the newly opened, award-winning Weylin B. Seymour’s (formally the Williamsburgh Savings Bank) at 175 Broadway, Brooklyn, tomorrow, 5/3 from 1-6pm.

Tickets are $55, with proceeds benefiting culinary scholarships at the James Beard Foundation, and include more than 200 tastings of wines from the entire region. Over 40 top Rioja winemakers and representatives will be on hand to speak about the wines, while 25 notable US chefs, from New York restaurants and beyond, will create their interpretations of Rioja-inspired tapas. You can visit the Paella Garden, sample delicious hams at the jamón bar and savor some of Spain’s best cheeses in the cheese cave. As a plus, all ticket buyers will be entered to win a 126-bottle cellar. Ole!

Since tickets are officially sold-out, click here to sign up to volunteer and maybe they'll let you take a few sips and nibbles here and there (and after your shift!).


A Chromatic Fantastic Benefit

Last night my friend Christine and I attended Publicolor's annual Stir, Splatter + Roll benefit at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School and were seeing in technicolor by the time we painted our way home. The event was well attended by renowned designers, architects, and artists, most of whom were wearing uber cheerful and bright clothing representing the entire color wheel.

Publicolor is a youth development not-for-profit that has a multi-day multi-year program continuum that uniquely engages disaffected students in their education. The annual benefit sought to raise money to fund programs that empower students through commercial painting and an applied learning model to transform their institutional-looking schools into warm, welcoming student-centric environments. They also offer programs to involve the students in planning and preparing for college and career, while teaching strong and transferable work habits. Publicolor students are almost always the first in their families to go to college.

Event guests were invited to don Tyvek jumpsuits and try their hand at painting tote bags inspired by various designers. I spied Simon Doonan chatting it up with clothing designer Nicole Miller and briefly spoke with artists Rashid Johnson about his yellow palm tree design.

Simon Doonan with Nicole Miller at her table

The event also featured a silent auction of more durable canvas tote bags decorated by huge names in the fashion and design world. I particularly loved the ones by Narciso Rodriguez, Betsy Johnson, and Paula Bell (so much so that I bid on that one!).
Silent auction table
Betsy Johnson's tote
Paula Bell's tote

Catering was by David Ziff Cooking and was superb. There were more choices of passed hors d'oeuvres than I've ever seen, including tiny Texas-style BBQ sandwiches, zucchini wrapped shrimp, vegetable sushi, cumin chicken empanadas, tuna tartare on taro chips, and macadamia nut chicken chicken and grape skewers (sorry for the blurriness in some of the photos!).

As for beverages, my newly discovered palate (or palette if you will...) for whiskey was satisfied by Johnnie Walker Black and Macallan 12. Panther Creek Winery was also sampling their 2009 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, which interestingly tasted like brown sugar. Yum!

Unfortunately we didn't stay for the dinner/awards portion of the night, but the sneak peek of the decked out gymnasium looked super colorful and fun. Thanks for having us!

Christine and I in our colorful garb

You can check out more about Publicolor and their mission by visiting their website.


Pottery Barn Turns Art Gallery

Art gallery shows can always be fun (hello free wine!), but I was intrigued by this particular event because it's hosted not by Gagosian Gallery or David Zwirner, but Pottery Barn!

Join Pottery Barn on 59th and Lexington on Saturday April 26th from 1-3 pm for schmoozing and browsing photography by Nichole Robertson. Sip free wine and take home a pillow or two if you feel so inclined. To RSVP, click here for your free tickets.


AWESOME DEAL: $35 Dinner for 2 at Bear

If you're looking for an amazing dinner at an amazing price tonight, look no further than Bear in Astoria. In celebration of the blog We Heart Astoria's 4th anniversary, the sibling run restaurant is offering a special deal on dinner for two for $35, including 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 1 dessert.

This offer is available to the first 20 people who print out this flyer and bring it in before May 22. Bear is cash only and offers wines by the bottle starting at $20 (talk about an affordable night out!).


Welcoming a New Bocca Di Bacco

On Tuesday I was invited to the grand opening party of Bocca Di Bacco's fourth location in Chelsea, in the old Il Bastardo space (191 7th Avenue). The restaurant is wide open and full of light, and definitely ready to party.

From the elaborate black crystal chandeliers to the rich wood ceiling beams and the pink banquettes to the exposed brick, the main dining room displays soothing luxury with a flirty urban opulence. The space is big enough that the restaurant plans to host corporate events and weddings.

We sampled one of the party's signature drinks, The Butterfly, with fig vodka, Champagne and raspberries. It was a bit on the sweet side, but would be a great brunch drink. Speaking of brunch, Executive Chef Kristin Sollenne assured us that Bocca Di Bacco will be keeping the tradition of the raucous brunch previously promoted by Il Bastardo.

As for the rest of the menu, this location will feature about 300 wines, including wines not usually available by the glass since the bar will be equipped with a high-tech Enomatic wine dispenser that keeps bottles fresh after being opened.

All of the food coming out of the kitchen smelled great, but some of the party guests were acting a little vulture-ish and so we didn't get to taste much. However, what we did taste--the mushroom and crab cake sticks, the mushroom and truffle flatbread and the risotto balls--were delicious.

The restaurant is officially open as of yesterday so check it out (I'm definitely curious about the brunch!) and let us know what you think.

Il Bastardo on Urbanspoon


Sonoma in NYC

Last night I was invited to taste the best Sonoma, California has to offer at the Taste of Sonoma: On Tour event at City Winery, featuring more than 100 wines from 50 wineries throughout the region.

Wine glasses waiting to be filled
Having taken a trip to that region last year, I was really excited to see if there was anything I recognized and remembered. Adjacent to Napa Valley, Sonoma is known for full bodied Cabernet Sauvignons and rich Zinfandels as well as fruity Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays and sparkling wines.

The food at the event featured cheese heavy passed hors d'oeuvres (I loved the carrot and ricotta crostini) and meat and cheese platters from Murray's Cheese.

I was happy to recognize some of my favorite Zinfandels from wineries I visited last year (Sbragia overlooking Lake Sonoma and Dry Creek Vineyards) as well as some new ones (Fritz was amazing).

As far as whites go, we liked the stainless steel-aged Chardonnay from Rodney Strong as well as the Wedding Cuvee from Iron Horse Vineyards. Francis Ford Coppola Winery, another one I visited, sampled both their Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (YUM!) and their 2012 Director's Cut Pinot Noir. The most-interesting-wine-of-the-night award went to the 2009 Baker Lane Estate Vineyard Syrah, which we tasted against the same wine in 2011. The gal pouring told us that these wines are almost strong enough that they don't even need food, "meat and wine in a bottle," she said. And we agreed in the best way possible!