Wine Tastings in New York to Benefit City Harvest.
2005 was a year filled with exceptional wine tasting events in New York to benefit City Harvest, a charitable organization that was founded in 1981 as a food rescue program from area restaurants. On an average it distributes 53,000 pounds of food daily – and delivered more than 19 million pounds of food in 2005. It is the oldest program of its kind, and it provides meals for more than 260,000 needy New Yorkers each week.
The first event that I attended was “Summer in the City” held on a hot summer evening at Tribute, in the landmark Standard Oil Building in the Wall Street area. It was a special evening where invited guests had the opportunity to taste wine, spirits and champagne, as well as sample creations from 19 New York restaurants: @SQC, The Biltmore Room, Churrascaria Plataforma Tribeca, Counter Restaurant and Bar, Dawat, Dévi, Employees Only, Fiamma Osteria, Fleur de Sel, Francesco at Mix, Komegashi ReConstruction Cuisine, Opia Restaurant, Pearson’s BBQ, Restaurant Saul, Ribot, Suba, Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery, Victor’s Café and Zocalo, as well as meet their talented chefs.
The second event that I attended was PJ Wine’s Second Annual Spanish Wine Festival that was held at Landmark on the Park, located across from Central Park West in New York. The Universalist building built in 1897, took on a Spanish festival atmosphere as flamenco dancers in colorful costumes took to the stage accompanied by authentic Spanish guitar music. Guests tasted sherry directly from a cask, and had the opportunity to taste over 160 superb Spanish wines and Sherries. There were wines available in all price ranges, but when I have the opportunity to experience rare, old or unusual wines, I always reserve my tasting for these special wines. One excellent standout that you probably won’t see everyday was a 1947 “Viña Bosconia” from the Rioja region ($304). I also found a 1999 “L’Ermita” from Priorat, ($250) made of 100% old-vine Garnacha to be a true “wow”, as well as a 2001 “Pingus” from Ribera del Duero, ($349) which I found to be another stunner with complex, spicy, tobacco overtones.
I love Spanish cheese, and sampled some impressive cheeses including my favorite, Cabrales, a creamy intense blue-veined cheese made from a blend of cow, sheep and goat milk; a creamy Urgelia, made from cow’s milk; a dry flavorful Manchego, made form sheep’s milk from the LaMancha area; an aromatic Roncal made with sheep’s milk from the Roncal Valley in Navarra, and a delectable Murcia al Vino, a slightly salty acidic cheese with a rind that is soaked in red wine. Guests could also sample Serrano ham, and three New York restaurants provided an assortment of delicious tapas. It was indeed another special night of wine tasting which benefited a great cause.
Please visit the following websites for information on City Harvest and Wines From Spain.
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