By: Anne "M" Raso
Yes, I survived Friday the 13th - and it was spent drinking the night away at the Around The World in 80 Sips event held in recently renovated Delano & Aldrich building on 583 Park Avenue. Despite not quite being able to sip all 80 varieties of wine offered, I did sample a few morsels of cheeses from the Artisanal Premium Cheeses Company (artisanalcheese.com) and Rick's Picks Smoked Okra and Phat Beets (rickspicksnyc.com) in between sips. If I did sample all that vino, no doubt a 911 call would have had to have been made by effervescent publicist Marybeth Bentwood of Delicious PR on my behalf!
So what did I pick as my "regular gal/non wino" award winners out of what I sampled? Well, I have to say a big HATS OFF (or should that be CORKS off) to Charles Krug/Peter Mandavi Family's Napa Valley Generations, consisting of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 9% Petite Verdot, 3% Cabernet France and 3% Syrah (suggested retail $50). My immediate thought when I drank it was, "This would have gone perfectly with the beef short ribs I had at SHO Shaun Hergatt the other night!" Yes, Generations is the perfect pairing for any rich, delectable smoked meat in my book but especially beef or game!
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the special VIP champagne tasting that proceeded the main event and fell in love with the only vintage bubbly offered, which was Ayala Millesime Vintage 1990 (retail $65-$70). Unfortunately, when I picked up the bottle to look a little closer at the label, a six foot gush suddenly arose and one of the vendors yelled, "Hey, the Yankees didn't win the world series again--yet!" I had to laugh while I blushed over the incident. Ayala boasts "no sugar added" to their products, which I guess makes celebrating with a bottle all for yourself and a loved one healthy...well, maybe not quite!
If you would like to attend the next Around The World In 80s Sips on February 1, 2010, in San Francisco, go to bottlenotes.com/80sips. Enter the coupon code FFOODIE and you will get $10 off the "early bird" ticket price, which is only $50. Early bird tickets are in limited quantities, so dedicated "wine spectators," take advantage of this offer now! It's one of the best events for trying wines from Chile, Argentina, Lebanon, New Zealand and more!
A portion of all ticket sales benefited the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending poverty through partnerships with more than 240 of the best poverty-fighting nonprofit organizations in New York City. For more information on this foundation or to donate, please visit http://www.robinhood.org