Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 935 : Brooklyn Winery

Location : 213 North 8th Street, Williamsburg, NYC.

Brooklyn Winery is a boutique winery that crafts small production wines utilizing local and national grape varietals. The winemaker, Conor McCormack, carefully selects grapes and specific varietals that will allow him to showcase the nuances of distinct wine growing regions' terroir -- whether its the rustic wind-swept breezes of the North Fork's Merlot or the bold big warmth of an Old Vine Zin from Lodi, California or perhaps its the classic Napa Cab, to name a few. He truly likes to let the fruit speak for itself and give you the feeling that you are instantaneously transported to the wine's grape growing region.

Truly a 21st century winery -- the winemaker sometimes crafts only four to five kegs (yes I did just say kegs) of an experimental wine. McCormack even crafted three different styles of Chardonnay to display to his customers that Chardonnays were not all about oak. Oh and let me not forget to tell you folks that there is a wine growler program, the first of its kind in the city. Brooklyn Winery is about play and experimentation, about expanding your wine horizons, trying something new and truly enjoying a glass of wine.

This past Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of sitting down to sample their three newly released red wines for the Fall and Winter season and with each of those wines, we worked on creating a pairing that we created that third moment -- what one wants to achieve in pairing -- where you take two distinctly separate yet truly fabulous moments (a wine and a cheese) and combine them to create a new and totally remarkable third taste sensation.

Pairing Number #1 : North Fork Blend -- 81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc grown at Sherwood House Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island. Rustic and earthy yet light and flavorful, this wine is full of round red fruit nuances yet with faintly spicy notes. Light in body, but bold in flavor, Brooklyn Winery's North Fork blend takes the essence of the Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes and delivers us a lovely wine to enjoy.

To go with this wine, we choose Twig Farm's Goat Milk Tomme, an aged raw goat's milk cheese from West Cornwall, Vermont. This semi-firm cheese is bright ivory white on the interior with a darker grey natural exterior rind. Milky, grassy, with hints of citrus along with a rustic farmsteady, mushroomy, earthy bent. Light in body, yet bold in flavor just like our wine.

Pairing Number # 2 : Old Vine Zinfandel -- 93% Zinfandel, 7% Petite Syrah hailing from Lodi, California. Made with grapes from 50 year old vines, and aged fifteen months in 20% new American Oak, 20% new French Oak, and 60% Neutral Oak. This is wine is big and luscious with a fantastic smoothness, full of dark cherry and black currant notes with hints of an earthy black peppery finish. Definitely tannin forward, this wine will make you want to pause and enjoy -- sensual and round in all the right sort of ways.

To go with this wine, we choose Bonnieville Farm's Mossend Blue from South Albany, Vermont. An aged sheep's milk blue modeled on the classic French Pyrenees style blue -- dense yet crumbly, savory yet sweet, earthy and rustic with a fantastic farmsteady piquance. Sensually spicy with a round depth, the spice in this cheese will find its home with the dark red berry notes in the Old Vine Zin.

Pairing Number # 3 : Cabernet Sauvignon -- A classic Napa Valley Cab aged for 22 months in 20% new American Oak and 80 % Neutral Oak. A balanced and smooth deep dark red full of sensual roundness, hints of blackberry, and toasty oak moments, this wine is all elegance and warmth.

To go with this wine, we choose one of my absolute favorite cheeses, Tarentaise. Crafted by both Thistle Hill Farm and Spring Brook Farm, Tarentaise is a raw Jersey cow milk washed rind, cook curd aged cheese. Modeled on the classic French Alpine style cheeses like Abondance, Tarentaise is nutty, buttery, butterscotchy, caramelly, rustic, earthy and grassy.

Brooklyn Winery currently has a variety of smaller production wines on tap and a few whites available in bottles. Their wine bar on North 8th Street in Williamsburg offers a selection of their wines and is definitely worth a trip.

Brooklyn Winery
213 North 8th

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