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Entries in wine (5)


Why You So Winey?

For time immemorial, New York City neighborhoods have been battling it out over the rights of businesses to sell liquor vs. the local residents' quality of life concerns. Back in the day, I guarantee there was some gaggle of cockamamie Temperance chicks repeatedly flapping their gums down on the Brooklyn docks about the ills of liquor.

These days, the Lower East Side & Meatpacking Districts are constant battlegrounds between drunkard-catering businesses & puke-hating residents. OBVIOUSLY, every time another business is granted a license to sell alcohol, we all get a little bit closer to hellfire & brimstone. Enough is enough.

In Park Slope, ever since vanquishing the nuisance, bottle-poppin' club that would've been Kemistry Lounge, we've turned our attentions toward the real threat--boutique wine & spirit shops. Late last month, the State Liquor Authority refused to grant a retail liquor license to Amaro Wine & Spirits, one such business that's trying to open up in the former Lucia space on 5th Ave between 1st & Garfield. The reason for the SLA's denial? Last-minute opposition by two nearby wine stores apparently worried about competition.

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Brunch is Now Terroir-fied or Whatever

Terroir Terroir Terroir. Since around the time they opened up in the former Great Lakes space back in September of 2012, I've been by once every month or two. I was there in November for my 38th birthday and took a "Wine 101" class in February of this year. As a result, over time I've become relatively chummy with a few of the folks there.

Then, late last week when I was wondering what the fuck I was going to do on Sunday for my 39th birthday, I got an email from Terroir. They were letting me know that, starting on Sunday, they'd be doing brunch again and going forward they'd be doing so on both Saturdays and Sundays (11am-3pm). In addition to a new brunch menu, they're also now rocking a full liquor license. In short, if I was free on Sunday, I should totally come by to check it out.

The moral: Planning birthday stuff is stupid. Just let it come to you. Wu wei or some shit.

On Sunday, the lady friend and I arrived right around 2pm to a space that was relaxed but pretty much empty, not the typical Terroir setting. Apparently the place had been hopping til 1pm approached and people took off to watch the Jets lose again. I was still a bit fatigued from the previous evening’s festivities so I, for one, welcomed the relaxed atmosphere, where we were able to just chill at the bar. Thank god for football, I guess.

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I Kinda Got Schooled at Terroir

I love to drink and, when it comes to beer, I like to think that I'm somewhat of a connoisseur. I'm good at picking out beers for friends based on their preferences. I'm often able to determine the type of hops in the beer I'm drinking. I'm a WHIZ at looking down at you for drinking shit beer. Recently, I've been going to Terroir a lot more and you'd think that by frequenting a wine bar, I'd at least try out some wines & get a feel for them. Nope. They have a solid beer selection so, like an asshole, I've just stuck with beer.

This past weekend, Terroir launched a series of hour-long wine classes with different teachers that they're holding twice every Saturday for the next five weeks. The first one was on Saturday, a "Wine 101" of sorts led by the founder of Terroir and the 2012 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional, Paul Grieco. Since I don't know shit about wine and dude's apparently winning awards for his passion for wine, I made sure I was there.

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FiPS Sneak Peek: Welcome to the Terroirdome

I've always been of the belief that wine is for the snooty: "Tut tut Chaz & I tried a 2003 Pinot at the vineyards this weekend" and "Fuck merlot" & such. Though I know it's an outdated, Paul Giamatti-driven stereotype, I just can't shake the feeling that wine's a rich, haughty man’s game. That's why when I learned that Terroir, a wine bar with locales in Tribeca, the East Village & Murray Hill was moving into the space formerly occupied by my once-favorite Park Slope bar, Great Lakes (R.I.P.), I once again found myself thinking, There goes the neighborhood.

Terroir is looking to open within the next week or so, and this past Saturday I got a chance to stop by & chat with Allison Whittinghill, a Terroir veteran who will manage the front of the house for the new Park Slope locale. By the time I left, she'd managed to quell most of my initial misgivings. 

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Who Gives a Shit: Would You Drink Wine From The Gowanus Canal?

J.C. RICE / The NY Post

73 year-old Joseph Mariano once fell into the Gowanus Canal. "And I'm still here," he says of the incident. With this in mind, perhaps we can put aside our negative feelings toward the watery, toxic stinkfest and embrace Mariano's life endeavor: he produces wine from a 50-foot grapevine located only a few blocks away from the canal. 

“I have no fear about it,” he tells the NY Post.  “It has a very unique flavor.”

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