Somehow the last two days of my trip I ended up with only these three pictures.
What a time in New York. I realize I’m honestly sad to leave, even if also looking forward to a wealth of travel. There are so many warnings about New York to receive, even from people living there. And I got them–people told me what to be wary of–but the truth is I just felt at ease, even if also on point, and people were so generous with me. Walking through Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn locals were regularly calling out “Hello Beautiful” or “love that dress.” The people I met with engaged me simultaneously as a guest, and a friend. I left feeling as though I have a wealth of people I can’t wait to get back and have more time with. And the wine, oh the wine. And the food. Also, the food.
So many write-ups to follow. I was lucky enough to spend several hours each interviewing several people about their unique lives and roles in wine–Steve Morgan about his work as Sommelier for Tribeca Grill curating the largest wine list collection of Chateauneuf du Pape in the world, and largest selection of Zinfindel in New York; Levi Dalton whose work as Sommelier has led him from the halls of the massive hotel seen in The Shining to developing his palate at a world class cellar in Boston, expanding his experience in Miami, and finally deep into New York; and Melissa Sutherland whose political work in D.C. layered against her childhood experiences of wine as always present for a meal led her to work in wine retail and wine branding. Between the three of them I’ve spent days now thinking on the idea of how we bring less understood, but still excellent wine to an audience that might otherwise seem unprepared for it. Each of them offer unique insights into how we make wine for those outside the wine industry work; how we make it beautifully discoverable. But also how this side of the wine world, the side meant to bring wine to consumers and customers, really is a sort of supernatural demand–a kind of ‘talks to god/is a psychic’ prescience that both anticipates the customer or public demand but also helps generate it.
Over the course of the week I tasted a range of wonderful wines. Manincor’s Langrein-based rose’; a traditional Rioja that blew my mind and sat me down; the lovely Friuli white blend by Sacrisassi; a couple of other unusual Italian reds; and a desert wine from a wine maker known for making great Marsala. Finally, my trip ended with a tasting of a Friuli-inspired blend made with 30-days of skin contact and co-fermentation from Long Island’s own Channing Daughters–what an unusual, intriguing find.
In the middle of my New York write-ups I’ll also have at least one “And Now for Something Completely Different” that arose from me randomly meeting Jeff, a fiction writer that does volunteer tutoring with young people in their own writing and publishing efforts.
These will all appear over the next month intermixed with pictures from my trip to California, and then the fishing grounds of the biggest salmon run in the world–Bristol Bay, Alaska.
My trip out of New York takes me back to Arizona briefly, where I’ll pick up my car and then almost immediately drive into Santa Barbara to talk to wine makers, visit wineries, and taste both Bordeaux varieties, and Chardonnays, Rhone blends, and some other surprises. Katherine will be with me for that trip.
New York, thank you. I feel like I just left a place when I wasn’t supposed to. I look forward to being back again soon.
Thank you too to the wine selections at Tribeca Wine Merchants, Italian Wine Merchants, Astor Wine, and Vine Wine who together all kind of royally screwed my whole “no really I don’t need to buy any wine while I’m there” plan.
Thank you especially to Birk O’Halloran.
Thank you to Levi Dalton, Steve Morgan, Dan Petroski, Tara Carille, Janice Cable, Bahara Brown, Melissa Sutherland, Peter Liem, Christopher Tracy, Rocco Spagnardi and Brooklynguy.
Love to Jen Chapis, and Jordan Jenkins. What a wonderful break in the midst of this rush of discovery to have time with longer term friends.
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