Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cafe Biba, Brooklyn

Cafe Biba is situated near the beautiful East River park of Williamsburg. Views of the sparkling East river through the windows are part of the menu and it's location in one of the most exciting neighborhoods of Brooklyn, it's charm.  In spite of it's proximity to commercially busy streets during rush hours, one can  still enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a dash of solitude within its confines. 

I wanted to show my mother, who was visiting us from India, this part of town. After a long walk on the  streets thriving with people we decided to finish our afternoon with a cup of coffee before heading back to Queens. Our barista was a Mr. Jeremy with whom we had a long conversation about India and his travels in the Northern parts. He'd been rechristened as Jai Ram ji by the locals in the villages he'd lived in and visited and couldn't wait to visit India again. 

Address: 101 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn. NY

Monday, 3 November 2014

Paolo Scavino 'Sorriso' 2013

Paolo Scavino's 'Sorriso' blew my socks off! It overtook my dinner at Avoce, surpassing everything I had eaten at the table except for dessert, a small plate of zeppoli accompanied by a light toffee sauce.

Paolo Scavino is a winery in the Barolo region. It was founded in 1921 in Castiglione Falletto by Lorenzo Scavino and his son Paolo. Farming has always been a family tradition and passion with Enrico Scavino, who together with daughters Enrica and Elisa (fourth generation) run the family Estate. Since 2000, the Langhe D.O.C. Sorriso, has remained as a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Viognier, vinified and aged in stainless steel.
Viognier is a finicky grape and can show the characteristics of a flat tire unless the skills of a highly skilled winemaker are used. In the 'Sorriso' 2013 blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, all were soft but well balanced on the palate. There was a slight hint of effervescence, which could've been the result of the vintage being young or from being leftover from the primary fermentation.  Whatever the reason, I enjoyed the bubbles as this made the wine alive. With a clean acidity towards the end and a long finish the experience was nothing but refreshing, complimenting my main course of seared tuna well. 

Wine: Paolo Scavino, 'Sorriso' 2013
Price: $ 16.00 (Average) 
Blend: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Origin: Italy

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Chateau La Barotte, Reserve 2010

The Chateau La Barotte has been one of the best finds of 2014 and I fervently hope that a case of this wine materializes out of thin air and into my apartment. (I have been devouring the Percy Jackson & the Olympians voraciously over the past few days, with gods, demi gods and objects appearing in and out of thin air all too frequently). 

The Chateau has been owned by the Guerin Family for 3 generations. In 1930 Rene Guiron bought the castle with it's 4.5 hectares of vineyards and 1.5 hectares  of land with an AOC label. Since then necessary improvements have been added to the wine storehouse,to the equipment and to the methods of cultivation in order to make the farm into a modern wine producing Chateau. The Chateau La Barotte is located in the commune of Saint Andew de Cuzbac, 15 miles away from the city of Bordeaux, 12 miles away from Libourne and 18 miles away from the commune of Blaye. The 20 year old vines benefit from excellent sun exposure and the constant attention of Michel and Stephane Guiron.

Tasting notes: The 2010 Brodeaux from Chateau La Barotte is a beautiful, well balanced wine comprising of the traditional Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

The wine is a dark ruby red with lighter crimson tints. The nose brims over with dark fruits like blackberries, black cherries, licorice with hints of red fruit; crushed strawberries, currants. This is a surprisingly elegant wine that can compliment meats like venison, goat, lamb and chicken with its suppleness and hints of tartness complimented by it's high but well rounded acidity. The tannins are ripe and the finish is quite long. An absolutely good find, a wine from a lesser known chateau, where some of the best known bargains in terms of quality and price are to be found.

Chateau La Barotte
Bordeaux 2010
Merlot:  70%
Cabernet Sauvignon:   16.5%
Cabernet Franc:   13.5%
Price:  $ 9.99