So this year, the Wine Bloggers Conference is held in New York, and a small group of us decide to spend some time in NYC as a pre-pre-conference excursion before heading to the Finger Lakes. But it was only literally just a couple of days before our flight to New York that I found out my airplane buddy Donita could no longer go due to a health issue, so besides the couple of Vancouver friends I would meet up with later, I came to the realization that I was going to be mostly alone in a city I recently denounced as being crowded and scary. THIS IS IT, YOU GUYS. GOD IS TESTING ME.
I was late to the interview to my current job because I couldn’t figure out how our own buses work and I’ve lived in Vancouver since I was born. LET’S DO THIS HOT MESS Y’ALL
Task #1: Get to my Manhattan hotel from JFK
Yes. I could easily get to the hotel via a taxi, but I feel like that’s too easy, and I’m way too far into the rabbit hole to feel comfortable. That, and the Canadian dollar is shit right now so I feel like I have to embrace my inner thrift. I arrive early Sunday morning: that means no one’s riding the buses and therefore that gives me plenty of room to be confused, right? (no.)
Also, where the fuck’s Manhattan? My only exposure is 90s sitcoms, and maybe I was here a month ago? God, I’m useless. Google Maps, take the wheel. I think I’ve watched enough YouTube tutorials on how NYC subways work?
Airport buses are malfunctioning. Let’s taxi this shit.
Task #2: Get to Central Park to meet Christine, Leeann, and Amy for brunch at Tavern on the Green
Sunday brunch at Central Park! Perfect. I’m almost sure I brought more clothes with me than I need, so I’ll choose the outfit that’s the most dainty and delicate. Yes.
Amazing menu, and I’m getting the item that lists “truffle butter” as an ingredient for obvious reasons. And I’m going to order a glass of sparkling wine with an accent. Probably a Filipino one because I’m allowed.
I went with Connecticut Chardonnay because what the fuck.
The Vineyard at Strawberry Ridge 2012 “Ascot Reserve” Chardonnay (Connecticut, USA)
Steel and oak. Faint lemon curd and vanilla yoghurt. Light body with fair structure but would benefit from more fruit intensity to balance out the wood, or less wood to balance out the litheness. Or maybe that’s just me.
Task #3: Find my way back to the hotel from Central Park
The hotel said I couldn’t check in yet so I stored my luggage and hung out with Amy and Christine on the High Line, and we bask in its beauty before heading to Corkbuzz to share a bottle of half-off Champagne. I then meander home, which means I am drunk on my first time on a New York subway – and I make it home despite the worst sense of direction or sobriety in a basically foreign city. Yassss! Can anyone tell I’m a foreigner? Maybe I should relax my shoulders a little. Proceed to almost fall off my seat.
Varnier-Fannière “Cuvée Jean Fannière” Champagne Extra Brut (Champagne, France)
Green apple and lightly toasted bread on oyster shell that opens up with a bit of brown sugar on the nose. Razor lemon-lime and cranberry-like jabs at the palate on yeast notes. Nimble with a powerfully built edge.
Task #4: Have fun+++ for dinner
After claiming my territory at the hotel, Leeann and I hail a taxi (i.e. Leeann hails a taxi and I pretend to help because I’m useless at doing such things) and we meet up with Christine and Amy at Flute Gramercy which we quickly learn isn’t really our steez, so we head to Booker and Dax for cocktails where I accidentally proudly state that I own the same shirt as the bartender that works there. Subsequently, I think he’s giving me shifty and fearful eyes for the next quarter of an hour, and then we have dinner at the adjoining restaurant Momofuku Ssäm Bar where we have godly bites and wily smirks by Christine in my direction every time our server walks by because reasons. Stop. Do not pass Go.
Amazed by the wonderful food and casual vibe. Super into it. I order a cocktail called “The Wanger” because it was experimental for them and also how can you not, and then a glass of orange wine by Azienda Agricola Denavolo. Marsanne and Malvasia. Much yesss.
We then head to The Ten Bells which is a super cool natural wine bar whose wine director is the wonderful Severine Perru. Natural wines for natural queens, duh.
Domaine des Terres Blanches Ancestral Rouge (Loire Valley, France)
Sparkling! Robust and woodsy raspberries and sweet cherries on the nose. Persistent creamy mousse with crunchy cranberry, black cherry, and bits of tannin that add to the snap. Fair amount of bright acid, but a hint of chocolate covered cherry cloy.
Matthieu Barret 2013 “Petit Ours Brun” (Rhône Valley, France)
Our server warned me that the wine would be a bit weird but: rubber tires, black pepper, and soils with suggestions to berries, silky and medium bodied with a fair amount of ripe grip. 100% Syrah.
Ederlezi Costadilà Bianco (Veneto, Italy)
Vino frizzante da tavola. Hazy. Salted oxidized green apple, orange peel, and a bit of balsamic. Lots of well-woven tangerine flesh on the palate with a bit of a waxy finish.
We have lots of fun in the subdued light of the room, while we chat with Severine about wine for a while. And then we all head back to our respective homes, while I prepare myself to be alone in New York City for the entire next day. STAY TUNED ETC.