Last week I returned to New York Vintners for my second wine class, Pizza and the Wines that Love It. Here’s some information for y’all:
- Artichokes make a great pizza topping, but they’re notoriously difficult to pair wine with. Our chef recommended a Gruner Veltliner.
- A Muscadet (like Tourmaline 2007 Muscadet Sevre et Main, $15.99) is a great pairing for seafood pizzas because of the high levels of acidity.
- Thin onions and olives are okay to put on pizza raw, but otherwise you should pre-cook all toppings. If you don’t, it alters the way the crust and cheese cooks.
- My favorite pizza wine pairing was the Milliere 2008 Vaucluse (a Merlot, gasp!). It retails for $11.99. Also, I think the wine was getting to me at this point, as my tasting notes read: “Varnish and smoked summer sausage. Intense, takes me back.”
Earlier this year I attended a biodynamic and organic wines class at New York Vintners, and I was blown away. This place is great, from the friendly and knowledgeable instructors, to the diverse wine shop up front, to the modern, intimate classroom with open kitchen for chef presentations.
Basic classes run $50; for my class that included six wine tastings, three food pairings, 10% off purchases, and two hours of knowledge. Even better, Groupon occasionally features $25 classes, and at this price you definitely can’t go wrong. I bought in for the second time, and look forward to returning soon for my next class.
This was our dessert: nut-crusted, goat cheese-covered green grapes. Talk about flavor explosion!
I recently got to try Robert De Niro’s new restaurant, Locanda Verde. Anytime a restaurant has a celebrity backer I must say I’m a wee bit skeptical, but I was pleasantly pleased with this place. It’s a big Manhattan trattoria, yet somehow it feels intimate and cozy. And I had one of the best autumn meals I’ve ever had in my life, featuring Pumpkin Agnolotti with brown butter, sage and amaretti, and La Fantasia for Two (chocolate gelato, marsala gelato, tartufo di cioccolata, marsala caramel, toasted hazelnuts). I would highly recommend getting this meal (with a starter of Sheeps’ Milk Ricotta with sea salt and herbs or Blue Crab Crostino with jalepenos and tomato) before we officially make the transition to winter. Enjoy!
Last week my friend Stephanie introduced me to Trinity Place, a Financial District bar that is in, hilariously, an old bank vault. Along with our cocktails we enjoyed these tasty treats.
Mini Pigs in a Blanket.