Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day The Final Touches - The Gay Gourmet!™

So the candles are lit, you've prepped everything, satin sheets are on the bed and the only thing left to think about is dessert and wine! Well, in my opinion if you follow my plan the only dessert you will need is each other.. haha but just in case I have something for you!

As for wine and champagne I went to my favorite places in the city to inquire about what they thought were good choices for this holiday and this is what they said.

First stop was Manhattan Plaza Winery..

I spoke to Stephen Wright and he said...

Rich wines like white Burgundy which are rich and creamy, red Sancerre or Cabernet Franc would be great with your decadent meal planning this Valentine's Day.

White Burgundy or Red Bordeaux is a go to wine for this holiday which can run from 20 bucks and up and probably the easiest thing to look for when walking into your wine store.

Champagne can get expensive and he suggested trying Prosecco, which is Italian Sparkling wine, which can be fruit forward and delicious but if you love you some champagne he suggested staying away from champagnes like Veuve Cliquot and Moet and trying grower wines, meaning wines that aren't company owned and you can get great bottles for as low as thirty five dollars.

Thank you Stephen & Manhattan Plaza Winery for always providing me with good liquor at a great price and great information! Pay them a visit you won't be disappointed!

(Manhattan Plaza Winery, click the link above to see their YELP! site or you can find them at 589 9th Ave NYC)

Next stop was Union Square Wines & Spirits

I've been going here since I could buy alcohol. Growing up in Manhattan I feel like this place is a staple for locals to go to get the low down on what's good and happening in the wine world!

Here, the lovely Jennifer Teubl took some time out of her day to take me through her ideas for Valentines day.

She tends to lean towards French & Italian wines when it comes to winter style foods. Things that are "big and warm!"

She Loves Rhone Style wines..something like Syrah/Grenache Blends which are usually really food friendly! A good versatile wine! Or basic Cote Du Rhone that can be as cheap as 11 bucks and delicious!

If you are lookin' to spend a little dough Chateneuf Du Pape varieties can be amazing! I was surprised to find some at USQ for as low as 35 bucks!

If you are not a red person Jennifer leans towards Muscadet (not to be confused with Muscat which is a totally different grape) which is bright & dry and can be great with seafood! This is totes her go to for this holiday!

If you're looking for Rosé (although it's not really rose season) French Rosés were both of our go tos!

Sparking Rosés can be tricky and she also suggested prosecco's or Spanish sparkling wine aka CAVA! They also come in rosé!

White Lambrusco was the most interesting of all her suggestions! Lambrusco is usually red and the one she showed me was a sparkling red wine! Not sweet, fairly dry and amazing!! Made by Lini which is a winery...Great with a good meats and cheeses and They also do a white version as well! Inexpensive and delicious folks!

Thank you SOOO much to Jennifer and my friends at Union Square Wines and Spirits! Pay them a visit if you're downtown and tell them I sent you! Give some love to Jennifer as well! She's a hottie straight boys!

(Union Square Wines & Spirits, click the link above for their site or find them at 140 4th Ave @ 13th St. NYC)

Lastly, I called on my friend David Gordon.

David is THE wine guy in NYC! He is wine director of the famous Tribeca Grill, has consulted for many restaurants, written for many magazines and his credentials are beyond amazing! This little blurb will never do him justice! Just know he is well respected when it comes to wine knowledge and is amazing at what he does. He was so nice to tell me this just for all of the link above to read more!

The first is a red wine- Georges Duboeuf Saint Amour 'Cuvee St Valentin' 2009- It is a fruity and delicious Beaujolais from the village of Saint Amour. It should be around $15-16 retail and the label has some hearts on it. 2009 is one of the greatest vintages ever for Beaujolais so it is a really good deal. The other good thing about Beaujolais is that is is a lighter style red that works with all types of foods, from barbecue and burgers to lighter roast meats and even fish.
For sparkling rose, I would suggest Scharffenberger Brut Rose from Mendocino, CA. It is under $20 retail and a nice light and fresh sparkler. There is no real value in real Rose Champagne from france as any decent one would be triple the price of the Scharffenberger and not much better. Spend the extra money on chocolate or flowers.

Thank you David for rounding off this wine discussion and for your priceless knowledge!

Well there you have it! Wine shopping for V.D.

I guess the moral of the story is don't be afraid to talk about what you want, what you are looking for or what you are making to your local wine guy/gal. And if you don't have a wine guy hopefully this little guide will help you out! Good Luck and be fearless!!

Deliciously Living,

Michael Muñoz
The Gay Gourmet™

©2011 Michael Muñoz

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