Tagged "wine"

The Best Thing I Drank All Week

Posted by Pat Bradley on

Okay, so I am borrowing from Zagat's "The Best Thing" for the title of my latest post--but it truly was the best thing I drank all week (or perhaps in two weeks)...



With all the recent buzz surrounding the newly-opened Piora, I thought it might be worth my while to pop in and give the place a try. My first visit was last week, when I was placed in charge of organizing some early birthday cocktails for a fellow colleague; I recommended Piora to which he readily and most eagerly agreed upon. Being the host, I simply could not arrive late and--alas--was the first to arrive for some time. Being that it would be my first meal of the day (this blogger likes to work at night), I was feeling somewhat "brunchy" and decided to begin with a cup of earl grey and a glass of champagne. (Piora does not serve tea, but the bartender was happy to acquiesce; how he procured my tea, I do not know.)

At first sip, the champagne was the best I'd ever tasted (even better than the Dom I'd tasted earlier this year). As friends and associates began to trickle in, we began tasting--one by one--nearly every cocktail on the menu. In my opinion, the winner was the "wear and tear" with rye, Aperol, chartreuse, vermouth and bitters. I ordered it for all the late-comers.

Finding myself with a free afternoon this week, I decided to make another trip to Piora for some more of that delectable champagne... Piora's "house" champagne is a non-vintage Vergnon "Conversation" grand cru champagne ($29/gl.). I'm not ashamed to say that I'd never heard of the champagne before, but I do love a good boutique wine every now and again. As I examined the bottle's labels (Shinya, the head bartender, was kind enough to allow me to snap some photos) I'd noticed that the champagne listed its disgorgement date on the rear (a recent trend in finer champagnes). More and more, it seemed like all signs were pointing to "Conversation" being quite the special bottle of wine. Perhaps you'll see me at Piora again during 'low tea.'
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I <3 Valdobbiadene

Posted by Patrick Bradley on

Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Patrick Bradley and I'm one of the (new) "house" bloggers here at De Wine Spot. I'll be posting here regularly about food, wine, restaurants "and everything else (deemed worthy) in between." I hold a Grand Cru certificate in wine studies from The Institute of Culinary Education, enjoy writing "food stories" for a variety of publications and am the author of the culinary blog, From Behind the Open Table. I hope that you'll find my stories amusing at the very least, and that your wine isn't corked. Cheers!

Since I first became a regular drinker of wine (was it seventeen?), I'd noticed that I've gone through phases of my own varietals du moment. For a while I was very into the spicy reds, then came my valpolicella phase (I still like a good ripasso), but one fondness that seems not to be losing any ardency is my fondness for bubbles. More recently, (during a brief stint working for Todd English) I discovered the crisp, flowery proseccos of the Valdobbiadene region of Italy. Earlier this year, I came across a prosecco that tasted remarkably similar to the "Valdo" prosecco we were serving at Todd English Food Hall. Upon examining the wine's rear label, its origin explained the similarities...

Curiosity piqued, I did a bit of research and discovered that Valdobbiadene proseccos were, in recent years, granted D. O. C. G. status.

... the prosecco produced in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene zone became Italy’s 44th D.O.C.G. wine. For Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the "G" of "guaranteed" is much more than a mere letter: it is the recognition for years of painstaking work in order to obtain excellent quality in every phase of production.

... making it a bit easier to rest assured when selecting this "inimitable wine." 

It is a wine you will be able to recognize "blind" once you have tasted it...

If you enjoy a sparkler that's light and flowery (any "sweetness" seems not to come from fruit or sugary tastes), you might want to give one of these D. O. C. G. wines a try. My recommendation would be to start with the "Valdo" brand (very clean and crisp), then go from there. And if you do, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!
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Calories in Wine vs Beer

Posted by Ilya Dorfman on

Calories in Wine vs Beer
Since the FDA doesn’t require nutrition facts on alcoholic beverages it’s very difficult to understand how much a drink will cost your diet plan. This is a bummer because beverage companies manipulate their marketing messages to confuse people into thinking their alcoholic beverages are better than others. We don’t believe them and neither should you.
Every drink, whether it be beer, wine or liquor is some combination of alcohol calories, sugar calories and sometimes fat calories. Armed with some 3rd grade math and a list of conversions, one can easily determine calories in beer or wine and learn that a vodka-soda doesn’t have to be the only diet drink out there.
Health Benefits of Wine and Beer
Both beer and wine have some added benefits to drinkers that many distilled alcoholic beverages do not. For instance, red wine that is high in tannin contains procyanidins which protect against heart disease. Beer is a significant source of dietary silicon which improves bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Not All Wines and Beers Have the Same Calories
Since some beer and wine have a higher alcohol percentage than others, the total calories will vary greatly. A good rule of thumb is to choose the lightest alcohol dry wine or beer in order to have the least calories. In the above graphic you can determine that IPAs have more calories than Lagers and wines with 15% ABV, such as a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, have higher calories than say a German Kabinett Riesling.
Take a closer look at the health benefits of drinking, including the actual calories in wine vs beer. You will never look at a pint glass the same again.
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The 7 Worst Wine and Food Pairings

