pumpktoberfest #43 -
treat yoself.

spice up yer nuts.

pumpktoberfest 2010!

#195 - links &
drinks 2011.

Entries in wine (4)


nosh nook #169 - thursday, november 5, 2009

7-eleven is getting into the value wine business (link)
11.4.09 - msnbc - via a.p.

about a year back, they put a 7-eleven amongst all the locally-owned bodegas & delis in my neighborhood. since there are enough bodegas as it is in nyc, there aren't that many 7-elevens round these parts. i have to admit that since they're such a rare bird, when the one in my hood initially opened, i was pretty excited about the opportunity for late-night 72 oz mountain dew slurpies & questionable crispy tubes filled with meats & veggies & cheeses and heated on a wheel. if nothing, 7-eleven at least fills my needs for 3am scratch tickets, babe mags & run-of-the-mill beer.

now they're taking it to the next level by adding store brand value wine to the mix. they already have a few $10 wines for sale, but according to msnbc, 7-elevens in the u.s. & japan will soon start selling wines "under the yosemite road label...the california wines, a chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, will retail for about $3.99." that's slightly higher than trader joe's wine, but trader joe's ain't 24-7, yo. i mean, it's no wine in a can, but i haven't been making enough post-midnight wine impulse buys these days, so it'll at least help up that practice a bit.

i'm sure the wines taste WICKED AWESOME. msnbc notes that "the chardonnay is described as zesty with notes of apricot, peach and honey, and the cab as full-bodied with 'juicy plum overtones.'" how fruity! the description of the cab makes it sound like something from the rolling hills of boone's farm! i haven't had that stuff since some of my more shameful nights in college! with my 35th birthday less than two weeks away, it's prolly bout time i relive my college days anyhow. i'm pretty sure that once i hit 35 & officially enter that solidly non-college 35-44 demographic, i won't be allowed to have such collegial no-pants shenanigans without feelings of shame. hopefully 7-eleven gets their bargain wine in stores before that happens.


#127 - i ♥ contras.

hey nicaragua! happy friggin independence day! you've been independent for 188 years now! it's no 233 years, but well done nonetheless. back in the early 1800s, when you finally told the mexicans to take a hike, you were but a tiny central american country roughly the size of new mexico, a country that had endured countless years of rule by outside influences, a nation just hoping for a brighter future. these days things aren't all that much different, but it's cool. take your time developing. managua may have been destroyed in a day, but rome wasn't built in one.

sorry about that thing back in june where we stopped giving you $60 million in aid. you've got a $15 billion GDP as it is, so we figured you wouldn't miss it. i don't know if you heard, but our financial system's a little effed up these days, so whereas we here in america are more than willing to help you out, we could really use that $60 million. after all, alabama needs a bridge. i know that things have been sort of rocky between us in the past, but we promise that once we get back on our feet & decide to give you money again, things will be different. we sort of had to stop giving you money though. a marxist guerilla president? really? the marxist part is intriguing, but the guerilla part? we couldn't have our president palling around with terrorists. you know? don't make us send in the mighty contra commandos in the interest of fomenting. obama is all about change, mr ortega.

now that i think about it, i can't believe they haven't made contra into a movie yet. don't agree with me? go play the game for ten minutes & come back to me with a new answer, please. actually, i have to be honest with you. i like the game a hella lot, but i don't know how i'd feel about a movie adaptation, so if you're pro-contra movie, you probably shouldn't look to me to be your leader. you should look to this guy. he's got a petition signed by 22,000 people & is hoping that they make it with arnie & sly in the starring roles. since schwarzenegger's almost done being the governator & sly's back in shape, i say go for it. get michael bay to direct & blow shit up!

in celebration of the contras, today, indie darlings vampire weekend announced that their second album is coming out...four months from now...like in a whole different year. the name? contra. the concept? ten songs of twee pop with a closing song called "i think ur a contra." the album features a girl in a polo shirt on the front cover, so you can probably expect an album of songs you can wear a collared shirt to, something you can play over & over again at your frat house next semester. i kid though. i'm actually interested in hearing it. i just have a snarky reputation to uphold.

