Archive for March, 2010

It’s about that time!- Tara Carney

Friday, March 19th, 2010

It’s not yet official, but spring is in the air in NYC and people are filling up the sidewalk  tables outside of Maslow6 and all along West Broadway. It’s that time of year when cold wine is on the mind. A cool crisp glass of Sancerre would go perfectly with that goat cheese salad you are beginning to crave. Or how about some rose?

The Ameztoi Txakolina (sounds like chocolina) Rose has arrived at our shop for the taking. It’s a Basque wine made mostly from the indigenous Hondarribi Zurri grape. What is so unique about this wine is the spritzy lemon-lime zest you get that pops when you open the bottle. On the palate it has a burst of strawberries, high acidity, and citrus. Although you will expect a little sugar, it is surprisingly dry. The Basque region has a tremendous influence from the Atlantic ocean, which makes this wine a perfect match for seafood. I’m thinking about oysters right now!

ameztoiRoseA couple of new restaurants opened in our neighborhood, which are BYOB. Exciting! Come by our store and we can help you choose a bottle.

Composed in the Austrian Tradition

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Known more for its famous composers, (Mozart, Schubert, and Haydn come to mind) few people know that Austria boasts over 4,000 years of winemaking history and has a rich tradition of delivering complex flavors for even the most discerning palette.

That road, however, is not easily traveled, and Austria nearly fell off the wine producing stage in 1985, when it was discovered it had participated in what is historically known as the “anti-freeze” incident.  That incident, which involved adding diethylene glycol for flavoring purposes, nearly crushed an industry that included some of the finest winemakers in Europe.

Yet the incident, while tragic, has assisted in the re-development of a wine industry with the strictest of standards and additionally facilitated forward thinking winemakers that utilize both organic and biodynamic growing processes.  The modern result is a region producing quality product for all palettes, and doing so in an environmentally conscious way that is beginning to pay dividends in both cost and quality.

It was under this pretext that a diverse group of fifteen wine aficionados braved the sleeting weather to visit Maslow6, Manhattan’s foremost wine destination and purveyor of the world’s finest wines.

The guest of honor was host Monica Caha, Austria’s top wine expert.  Monica imparted her deep knowledge and pride on Austria’s centuries old tradition, featuring not only a taste of it’s famous Gruner Veltliner grape, but a sampling of lesser known full bodied red wines one would not necessarily expect from the region of over 50,000 hectares of vineyard.

The education, tasting, and conversation resulted in a wonderful evening full of surprises and joyful ambiance.  With so many unique perspectives, it certainly set the stage for the many future events Maslow6 has in its cask.

Zierfandler by Tara Carney

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Hoh LabelI read somewhere that there are two regions in the world that describe their wine as, “The Wine of Kings and the King of Wines”, those being the Tokaj region of Hungary, and of course, the Barolo region in Piemonte, Italy. I would like to announce to the world that there is indeed a third wine that must not fall under the radar.

The Zierfandler grape dates back to the Hapsburg Empire in Austria and was the favorite wine of the emperors. A white grape indigenous to the Thermenregion, it turns a light red where the sun hits, causing high sugar content while ripening, and on the shady side develops into a golden yellow, maintaining its crisp acidity. Resulting in an extremely dynamic grape with the ability to age for a long time .

I fell in love at first taste with the Stadlmann ‘Mandel-Hoh’ Zierfandler 2006 during the Austrian seminar here at Maslow6, conducted by Monika Caha, MW. On the nose it is full of exotic fruits, quince, honey, and earthy minerals. On the palate it is rich and full-bodied, with high acidity and a touch of sweetness; full of character and spice. Caha had informed us that this was a ‘wine geek’ wine, which made me hopeful for my future.

The Zierfandler grape is responsible for how California Zinfandel conceived its name. Somewhere along the way in 1820, a shipment was made to Long Island, mistaken identity occurred at a world fair, mix that with the inability of Americans to pronounce it, and the  Zinfandel name was born. However, they are completely unrelated. Austria is making a much deserved comeback after the scare of the 1980’s, when it was discovered that a few producers were adding antifreeze agents to enhance body and sweetness to their wines, wiping them completely off the market for a while.

I asked around searching to find other Zierfandler lovers who would share my crush-worthy feelings for it, but it was a challenge for me to find people who had actually heard of it at all. Here’s to hoping that this wine will be discovered, consumed, and appreciated by more wine lovers everywhere.