Dam, another year has come and gone .. It's hard to beleive another year has already gone by.
Seems just like yesterday the last Benvenuto Brunello Tasting at Gotham Hall in New York, happily tasting Montalcino's latest release of the 2008 vintage Brunello's along with Brunello Riserva 2007 and Rosso di Montalcino's of 2011 .. Some really wonderful Brunello last year .. i can remember loving the offerings of; Donatella Cinelli Columbini 2008, Col d'Orcia 2008, Barbi Resierva 2007, and Uccelliera 2008, and Silvio Nardi 2008 ..
I attended a great Siminar on Brunello conducted by the great Kevin Zraly where we tasted some wonderful current vintage Brunello including the just mention offerings as well as
Il Poggione Riserva 1999 and Col d'Orcia Brunello 2001, both great vintages and now aged quite well.
The seminar conducted by Mr. Zraly was phenominal as usual and when I inquired if Kevin was going to do it again, I was dissapointed to hear he wasn't .. They got someone else whose name I do not recognize .. Hopefully the lady will conduct a fun, informative seminar, but after attending Zraly's last year, I doubt if very many could match Kevin's wonderful performance. "Cie la Vie."
At the tasting last year, one of my suppliers asked if he the Count Francesco Maroni Cinzano by, as he wanted to give me a personal 1-on-1 tasting of his latest offerings. Of course I said yes, "Do you think I'm a Mad-Man?" Maybe? Well the Count came by the next day with some phenominal Brunello's, including; his 2008 Vintage, Rosso di Montalcino 2010, Col d'Orcia Brunello 2001, and the amazing Col d'Orcia Brunell "Col Vento Riserva" 2004 .. That wine is amazing and one of the best bottles of Brunello I tasted all year. And Poggio Al Vento 2004 was just being released in 2013, it was incrediable .. All the Counts wines are quite wonderful, and he also brought along a nice wine he makes at his property in Chile .. The wine "Erasmo" is a very fine Bordeaux Blend that I quite like, I put on my list, along with The Counts Brunello both 2005 and 2008 vintages which have been selling extremely well and our customers just love them ...
"DON'T TOUCH IT !!! DON'T TOUCH IT !!! " Cried Kevin Zraly, startling some, scarring others at last years Brunello Seminar he conducted at Benvento Brunello 2013 at Gotham Hall in New York ...
You can read more on Mr. Zraly and the 2013 Brunello tasting in my article "Brunello Tripel Header" at Ny-Foodie
"One of the Best Brunello's I've ever had, and I've had some Great Ones;
Val d' Cava Madonna 1990, Angelo Sassetti 1990, Barbi Riserva 1995, Poggio Antico 1997
and many more ....
The FOLLOWING Is From The BRUNELLO Di MONTALCINO CONSORZIO Website
Brunello di Montalcino is a visibly limpid, brilliant wine, with a bright garnet colour. It has an intense perfume, persistent, ample and ethereal. One can recognize scents of undergrowth, aromatic wood, berries, light vanilla and jam.
To the taste the wine has an elegant harmonious body, vigorous and racy, it is dry with a lengthy aromatic persistence.
Because of its characteristics, BRUNELLO can be aged for a long time, improving as the years go by. It is not easy to determine exactly for how many years it improves. It depends on the vintage. It varies from a minimum of 10 years to around 30 years, but it can be kept for even longer. Naturally it must be kept in the right way: in a cool cellar, but above all with a constant temperature, in the dark, without noises and smells; the bottles should be laid horizontally.
The traditional Italian restaurant Rocco in Greenwich Village has closed due to “greedy landlords,” as Rocco’s owner Antonio DaSilva says on the now-defunct restaurant’s voice greeting.
THE OLD ROCCO'S SIGN
"Yes the Old Sign with CARBONE Superimposed
all photos Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
GREENWICH VILLAGES LOSES CHERISHED CAFFE RESTAURANT BAR
and BAKERY (Vesuvio's) First it was Rocco's a couple years ago. Rocco's Restaurant on Thompson Street was just one of few surving Old-School Italian Red-Sauce Restaurants left in New York's Greenwich Village .. As per usual with greedy-landlords and insane skyrocketing rental priced, the rent on Rocco's was jacked-up by another "Greedy Landlord" and Rocco's was "pushed out of business" and forced to shut its doors after almost 90 years in busines (Since 1922). Milady's, one of the last remaining old-school neighborhood bar was forced out of business by "greedy landlords" and served their last Beer to sad and loyal customers on Sunday, Juanuary 12, 2014 ... The beloved classic Italian Caffe, "CAFFE DANTE" Closed on Sunday, January 19, 2014 "What is this World Coming to?" Reported From The VILLAGER ........ January 19, 2012
In November of last year, the New York City restaurant blog Eater reported that the traditional home-style dining spot’s lease was up at the end of 2011. And to renew that lease the landlord was asking for $18,000 a month — a $10,000 monthly increase from what DaSilva traditionally paid.