#127 - i ♥ contras.
snack: viveli happy snack bag o' snacks
drink: nieto senetiner 2006 malbec

in honor of our friends who exist below us, i decided to have myself a little south central fiesta. earlier this summer, amy, the bro's aforementioned girlfriend, went on a little vacay down nicaragua way & when she returned, the bro was all "amy brought you back a treat." when he told me that, it made me so happy that i can only explain it in this way...a few years back, one of my ex-girlfriends traveled to italy & visited vatican city. whilst there, she picked up a set of rosary beads blessed by the pope himself & brought them home for my mom, who's still a devoted roman catholic (but not in some sort of creepy way). it was a totally unexpected gesture & i'm a big fan of those. amy's gift turned out to be a happy snack bag o' snacks from viveli, a company based in nicaragua.

it comes in a neat lil' yellow mesh bag that's stylishly tied with a matching yellow bow. tastefully done. inside, there are a total of thirty-two wafer rolls. half of them are chocolate & come in blue two packs with a smiling yellow fish on the front. fish love chocolate. the other half are four packs with chocolate (again?), fresca, limon & vainilla flavors. i'm not sure what "vainilla" is, but i bet warren beatty would like it. amy picked up a bag for herself as well & warned me ahead of time that some of them might be stale. luckily, i didn't detect that much staleness. amongst the non-chocolate flavors, i prefer the limon. the vainilla's a close second, but true to its name, its showy-ass flavor lingered in my mouth for quite some time after.

for my beverage, i went classy with a bottle of nieto senetiner 2006 malbec that i took home as part of my bountiful snack party doggie bag this past saturday. it's made by an argentinian company, so i'm going to act all retroactive & consider it my two-month, six-day late tribute to argentine independence day. a bottle goes for under $20 & as far as i could tell, it was well worth it. if i was independent myself & bought my own bottles of wine, i'd pay up to $21 for a bottle of this stuff.

since it's a malbec, it has a really dark red color to it. after years where i shunned red wine, i can say that i'm finally more of a fan of red wine than i am of white wine. so yeah...this one's dark. i tend to characterize dark wines as extremely rich & often harsh, but this one was rather smooth. according to their website, it spent "a year in french oak barrels," which sounds like it's probably a good thing to do to wine. i finished it over the course of three nights this past week & can safely say that if you drink dark red wine every night for three nights in a row, you definitely notice it in the mornings. since i'm a gentleman, i'm not going to say how you'll notice, but i will say that you'll be quite surprised.


nosh nook #110 - friday, august 14, 2009

times company creating a wine club (link)
08.13.09 - the ny times

if we learned anything from the final season of the wire, it's that it's a hard knock life out there for newspapers. it's damn near impossible to get kids these days, with their blips & their bleeps to read a magazine let alone read a newspaper. heck, even i, in my mid-thirties, use the ny times' iphone app. i download my content for free in the morn & evening, read it on the subway home & ignore the ads at the bottom. plus, no ink on my hands. i hope they're generating some revenue from it, because it's a complete win-win for me. in fact, i can't even think of the last time i bought a physical copy of a newspaper & i wasn't in an airport.

um...so as the um, ny times reports, the ny times company announced yesterday that they're starting a money-making venture--the new york times wine club. members of the club will get "a selection of wines at two price levels, $90 or $180 per six-bottle shipment, and customers can choose to have wine delivered every one, two or three months." it's something that a few newspapers are already experimenting with & the ny times probably figured they have to do something fast. as the ny times notes, "revenue at the new york times company has been falling." both ad revenue & overall revenue fell during the second quarter & they've been trying to dump the boston globe (which has been destroyed as a newspaper during their ownership) for a while now.

in case you're feeling a bit weird about the fact that the times is doing an article about the times' new wine club & feel that there's something odd going on there journalistically, you don't have a thing to worry about. the ny times is serious about keeping editorial separate from money-making. take this example. the times spoke with tom carley, the times company's senior v.p. of strategic planning & learned that "the venture is run independently of the times’s food and wine editorial sections." carley even mentioned that they were keeping them apart "so there would be no conflict or appearance that our critics were selling." the times does note, however, that "excerpts from wine-related times stories run on the side of the club’s web site, nytwineclub.com, and members will receive booklets of times recipes from its archive meant to be paired with each shipment of wine." it's probably nothing to worry about. for more on the new york times & the new york times company, please visit nytimes.com.