Posted by Ilya Dorfman on

Champagne and oysters are a classic wine and food pairing. It has also been beaten into our heads that Cabernet Sauvignon and steak are inseparable like Calvin and Hobbes. However instead of giving you the best, we’re going to give you the worst wine and food pairings. Why? Sometimes learning what not to do helps more. 

Is a bad pairing really that bad? 

Certain pairings are guaranteed to give you a hangover and some pairings will make you double over with acid pain. So unless you have a lifetime supply of Tums you might want to listen up.

Certain pairings are guaranteed to give you a hangover and some pairings will make you double over with acid pain. So unless you have a lifetime supply of Tums you might want to listen up. 

Remember, a true perfect pairing is where two elements come together and create something even better.


If you’re drinking water in between each taste of food and wine, then the pairing is not working. Cut your losses and drink wine after dinner.
The Dispicable ("Greed")


You’re at a restaurant rolling on someone else’s money, or you just robbed a bank and really want to go all out and enjoy yourself. You might find yourself guilty of The Dispicable wine and food pairing. Greed is to blame; you’re trying too hard to enjoy everything all at once.


Cabernet Sauvignon & Caviar - It’s like drinking canned grape juice in a swamp.
Short Ribs & Moscato - The ribs will eviscerate the delicate flavors of Moscato.
The Mismatch ("Sloth")


This pairing happens a lot when you pick things based on what you like and don’t think about pairing together. The Mismatch wine and food pairing happens at restaurants when you order your drinks first and then your dinner. Take a little extra time to pick a good match. The wine may not be your favorite on its own but it will work better with food.


Chianti & Tuna Salad - Tuna will make Chianti taste metallic and the vinegar will bring out tannin and sour.
The Hangover Maker ("Lust")


You just took a bath and want to indulge in all of your passionate cravings. The Hangover Maker wine and food pairing happens late at night when all your defenses are down. High sugar paired with alcohol is one of the leading causes of hangovers and wine headaches.


Red Wine & Chocolate Cake - Red Wine & Chocolate Cake - Chocolate will dominate the wine and your head. Go for a tiny glass of Port and be done.
Chardonnay & Ice Cream - This pairing sounds great but it’s not worth the headache. A small glass of white dessert wine like Sauternes will do better.
The Palate Destroyer ("Wrath")


The quickest way to nuking your mouth. After a Palate Destroyer wine and food pairing, you’ll find it difficult to taste anything at all. All you need to do is turn up the volume on the 6 basic flavors of wine and food.


Syrah and Sweet & Sour Chicken - A big, juicy wine with a sauce that dominates your mouth. You might as well finish yourself off with a cup of coffee, a glass of milk and a grapefruit.
The Gut Punch ("Gluttony")


The fastest way to make you hurt with overly rich food and wine. Typically, high fat foods and high alcohol or high acid wines are to blame. Small doses of The Gut Punch taste amazing but an overdose will have you agonizing over your helpless belly.


Burgundy & Lasagna - The acidity in the cheese, tomato sauce and wine is enough to peel out the insides of your stomach.
The Overshadow ("Envy")


This may be one of the more common mistakes when pairing food and wine. The Overshadow wine and food pairing is something that great restauranteurs and sommeliers pay special attention to.


Viognier & Lemon Tart - Viognier in all its delicate floral notes will be totally overshadowed by a dessert tart.
The “I Only Drink” ("Pride")


You know the guy who only drinks Cabernet Sauvignon. Or that lady friend who prefers white wine because she swears red wine gives her a headache. The “I Only Drink…” wine and food pairing has them sized up.


Chardonnay & Chorizo - Oh, we’re having Mexican food and I want a wine? Chardonnay will taste more flat and limpid against spicy ethnic foods.
Merlot & Artichokes - I hate to break it to you but, if you love artichokes, brussel sprouts, green beans and chard, red wine is not your bag. Look into brisk white wine, sherry and sparkling wine as a new favorite.


What are you guilty of?

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