#GGHappyHour: Weekend Tastings at Wine & Spirits

Thursday, February 20, 5-7p

Skyline Artisan White 2017
This Riesling-Sauvignon Blanc blend from winemaker Nathan Kandler is “Artisan” in every way–small production, made from grapes grown sustainably on some of the best farms in the Central Coast. Intensely fragrant, the wine offers notes of tart green apple and jasmine, buffered by finely balanced acidity and minerality. Dry, but fruit driven enough to add depth to the palate, the wine has a beautiful, focused finish. Try it with everything from Turkish to Thai food.

Vina Errazuriz Max Carmenere 2017
Founded in 1870, Vina Errazuriz was one of the first wineries to plant French grapes in the mineral-rich soils of the Aconcagua Valley. This Carmenere offers subtle notes of ripe black and red berries, roasted red peppers, rosemary, and forest soil. On the palate, the is soft and spicy, with flecks of cocoa-dusted coffee beans and balanced by elegant acidity and tannins.

Friday, February 21, 6-8p

Lejay Cassis
It all started in 1841 with Auguste-Denis Lagoute. The first liqueur-maker of Dijon, in the heart of Burgundy, was keen to invent an innovative recipe. This led him to develop the first ever Crème de Cassis, with a smooth texture and powerful aromas. Rich, velvety texture with full-bodies blackcurrants that continue to open with hints of cherry and plum, becoming more luscious with exotic zest, fruit jam notes and a final wave of crème brûlée.

Saturday, February 22, 5-7p

Julien Baillard Chablis 2016
Domaine Julien Baillard is a new company with long roots in Chablis. It’s first vintage was released in 2013, however the Baillard/Servin family has been devoted to the vine, and can trace its winemaking pedigree back to the 16th century. This 100% Chardonnay is Chablisien winemaking at it’s most classic–pale golden yellow in color with a bright apple and pear blossom notes, accented with fine minerality, exceptional balance and the slightest hint of fresh butter. An ideal partner for seafood, oysters, charcuterie, and of course, poulet roti, this steel-fermented wine also sings on its own as the perfect aperitif.

La Calera Bonarda 2016
Named for the carriages that brought settlers across the pampas centuries ago to develop the vine in Mendoza, “La Calera” is a single-vineyard Bonarda from the Maipú subregion. Medium-bodied and very approachable, the wine offers notes of ripe plum and cherry compote, savory and sweet herbs, and powdered cocoa, balanced by freshness and a long, food friendly finish. Try it with braises, mature cheeses, tapas or light appetizers.

Castello Regine Sparkling Rose NV
Bright and fresh, this is a sparkling rose made from sustainably farmed Sangiovese and Montepuliciano using the Charmat Method (the second fermentation takes place in a large closed pressure tank). It’s excellent on its own as an aperitif, with light appetizers, or dessert.

Sunday, February 23, 5-7p

Van Volxem Saar Riesling 2018
Roman Niewodniczanski, owner of Van Volxem, is not a humble man with humble ambitions. His goal is to single-handedly restore the reputation of the Saar region as the most prestigious dry white wine producing region in Germany, if not the world. By combing through piles of historical documents and public records, he discovered that the Saar possessed a potential that had remained virtually untapped since the first half of the 20th century. Since starting the winery in 2000, Roman has slowly been proving this case. His wines are stunning, demonstrating both the true passion of the winemaker and the esteem of the vineyards. This entry-level wine has a lovely mouthfeel, with a buoyant, silky texture shot through with an arrow of acidity. Subtle peach and citrus notes hover just under the surface of fresh minerals and stones.

Mike Funk#GGHappyHour: Weekend Tastings at Wine & Spirits
read more

DIY: Drink It Yourself

If a certain Staten Island groundhog is to be believed, Spring will arrive early this year. Nevertheless, lazy winter weekends are the perfect opportunity to cozy up with all sorts of projects on your to-do (or wanna-do) list. Whether Marie Kondo-ing your cabinets or trying out new recipes, DIY projects are the perfect way to beat those midwinter, cabin fever blues. Now, we know that all that tinkering can work up a thirst. Never fear, here are some ideas (and a cocktail) to whet your whistle.

Pimento Dram Liqueur

Spicy, sweet, and intense, pimento dram is made from allspice (pimento berries) and rum. Centuries ago, British colonizers coined the term “allspice” because the crushed berry combines the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Originally to add spice to rum and tiki drinks, pimento dram can be used to add depth and complexity to nearly any cocktail.