#30 - la isla bon eatah.

as of just under two weeks ago, there's now a trader joe's in brooklyn, at the dividing line between downtown & bococa, right at the corner of court and atlantic. it's an interesting area of brooklyn.

to the south, there's red hook and its box store expansion, with ikea & in due time, a bj's wholesale club (which led to the inevitable headline "after ikea's success, red hook to get bj's") and the current filming of mtv's the real world: brooklyn.

to the east is the pending construction of the barclay's center (soon to be home to the new jersey brooklyn nets). this monstrosity (will somebody please take away frank gehry's license? i mean, really ) is part of a larger project, the atlantic yards project, which will drastically transform the intersection of two of brooklyn's largest streets--flatbush ave & atlantic ave--with the arena & towers & such.

4th ave, the street i live on, starts at the same intersection & runs six lanes all the way south through brooklyn to the bottom of the island, where it ends at the intersection of the verrazano bridge to staten island & jersey and the belt parkway, which runs along the bottom of brooklyn all the way east past jamaica bay & jfk airport into long island. i'm about 30 blocks down from the atlantic yards area & all down 4th ave to my apartment, tall apartment buildings are sprouting up thanks to rezoning fallout from the project. my landlord's putting in an 8 story one next door...& so there's now a trader joe's up the street. map here. scan around.

in my life, i've had a good deal of exposure to trader joe's. there's that one in coolidge corner that i definitely went to on a number of occasions but don't recall all that well. it's apparently one of 16 in massachusetts. then there's the union square trader joes, divided into a wine store & a grocery store because of liquor laws (i assume). i usually only go to the wine section when i need a bottle of wine for some reason & can't spend more than $3. i've gone in the grocery section twice & the cramped, crowded aisles infested with nyu students drive me into panic attack mode. i hate going into the union square trader joe's grocery store. hate it.

the other day, i paid my first visit to the brooklyn trader joe's. when you initially enter, you can't help but notice the long ass line to your right. when i returned today, it was still there. i can only assume that it's there in perpetuity. usually, their lines move fast, but it's still intimidating. on that visit i just scoped the joint out. the combination of the signage, the shelf layout, the way the store is divided up & some other factors really rubbed me the wrong way. i vowed to give it a second chance though.

#30 - la isla bon eatah.

snack: spanish olive mix
drink: garnacha de fuego 2007

overall, i know a minimal amount about wine. i usually at least have good luck at picking out a decent wine. i'm not entirely blind. as an example, i can tell the difference between trader joe's brand wine (not available in brooklyn) & well, actual wine. there's a wine store in my neighborhood, adam's wine and liquors, that is owned by a cute couple in their 50s(?). they are wonderful at suggesting wines, obviously knowledgeable & usually offering samples. it is the only place i go in brooklyn to buy real wine. they have one of those frequent buyer cards, where you get your 13th bottle of wine free.

my number came up the other day & i decided that tonight i'd try out that unlucky bottle of wine, a garnacha de fuego 2007. it's from spain. "fuego" means fire en espanol. it's pretty good & tastes a bit fruity & a bit spicy. read the wine weekly review i link to. i'm pretty sure they actually know what they're talking about.

i also decided that i'd head back to trader joe's tonight to pick up some fresh mixed olives to snack on with the wine. turns out trader joe's brooklyn doesn't have fresh mixed olives either. some girl even went & checked for me. sadly, she never returned. i can only assume she is dead. i know a lot of people, my own sister included, who swear by trader joe's, but really, i hate it. i don't care how many dang mangoes they put in their salsas.

instead, i just went a block down court street to pacific green gourmet food, where i found myself an olive bar with an entire bin devoted to "spanish olives."
there are some dark red ones with pits, some less-dark-red ones with pits, some big-ass green ones & some smaller ones with pimentos. they're in an oil with a bunch of minced garlic. during the course of writing this, i've eaten about 50 of em. they're pretty friggin' good, although during the course of writing this, i've also made my way through 250ml 300ml 350ml of the wine, so that could just be the fuego talking for my taste buds.