Basque Wine Tasting in NYC

Check out this great video about a Basque wine tasting in NYC! It’s great to get out and explore new foods, cultures, tastes, and experiences – all available in this oyster we call New York. Enjoy!

3 Great Wines to Ring in Fall 2015

Harry Dalian

The goal when it comes to wine is to find distinctive and interesting bottles from places you’ve never heard of before. Having a diverse approach to wine drinking will help expand your wine knowledge, and help evolve your taste. Being able to serve wine from around the world is a great pleasure – and sharing it during New York’s beautiful fall season is something to be excited about as the warmer days cool off into the digress of winter.

Fall in the city is a great time to be outside. No one gets more excited about sweater-weather more than New Yorkers, as we can finally enjoy each other in the sun after a scorching hot, humid, and sticky summer. This fall, make it a point to enjoy the company of others and explore new parks and neighborhoods – as well as new wines everywhere you go!

Here are my top three wines to sip on this fall:

Fattoria di Fubbiano Rosso delle Colline Lucchesi. A beautiful Chianti with old-fashioned charm.

Casa Santos Lima Quinta das Amoras Vinho Regional Lisboa Tinto. Portuguese wine!

Le Fraghe Bardolino. The perfect Italian red with rosy undertones.

How to Taste Test Wine Like a Sommelier

Harry Dalian

The ability to recognize a wine by a blind taste is an extremely coveted practice and one of the most satisfying achievements of any oenophile.

Blind-Tasting is the elusive grail of the professional wine-tasting world, consisting of equal parts talent, training and luck for success.

This practice evolved from a professional need to identify fake wines as bottles did not come with a label in the old days. this type of tasting is considered to still be the best way to measure the true quality of a specific wine. The idea is that when a wine’s identity is unknown, a taster can reach an objective conclusion to the actual worth of the wine. The other type of blind-tasting is practiced by both professionals and amateurs, which is more of a social game rather than serious business.

Daniel Posner, owner of Grapes the Wine Company in White Plains, NY, says “One can follow specific steps to improve the odds of a correct guess,” in regards to blind taste-testing.

However, Sommeliers must be proficient in this skill. A variation of this theme is an important part of the exam that is administered by the Court of master Sommeliers, which is an accredited professional organization. Candidates of the Sommelier program just correctly identify at least four to six grape varieties to pass the rigorous test. The statistics of this test may be shocking, as something fewer than 10% of the candidates actually manage to pass the exam.

Raj Vaidya, head sommelier at Daniel restaurant in new York says, “You can expect certain things in a wine like Chablis—mineralogy, high acidity.” He says, if a wine seems oaky one might mistakingly think it is flawed.

Although sampling wines may seem like the best ways to become better at blind-tasting, one can follow a specific guideline f=of steps to improve the odds of a correct guess. The first step is a visual examination of the wine, something casual amateurs forget to do, as certain wines ar much lighter than others.

The second step involves tilting the glass to check the wines viscosity. A viscous wine means higher in alcohol and higher-alcohol content wines usually come from warmer climates.

Smelling and of course tasting are the third and fourth steps. The aromas will reveal almost everything you need to know to identify the wine.

Blind tasting prove that the professional version can definitely deliver an unbiased opinion as well as aid in the discovery of some very good deals. Casual blind tasting can help you remember and recognize wine sin the future, as well as potentially adding to your connoisseurship. Accurately indentifying wines in a blind tasting isn’t fully about knowledge, but a bit of beginner’s luck, too.

How To Taste Wine

Harry Dalian, SynesthesiaThere’s no doubt in my mind that if you have arrived to this site you enjoy wine. The question, however, is whether you enjoy it to the full extent you are able. Are you able to apprehend the subtleties between years, between location of the grapes, the type of wine? More than likely you have tried a few. However, I would like to put forward the idea of D. T. Suzuki, that the master is a master because he approaches his subject of mastery every time as a beginner. Therefore, no matter how experienced, you will enjoy wine more when you stick to these steps and principles, and approach it by sense alone, and not with expectation.

Let’s talk about Red Wine.

Wine Tasting: Sight and Synesthesia

The first move you’ll make will be with your main, overwhelming sense: sight.

Harry Dalian, Wine and SynesthesiaLook at the wine. To get a better view, tilt the glass to its side and observe the color. Can you see whether it changes? Is it darker in the middle? Is it lighter on the outsides? What type of a color would you describe it with? I’ll give you a few words you can consult as necessary. Ruby, Violet, Purple, Burgundy, Pink, Rose, Amber, so on.

Don’t arm yourself with terms as a means to impress, but know them so you can articulate as you see. Remember, the greatest minds, like that of Da Vinci, were not confined by the thoughts that preceded them. Da Vinci was one to experience self induced synesthesia, the cross over of senses. If you wish to express the color of the wine with a word that doesn’t exist, try it; being open to senses means not taking for granted which is which. You can hear a sight. What does it sound like?

Taste and Smell

As we discussed earlier, the more open you are to your experience, the less preconceptions you take with you to the experience, the more honestly, and accurately you will experience it. Experience your wine with a newborn mind.

When approaching taste and smell, let the color blend in to your smell. Yes, you can smell the color. The combination, or simultaneous perception will make the experience stronger and more authentic to the actual wine.

You bring nothing to your venture. When the wine is in front of you, you can behold it in the ways you are able to experience it. Try to experience the wine from each angle and see how they fit together.


Best Wine Under $15

Separating the Secrets from the Swill

Varieties of Wine, Harry DalianIn a world where wine at a low price is ever more available (not a bad thing), what can we do to distinguish between the multitude of options? In this blog, I will discuss the best options under $15, and help you separate the secrets from the swill. 

You walk into your local wine or liquor store and, as if stumbling into a guerrilla encampment, you find yourself surrounded by bottles beckoning you to take a taste via chic labeling, clever design, and well written copy. What do you do? Well, in all honesty, what I would suggest you throw a Wine tasting.

Bad Wine Tasting Party

Invite a few friends, couples, or co-workers. Ask that each party bring three bottles of wine, within a budget of $30. Make sure there is an even amount of Red and White, or rather, that reserve each tasting for one variety entirely. If there only a few people there, $30 is good mark to bring you all enough variety. If there are more, perhaps each party only need to bring one or two. You’ll actually want to have six different wines to try. But* remember you’ll need a glass for each person, so, depending on the number of people attending, you may need more than one bottle of each selection. (I would suggest this too, in case you all find one that you like!).

Secret Tip: Personally provide a bottle of more expensive wine, a selection that has been verified by some kind of connoisseur, or something simply nice, and “in a class above” the wines you are selecting now.

Wine Tasting: Finding the Best Bad Wine

red wine woman - harry dalianWhen your friends arrive, display all the bottles on a table for people to see, each person should give them each an introduction so everyone knows what they are drinking. Don’t just go ahead and pour them, though, you’ll want to make sure you keep which wine it actually is a secret. Have the bottles brought back into the kitchen, and bring them out in waves so people can taste them. Alternatives, depending on how fancy you want to get: pour one or two glasses at a time, and pass them between you. You may want to number the glasses and keep a cheat sheet in the kitchen so you know what you’re working with.

People should rate the different wines, ranking them according to their favorites, and also venture a guess which they think is which. You should compare at the end to see which sample got the most votes, and when all the info is collected, at this point you can reveal which wine was which, and also, whether or not the more expensive wine was outranked… (often, you may be surprised, it is).

Best Wine Under $15

Now, not only have you had a great time, you will also be able to make an educated selection next time you’re looking for a cheap bottle of wine. …if you’re not too tempted to try another tasting.