1 750 ml bottle of light rum (we like Denizen 3-year Aged Rum)
16 oz brown sugar
8 oz water

Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, crush the allspice berries to a medium-fine grind. They should look similar to coffee grounds as used in a French press.
Pour the grinds into a saucepan, then add 1 cup of the rum.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Remove the rum from the heat, and let cool only slightly.
Pour the mixture into a clean, empty 750-ml wine or liquor bottle.
Add the remaining rum to the mixture, then cover and allow to sit for about two weeks.
Filter the mixture through cheesecloth, then again through a coffee filter.
Combine the brown sugar and rum to make a simple syrup.
Add the syrup to the bottle, stir to combine, then seal and let the mixture sit for 30 days.

Falernum

Best known for its use in tropical or tiki-style cocktails, falernum is a liqueur flavored with ginger, lime, almond and baking spices. No one knows how it was invented, but the mixture dates back to 19th century Barbados.

6 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum
9 limes, zested
40 whole cloves
1.5 oz ginger, peeled and grated
2 T almonds, toasted, blanched and slivered
14 oz. rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
¼ tsp almond extract
4.5 oz fresh lime juice

Combine the rum, lime zest, cloves, ginger, and almonds in a jar and seal tightly. Allow the mixture to infuse at room temperature for 24 hours.
Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth, taking care to squeeze the solids.
Add the rich simple syrup, almond extract, and lime juice, then shake well to combine.
Use immediately or store in the refrigerator, tightly sealed, for up to 1 month.

Mr. Manager

1 oz Denizen 3-year Aged Rum
1 oz Mezcal (we suggest Del Maguey Vida or Banhez Joven)
¾ oz falernum
1⁄2 oz lime juice
¼ oz pimento dram
Lime peel, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well, and strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or other serving glass.
Cheers to a DIY job well done!

Mike FunkDIY: Drink It Yourself
read more

A Valentine Of Any Flavor

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a greeting card company holiday! Throw out those narrow definitions of who gets to be your Valentine, and choose whoever you like—including yourself. Likewise, Valentine treats don’t always have to be sweet, and we’re leaning into our salty side, too. This Valentine’s Day, we’re continuing our tradition of sourcing our collection from small, often local producers. No mass-produced chocolates in a heart-shaped box here!

For the Valentine who appreciates artistry and detail, these hand-painted chocolate roses from Maggie Louise Confections are sure to spark inspiration. Hailing from Austin, TX—considered by many to be one of Brooklyn’s unofficial sister cities—Maggie Louise Confections was founded by a New Yorker far from home, and each chocolate piece is crafted with singular care.

These Sweeter Cards dark chocolate bars are the perfect edible alternative to a greeting card. Each bar, filled with pockets of salted caramel, is made with Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients, like the cane sugar in their caramel. Small batches of caramel in copper kettles, stirred by hand, ensure the highest quality for the best expression of your sweetest feelings.

The Upper West Side’s own Treat House has stocked our shelves with their whimsical crispy rice treats! Bright pops of color bring the nostalgia, making it a perfect small gift for the Valentine you’ve known since back in the day.

Of course, we’ve also got plenty of classic Brooklyn favorites, like Fine & Raw, Eat Chic, and Raaka! Whatever flavor of feelings you indulge in this weekend—sweet, salty, and everything in between—we’re sure to have just the treats you and yours are craving. Shop our Valentine’s Day collection here!

Carla Bueno-SandersA Valentine Of Any Flavor
read more

Who Doesn’t Love a Cheesy Romance?

Romeo and Juliet, Bert and Ernie, wine and cheese — true love cannot be denied. Some pairings are just meant to be. This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re spending time with a special someone, painting the town red with the squad, or fabulously flying solo, we’ve got some ideas for wine and cheese pairings that anyone can fall in love with. Check ‘em out:

Cheese: Manchego (Sheep) & Vermont Creamery Cremont (Cow, Goat)
Red: Chateau Cambon Beaujolais 2018
White: O.P.P. Pinot Gris 2018

Why It Works: Buttery, sweet, and nutty Manchego meshes just as seamlessly seamlessly with the ripe red and black fruit flavors of this biodynamic Beaujolais from one of the region’s finest producers as it does with this pear, apple, and almond notes of the Pinot Gris.