Assuming the lease are young up-and-comers Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, both chefs belonging to the Torrisi Italian Specialties team. Together with partner Jeff Zalaznick, the group operates a mini-chain of restaurants with two spots in Little Italy and a stand at Yankee Stadium.
Word is the Torrisi team struck a deal with Rocco restaurant’s landlord and then slyly advertised the restaurant takeover in a 16-second video on their Web site.
“It’s pretty bad and it’s a shame,” said Ralph Redillo, the superintendent of the restaurant’s building. “A lot of outsiders came into the neighborhood just for Rocco’s.”
Pat Gombos, a neighborhood regular of Rocco's says, “Great prices, great food and great atmosphere, I’ll totally miss it.”
New York and the $3.00 PBR, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer has been a God-Send to many New Yorkers. As you all know, the US Economy has been in the Shitter for the past 5 years or so.
Many people are out of work, and many who are working, are taking home Half-as-Much Money or more of what they used to make. People have had to buckle down and give up or curb many things they enjoyed previous to the current state of our economy, which is in almost a Depression Era State.
Yes, everybody says that we are not in a Depression, we're in a recession. Those are the Rich and Well-Off, The 1%-ers talking. To many, the state of our Union and their feelings are of Depression.
So, because of the Terrible State of our Economy you have given up eating out 3 times a week, you buy less clothes, spend less on Entertainment and any number of things. You haven't had a vacation in the past two years, maybe more. You've given up a lot. We all have.
Now when it comes to socializing, going out for a few Beers or Cocktails with some friends, you've had to cut back on that too. But hey, you gotta draw a line somewhere, and everyone is entitled to a few drinks to unwind every now and then, and to be with friends. Yes times are bad, people are hurting, you need your friends more than ever. And having a few Beers or Drinks is one of the most common adult ways to do so. It's natural and part of everyday life. You should be able to have two or three drinks or beers and not have to spend a small fortune doing so. You should be able to have 2 beers for about $10 including tip, and about $16 for tow drinks including tip. That's reasonable. That's what most people pay around America, and even less. But we don't live in America, we live in the greatest City in The World, New York, and Cocktails and Beers here can be oh-so-dear. "Expensive!" Expensive as Hell, "Ridiculously Expensive." It's absurd and outrageous, with many places thinking it's normal and OK to charge $16.00 or more for a measly little Cocktail made by a friggin so-called "Mixologist." Ha! It's not OK, what's a person to do? So yes, we live in New York, and having a couple cocktails here can be a costly undertaking.. What is a Poor Working Guy or Working Girl to do??? Well Boys and Girls, let's Thank God for that great thing of wonder and the Bars and establishments who so graciously and kindly serve it, The $3.00 PBR, That's right, a $3.oo Beer in The Land of The Over-Priced $16.00 Cocktail, Manhattan, New York, NY..... It's quite Sad, Greedy too, not to mention "Ridiculous Ludicrous and Insane."
Yes, Thank God and let's thank the Kind-Hearted proprietors who serve $3.00 PBR'S or any Beer for just $3 or $4 in a New York Bar. You are doing your fellow man a public service and we thank you for that. Whoever you are, you are to be commended, and Shame-On-You, all those places that serve $14 PLUS Cocktails. "RIP-OFF" !!! Wish the masses would Boycott these places and patronize places like Blue & Gold Bar, 7B, and anyplace who has a heart. Bars that serve 3 and 4 Dollar Beers.
I just have to say, it's great to go to a place like Blue and Gold Bar on East 7th Street and know that you can have 3 or 4 Beers for just $12 to $16, accounting for a Buck a Pop for the Barkeep. Now that's pretty good. I have had the best times hanging at Blue & Gold with some friends. You sit at the Bar or get into a nice comfy booth, drink your Beers ($3 PBR'S), relax, listen to the Music, Chit Chat, and just enjoy, and it's not going to cost you The Shirt Off Your Back.
