Monthly Archives: June 2010

A high tech gin and tonic for Jimmy Fallon

Dave and Nils were on Jimmy Fallon’s show this past Friday night. Jimmy does a great job of making fun of Nils’s accent.

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more about “Dave Arnold and Nils Noren make Jimmy…“, posted with vodpod


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“Intellectual sounds stupid, but you have to pay attention”

Rudi Wiest and Laura Williamson presenting "The Top Wines and Grosses Gewachs of 2008" at Rudipalooza this week.

Rudi Wiest imports some of the best German Rieslings in the world and he led a seminar at Tribeca Grill this week, where we sampled 9 different wines. 

Rudi had some great quotes throughout the seminar, including the title of this post.  It is silly to describe wines as intellectual, but this line-up was nuanced.

“If you don’t write it down, you’ve never going to be a good taster.”  It’s a good thing I keep this blog.

“Is there another grape that can do what Riesling does?”  I couldn’t agree more.

My favorite dry wine was the 2008 Rebholz Riesling Dry Grosses Gewächs, Im Sonnenschein.  Grosses Gewächs translates to “great growth” and refers to a system the Germans use to rank vineyard sites.  Im Sonnenschein is the vineyard name.  The grapes are grown in limestone soil, laden with martime fossils and the resulting wine was very different from another Rebholz we tried, where the grapes were grown on sandstone, just 200 meters away.  The Sonnenschein was round, ripe, smoky and had lots of floral, citrus and peach notes.  The acidity was the best part; it was so integrated, it had become one with the wine.

My favorite off-dry was the 2008 Reinhold Haart Reisling Spätlese, “Erste Lage”, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen.  Erste Lage translates to “top site”, similar to the idea above.  Piesporter means near the town of Piesport and Goldtröpfchen, meaning drops of gold, is the name of the vineyard.  This wine had a ton going on: flowers, black fruits, stone fruits, minerality and a finish that went on forever.  Rudi mentioned that when he has a Piesporter wine, he thinks of peach trees.  He was right again.

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Viagra threat to Champagne sales?

Decanter recently reported on the Reuters Global Luxury Summit, where Taittinger CEO Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger made several interesting comments.

The highlights:

“I am worried about pensions. I am worried about the debt of our countries. We will have less money, but we will always have the time to make love and drink Champagne, and we will do it even more.”

“Nothing is better than a glass of Champagne to help forget the stress and pressures of the modern world. We are an affordable luxury. For one hour we can behave like the Queen of England.’

He noted that sales were down for his company in 2009, but he expects a bump in 2010, citing his only competitor as Viagra.  Sadly, this point was not explained.

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Katie Lee’s summer selections

This had the potential to be a disaster, but I was pleasantly surprised by her picks.  <insert jokes about “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” here>  I’m in favor of boxed wine and we’ve featured both the Château du Champ des Treilles and the Christian Venier on our list before.

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Spring-summer cocktails in am New York

photo courtesy of am New York

Nils and Dave were featured in am New York this week.  They put together several delicious bourbon drinks and I’ll include my favorite here:

For the serious mixologist: Bourbon Pecan Sour

2 oz Maker’s Mark
1 1/2 oz pecan syrup**
1/2 oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup (optional – it will sweeten the drink considerably)
pinch of salt

** For the pecan syrup:

200 grams water
3 grams TIC Pretested Ticaloid 210S ( is a good place to find it)
130 grams pecan oil
200 grams sugar

Method for the Pecan Syrup:
Hydrate the Ticaloid 210S in the allspice-infused water with a hand blender. Add pecan oil and blend till smooth.
Add sugar and blend till smooth. This syrup can be stored until needed. It will separate over time, but can be stirred back together by hand.

Method For the Sour:
In a mixer, combine Maker’s Mark, pecan syrup, lemon juice, simple syrup if using and pinch of salt with ice. Shake, strain and serve.

If the idea of using Ticaloid in a drink is intimidating to you, come to class.

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To do in June

Take some wine classes with us!  See you there.

Green Wines Demystified.  Tuesday 6/15 6:30-8:30 pm

Wines of Napa Valley.  Tuesday 6/29 6:30-8:30 pm

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Delta does daiquiri

No, they don’t, but the margarita I ordered a few days ago was surprisingly good.

Margarita, with extra mixer and salted peanuts on my tray table. An airplane wonder, at only $7.

The cocktail featured Sauza gold and Rande Gerber’s “Midnight Bar Collection” margarita mix, bottled by Stirrings.  Gerber, a former model, is married to Cindy Crawford and runs the Midnight Oil/Gerber Group chain of bars and lounges (over 30 properties, including The Whiskey and Stone Rose Lounge in NYC).  He developed a line of cocktails for Delta in 2007.  This mixer had real lemon, lime and orange juice and was not overly sweet. 

Ted Haigh writes the original margarita recipe as this:

1 1/2 oz. blanco tequila
1 1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, strain into a large cocktail glass and rim with crusted salt. 

Haigh traces this cocktail back to 1937, noting the “Brandy Crusta begat the Sidecar Cocktail, which in turn begat the Margarita.”  Some recipes will call for lemon instead of lime juice and others will call for triple sec instead of Cointreau.  I wouldn’t recommend either of these substitutions.  Even more importantly, do not use “sour mix”; fresh citrus juice is always the way to go. 

I also checked my Grossman’s Guide and was tickled to find something I did in college in print:

“The traditional method of drinking Tequila in Mexico is a ceremony in itself.  The imbiber takes a wedge of lime or lemon, puts a pinch of salt on his thumbnail or on the back of his hand, and pours a chilled jigger of Tequila.  He then bites the lime, licks the salt, and gulps down the Tequila.”

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