Cheese: Drunken Goat (Goat) & L’Amuse Gouda (Cow)
Red: De Forville Barbera d’Asti “Cascina Buc” 2017
White: Aubuisieres Vouvray Cuvée de Silex 2018

Why It Works: Wine and cheese pairings are often about contrast, and the mild sweetness of the Drunken Goat contrasts with the savory flavor and the supple tannins of the Barbera d’Asti while the Gouda’s notes of burnt caramel and nuttiness snap and crackle against the red and black fruit. The Vouvray’s crisp acidity and mineral core adds lift to the creamy Drunken Goat cheese, while the tart and ripe orchard fruit adds zip to the Gouda.

Cheese: Plymouth Black Truffle Cheese (Cow)
Red: Mas Menut Priorat 2016
Sparkling: Baron Albert Champagne NV

Why It Works: The Plymouth Black Truffle cheese is luscious and mellow, yet earthy and powerful — it’s a flavor that just cries out for something bold or bubbly. The Priorat is bold, full of wild strawberries and rich soil, and the classic Champagne is vibrant and textured, the perfect match for this richly flavored cheeses.

Looking to make these cheesy dreams a romantic reality? Visit our cheese counter for a custom cheese board, or check out our easy guide and build your own with local delivery!

Mike FunkWho Doesn’t Love a Cheesy Romance?
read more

Love the One You Sip: Weekend Tastings at Wine & Spirits

Love is in the air―and the glass―this weekend at Wine & Spirits. We’ve got a lineup of tastings to swoon over.

Thursday 2/13, 5-7p
Thirsty Thursday’s for amateurs. Join us for Martini Night, featuring Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin and Dry Vermouth

Friday, 2/14: 6-8p
Who doesn’t love a cheesy romance? You’ll fall in love with tonight’s tasting: Drunken Goat & L’Amuse Gouda with De Forville Barbera d’Asti “Cascina Buc” 2017 and Aubuisieres Vouvray Cuvée de Silex 2018

Saturday, 2/15: 5-7p
Be Gin-tle with Our Hearts! Longtime staff fave Ford’s Gin will be in the house mixing up romance, London Dry style.

Sunday, 2/15: 5-7p
Dido Montsant 2017
Amor! This Spanish red is as bold as it is romantic, a testament to the power and strength of true love.

Mike FunkLove the One You Sip: Weekend Tastings at Wine & Spirits
read more

In the Spotlight: André Hueston Mack & Mouton Noir

Black History Month may be the shortest of the year, but we’re committed to celebrating the achievements of African and African-Americans tastemakers and industry shakers all the time. In the spotlight this week, sommelier, winemaker, author, and restauranteur André Hueston Mack.

Born in Trenton, NJ, Mack left a successful career in investment banking to pursue his passion for the vine. In the early 2000s, he went to work at The Palm in San Antonio Texas, his education in wine beginning in earnest on the sales floor. From the start, he loved introducing guests to lesser known regions and vineyards, sharing in their joy at discovering new flavors and tastes.

At the age of 30, he became the first African American to win the title of Best Young Sommelier in America, and in short order joined the opening team at Thomas Keller’s legendary Per Sé, which was where he met his spouse, author Phoebe Damrosch. Mack’s wine lists there garnered national attention — he was featured in Wine Spectator, The New York Times, The Huffington Post,The Wall Street Journal, and Black Enterprise.

In 2007, Mack struck out on his own with Mouton Noir Wines, a project that incorporated his love of hip-hop, street culture, and the philosophy of “wine for all.” Unique and distinctive, Mack’s wines are sourced from some Of the best vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley region, each sip showcasing the individuality of their unique terroirs. Today, he produces 30,000 cases which can be found in the restaurants and retail stores in 11 countries and 45 states, including two in New York—including Vyneyard and his latest, & Sons Hamlet.

Mack is a passionate wine educator who has led seminars and panel discussions at several food and wine gatherings including The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado and the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. He also curates wines for Club W, a wine club for a new generation of drinkers, to continue his mission of making wine more accessible.

Wanna learn more? Follow André Hueston Mack on Instagram @andrehmack, then join Wine & Spirits on February 12 for a special in-store tasting from 5pm to 7pm.