Yes, you can have 4 Beers, tip included for the price of 1 Rip-Off Drink at one of those Rip-Off Joints. And if you are Dumb enough to have four drinks in one of those places, guess what it's going to cost you? About $75 my friend.
Well, do the Math, and if you can afford $75 for only 4 drinks, God Bless You. And if you can't, you've got an alternative. Right, your local $3.00 PBR Joint. They're a God-Send.
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Copyright 2008 Daniel Bellino Zwicke
PLACES To GET A $3.00 PBR in NEW YORK
BLUE & GOLD BAR in the East Village, on East 7th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Blue & Gold has long been a favorite of mine ever since I lived in the East Village from 1982 to 1994. It's just a cool ol normal old style bar with a pool table, standard 50's 60's Bar Decor, and Best-of-All $3.oo PBR'S and $6.00 Cocktails. I love it.
7B a.k.a. The Horseshoe Bar, also in the East Village, a bastion of cheap and fare prices in Manhattan and Land of The $3.00 PBR and other $3 and $4 Beers. 7B is located on the corner of Avenue B at 7th Street, hence the name "7B" ... The nickname Horseshoe Bar comes from the shape and dimensions of the bar, "Horseshoe Shaped." The bar has been the setting of numerous movie shoots, including the scene in Godfather II when Frankie Pantangeli (Frankie 5 Angels) goes to this bar for a meeting with the Rosato Brothers, and Danny Aiello raps a Piano-Wire around his neck. A scene from Crocodile Dundee and other movies as well .... But Best of all, at 7B they serve $3.00 Beers, cheap drinks, and they have a photo and sell Potato Chips and Pretzels which practically no bars in Manhattan ever do any more. And this is a good thing when you get the munchies from the Beer. Glory Hallelujah, thank God for 7B ..
Barolo Aldo Conterno "Cicala" 2001 ... It's a classic Barolo from one of Barolo's finest producers, Aldo Conterno .. Cicala is a single -vineyard Barolo .. I'll take this oportunity for those who may not know, a single-vineyard wine is one in which all the fruit that goes into that particular wine comes from one sight-specific vineyard area .. These single vineyard vineyards are located on an estate in small plot that has the best growing conditions for wine within a larger area .. The sight is usually special because it gets the best sun light and is usually on a southern faceing vineyard, possibly on a hill and has good drainage and other terrain elements beneficial to maximum grap growing ... Back to the Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala 2001 .. As we've already stated, Aldo Conterno is a great Barolo producer and this wine comes from a famous single-vineyard .. Now moving on to the vintage, 2001 in Barolo and Barbaresc was one of the greatest Barolo vintages ever, along with 2000, 1996, 1989, 1990 and others .. We opened a couple a few bottles at this party, and they were all in great condition, properly cellared for the whole of their lives. Decanted, the color and aroma were marvelous and no signs of any faults such as Bret, oxidation, be cooked or corked. Yes the bottles were in excellent conditon. The aromas were classic Barolo as was the taste, of which the wine had many marvels, including; Alcohol Soaked Cherries, Truffle, tar, and Licorice .. I loved the wine, one of the finest Barolo's I have ever tasted and I've tasted many running the Inoteca at Del Posto, Bar Cichetti and Barbetta Wine Director for 4 1/2 years were I tasted the likes of Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo 1990, Renato Ratti Barolo Riserva 1990, Marcarini Barolo Brunat 1996, Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1996 97 and 1990, Gaja Barolo "Sperss" 1990, Giacamo Conterno Monfortino 1978 1989 1990, and Cavolotto Barolo Bricco Boschis 1990 and 1996. Mascarello barolo "Monprivato" 1990 1989 & 1996 just to name a few of the many I have had over the years ... With all this said and done, I'll tell you this Conterno Barolo "Cicala" 2001 is the best Barolo I've had in the past 5 years or so, and I'd deffinately rank it way up there with all the great Barolo I've tasted over the years including many from the great 1989 1990 1996 1997 2000 and 2001 vintages .. I'd rate this Cicala 2001 about a 93 on a 100 point scale if I was forced to do so .. But my best way of describing this or any great wine is; that I Loved it, I couldn't get enough of it and wanted more, when all was gone. The wine was memorable and a joyous pleasure to drink. Bravo Ado! Daniel Bellino Zwicke photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke