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Friday, June 3, 2011

A Three Course Surprise...

THURSDAY evening was my final dinner with David before leaving (this a. m.) for a one week music festival in upstate New York. Of course, the evening required some bubbly...

"crémant du jura" French sparklling

Walking west along Central Park South, I decided to try someplace new to pick up wine and decided upon Columbus Circle Wines & Spirits. Upon entering, I handily found their complete selection of unchilled sparklers (chilled wines are in the rear) and was astounded at the prices! The biggest shock came from a bottle of Segura Viudas (brut) which sells in my neighborhood for $10 to $12, selling there for a mere $7.99!

As I happily browsed the wines, I narrowed my decision down to a couple of cavas and one dry prosecco. Being that the cavas didn't have much labeling information, I decided to seek assistance from the seller. Instead of presenting him with my three contenders, I decided to simply state what I was looking for: (my ideal wine would be) a dry sparkling for under $20, and one that's "moussy" with some juicy fruit to it. He returned from the basement with two choices from which I chose the latter. $21.76 at the register. Later that night I told David the seller wasn't very friendly, yet, quite helpful; he said friendly's not always necessary. Nonetheless, he did hit the mark right on the nose. The wine was exactly: dry, moussy and fruity.

Chef Vongerichten's (famous)
warm valrhona chocolate cake (to go)

MY next stop was at Jean Georges for dessert to go. I'd wanted something that would "keep well" during my commute home and the bartender recommended warm valrhona chocolate cake. I'd had it once before and wasn't terribly crazy about it, but being that it was the only dessert suitable for my situation, I had no other choice but to opt for it. 

While waiting for the order, I bumped into a friend, at the bar, who introduced me to the woman responsible for the recent re-outfitting of Chef Vongerichten's personal (home) kitchen range. She told me about how much he loves his new range and that he's even using a photo of himself in front of it in his latest cookbook. She also insisted upon putting my dessert on her account.

AS I was heading back uptown I realized, being a somewhat special evening, that one bottle of wine may not be enough. I stepped off the A train at 180th Street and stopped at Heights Wine & Spirits.

"gold" gold leaf wine

Upon entering Heights Wine & Spirits, the first thing I'd noticed was a barrel of "gold" wine "with 24 karat gold leaf added." I must say, I was intrigued. Yency, the owner, went on to tell me the wine was a blend of riesling, chardonnay and viognier. It didn't sound bad, and I did want something a little sweet. 

24 karat gold flakes

Don't get your hopes up for "gold" and you won't be disappointed. As it states on the back label, it's merely a "white table wine." However, it isn't a bad one, considering, and it worked well enough with dinner, pairing with the dessert course. I'm even thinking about stocking up for future "festive occasions." (simply as a novelty item, of course)

Columbus Circle Wines & Spirits, 1802 Broadway
Heights Wines & Spirits, 4474 Broadway
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