Carla Bueno-SandersIn the Spotlight: André Hueston Mack & Mouton Noir
read more

Lights, Camera, Corkscrew! Oscars Wine Pairings

Who says wine pairings are just for food? Indeed, snacks are just the beginning. From the opening credits on the bottle to the parting shot of a finishing sip, good wine tells a story and relates an experience that you, as the drinker, can connect to―just like a good movie. With Hollywood’s biggest night just a few days away, we’re pairing this year’s Best Picture Nominees with our own picks for bottles that capture the essence of these compelling tales. Join us in-store for preview tastings this weekend, or shop online for your Oscars party’s main feature. The nominees are: 

Van Volxem Saar Riesling 2018 and “Jojo Rabbit”:

This crisp white from one of Germany’s most prestigious wine regions is buoyant and refreshing, with a singular balance and acidity that is the perfect partner to Taika Waititi’s cheeky, anti-hate satire about Hitler’s terrible rise to power through the eyes of a shy 10-year-old boy.

Chateau Panchille Bordeaux Superieur Rouge 2015 and “1917”: 

Hints of blackberry, black cherry, forest floor, and smooth tannins anchor this lush red from Bordeaux, lands near the setting of Sam Mendes’ unforgettable tale about two British soldiers with an impossible mission–to carry a message from the trenches across hostile territory to stop a key British military unit from walking into a devastating trap.

Bebame El Dorado Red Blend 2015 and “Little Women”: 

This stunning blend of Cabernet Franc and Gamay from California is refreshing, subtly spicy, and so easy to drink that it’s easy to miss the fine winemaking at work. Greta Gerwig’s update of the classic tale of young women, life, love, and literature is much the same. This pairing is not to be missed. 

LAM Pinotage 2017 and “Parasite”: 

This South African is plush, fresh, and nuanced, just like this sleeper hit from Korean horror maestro Bong Joon-Ho. Each sip offers aromas of cherries, plums, and blueberries with warm spice undertones, anchored by balance and acidity that will keep you on your toes just as much as the evolving relationship between the two families at the center of this amazing film. 

Le Plan Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and “Ford v. Ferrari”:

We had no choice but to pair this bright and racy Sauvignon Blanc from Dutch race car driver-turned-winemaker Dirk Vermeersch with this gripping tale of car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles teaming up to build a unique, high-performance car for Ford that would defeat the dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans.

Cascina del Torcc Barolo 2015 and “The Irishman”:

Let’s face it, no one makes movies with scope and graceful storytelling like Martin Scorcese. Similarly, there’s no place on the planet for finely structured, intoxicatingly beautiful reds like Barolo. This mind-blowingly inexpensive red is filled with wild black fruits, notes of tar, roses, violets, cedar, tobacco. It’s the perfect partner for Frank Sheeran’s reflections on his life as a hustler and mob hitman. 

SO2 Cabernet Franc 2018 and “Joker”:

This is a stripped down, unsulphured, and unfiltered Loire Valley Cabernet Franc with intensity and verve that mirrors this Joaquin Phoenix flick about the Joker’s dark beginnings and a chain reaction of events that lead to the emergence of a supervillain. 

Dido La Universal Montsant 2017 and “Marriage Story”:

This bold Spanish red from husband-and-wife winemakers Sara Perez and Rene Barbier is a testament to love in all of its beauty and savagery. It’s irrestible, just like Noah Baumbach’s blistering, passionate look at life after ever after.

Sobon Estate Amador County Zinfandel 2018 and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”:

This certified organic Zinfandel is chock-full with notes of cranberry, black cherry, mocha and spice. There’s a lot going on here, almost as much as what’s going on in Quentin Tarantino’s star-studded tale of aging TV star Rick Dalton, his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth, and yes, Sharon Tate, struggling to find their footing in a city as rapidly changing as it is ruthless.

Mike FunkLights, Camera, Corkscrew! Oscars Wine Pairings
read more

Celebrating Black Tastemakers

We’re pleased to give a shout-out to some of our favorite vendors and tastemakers during Black history month—and all year round.

It’s Poppin’

We wrote about Smooth Pops when they debuted in our store this past summer, and they’ve been a hit ever since, selling daily even now in winter. Movitza Simmons is a New York mom who wanted wholesome summer snacks for her then-infant son. Disappointed by the preservative-loaded selection available to her, she set out to make her own. Now they make a delicious, whole-fruit treat for all ages! Just ask her son—he’s still Smooth Pops’ official taster.

Follow Smooth Pops on Instagram: @iluvsmoothpops

Vegan Vibes

If you’re a little too chilly to have a frozen treat right now, no worries. West African soups are an easy grab at Provisions! Egunsi’s vegan soups are a modern take on classic West African flavors. Founder ‘Yemisi Awosan’s hope is that not only will these soups bring her West African heritage the visibility it deserves, they’ll also inspire people to try their own hand at West African recipes.

Follow Egunsi Foods on Instagram: @egunsifoods

As for other producers in our store, we’d like to highlight Spicegrove’s spicy hibiscus drink, a mainstay in our beverage case. Its blend of spices and fruit make it as perfect for cooling off as it is for warming up, and it makes a great mixer too! As for Miss Marjorie’s plaintain chips, well, there’s never enough that can be said. Miss Marjorie’s plaintain chips—long-cut, steel drum plaintain chips—are a signature snack from the Seattle restaurant, and certainly a favorite amongst Provisions staff. We also stock fresh pecans, grown in Georgia by a grassroots organization, New Communities, that works to empower Black farmers and bring justice to the growing community.

Follow Spicegrove on Instagram: @spicegroveroselle
Follow Miss Marjorie’s on Instagram: @marjorieseattle
Read about New Communities here

To discover even more inspiring Black food personalities and emerging brands, follow @blackfoodfolks, a groundbreaking new organization founded by Colleen Vincent,
Director, Culinary Community Initiatives The James Beard Foundation @ms_collycol and noted photographer Clay Williams @ultraclay.

Carla Bueno-SandersCelebrating Black Tastemakers
read more

Chill Vibes Only: Frozen Treats with a Twist

While the record-breaking heatwave has abated, it’s still hot enough out to drive New Yorkers outside. Plenty of folks will be reveling in this weekend’s round of Summer Streets in Manhattan, or taking a good stretch with yoga in Fort Greene Park. Others might be looking to take it easier with a refreshing class at the Annex. Whether you need to cool off after a good workout or looking to chill out in the heat, we’ve got some fresh takes on classic frozen treats you’ll want to check out!

There’s no doubt that freezer pops are a summer staple, with their brightly-colored tubes cooling off kids and adults alike for generations. Those same bright colors, however, usually come from being loaded with artificial colors and stabilizers. Founded by a New York mom who wanted simple, wholesome summer treats for her six month old son, Smooth Pops bring all the nostalgia of freezer pops without all the baggage. Each small-batch variety blends whole fruit into delicious combinations full of bright flavor, and ingredients are seasonally sourced from local farmers whenever possible.

While Smooth Pops are brand new to our freezer, we’d like to shine the spotlight on another frozen treat that has been a Greene Grape mainstay since the brand’s debut in 2016. Noona’s ice cream is a uniquely Asian-American indulgence, with flavors ranging ranging from traditional black sesame to new twists like toasted rice and turmeric honeycomb. With local milk and organic ingredients, as well as non-dairy versions of some of their most popular flavors, Noona’s is truly a cut above!

Carla Bueno-SandersChill Vibes Only: Frozen Treats with a Twist
read more

Game Day Grub: Don’t Fumble That Feast!

From the most faithful sports fiend to the folks throwing together snacks with friends, it’s hard not to get swept up in the fanfare of the biggest game day in American sports. There’s something electric in the air, and there’s something on the table, too! You’ll want an epic spread to match an epic game, and our Game Day collection will make sure no one goes hungry.

Every party needs chips and dip; be the MVP when you bring Xochitl Tortilla Chips and our neighborhood-famous guacamole. Of course, this feast won’t be complete without sandwiches, and our signature sandwiches will feed both the most ravenous meat-lover and the strictest vegan. Load up on sides like pulled chicken or farro salad, too, to keep from making mid-game snack runs.

If you’re looking to bring a centerpiece to the party, swing by our cheese counter, where our expert cheesemongers will help you perfect your snacking strategy. Put together a winning cheese and charcuterie platter with their help (and don’t forget any of the accompaniments!), or order ahead and let us take care of the details.

For those doing most of their hosting from the kitchen, our whole animal butcher counter’s housemade sausages and short rib burgers will make cooking for the whole team a snap. (Don’t worry, we didn’t leave out plant-based partiers.)

We’re placing our bets, though, that party prepping might be overwhelming some folks. Local delivery is always an easy option! But our head chef, Andrew Werblin, has put together a game day catering menu guaranteed to kick things up a notch. Classics like loaded potato skins are real crowd-pleasers, and so is our elevated take on seven layer dip. Our catering team delivers beyond our local zone, so you’ll never have to worry about being too far from the end zone.

Carla Bueno-SandersGame Day Grub: Don’t Fumble That Feast!
read more