From the Ground Up with Paul Hobbs @ bahr che

Located at 26 Astor Place, bahr che sets a romantic scene for an intimate gathering inside their 10-table quaint yet classically chic space. With a dramatic wine wall lined with endless bottles of great wines from across the world, bahr che proves to be a true date spot and one of the only that I’ve noticed in Astor Place.  As a true hidden gem, or I’m sure not so hidden anymore, you will find yourself dining there on a romantic date, popping in for a glass of wine found on their treasured wine list or enjoying a nightcap on your way home from downtown with the friendly staff.

And… Just as you thought this wine, cheese, and charcuterie couldn’t sound any better, they also offer Winemaker Wednesdays to exhibit the authenticity of a good wine bar through introducing wines and winemakers to guests who love the exploration of wine.  On February 1st, I was invited to a special wine tasting with renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs at bahr che for their Winemaker Wednesday event.

Now onto the winemaker – Paul Hobbs…

From growing up in Buffalo, NY with ‘no wine on the dinner table’ to studying and working amongst the leading winemakers in the industry (Simi, Robert Mondavi), Paul Hobbs shared his journey of wine through his fabulous wines from California and Argentina.  The night was full of listening to his stories, trials and errors, and connecting the wine to his words (and small bites!) one sip at a time.  His parting words when we asked, “What is one thing you want to share with the world of wine lovers” his response – “Just remember, from the ground up”.  So many meanings and so much detail to think about!

Some favorites from the night…

Vina Cobos, Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 – $39.99
Extreme buttery taste with a hint of apricot. Extremely smooth.  Highly recommend for those buttery Chard lovers!

2009 Pinot Noir, ‘Lindsay Vineyard’ Paul Hobbs – $97
A beautiful garnet colored Pinot Noir with a delicious plum and luscious fruit flavor.  It almost tasted like a ripe fruit roll-up. Hints of oak.  Very exquisite Pinot Noir that is worth the splurge!

2010 Vina Cobos Felino Malbec – $25
Black plums, hint of cedar taste, extremely ripe tannins that make this wine beautifully structured and should be served at a fancy date night dinner by candlelight

Happy Friday!

Cheers to a very Happy Friday and weekend!  I am looking forward to a fabulous weekend in NYC with good friends sharing laughs and love over many bubbles trying to stay warm!  What will you be doing this weekend?  Anything fun planned?

(Photo taken from Noona Blog: Seoul {here})

Off Roading in Sonoma – Day 3: Detour to Napa

As I have said before in “Swanson Vineyards, My Obsession” Swanson Vineyards has a certain aura about it that just rubs me and I’m sure all of its followers the absolute RIGHT way!

On our third day of our wine extravaganza we made one last stop in Napa to Swanson Vineyards where all of the magic that I saw in the brand and on the bottles came to life before my eyes. It started with a special tasting for 10 people sitting around a round table in their magnificent and very intimate Sip Shoppe (a lovely Victorian room with a formal tasting), listening to tales from the charismatic proprietor Clarke Swanson himself and getting to know the 10 strangers around us sipping on the finest wines the vineyard had to offer. Not only were we in the finest most fabulous room with an amazing ambience we were also tasting Swanson wines with a gracious plate filled with fine cheeses, caviar and the world’s best chocolate. It was something I can’t even describe so I hope my photos do it justice. This is a MUST when visting wine country – we were focused on Sonoma but had to carve out a day to spend at Swanson. We then went to a wonderful lunch at the most elegant Bouchon Bistro in downtown Yountville, CA with Mr. Clarke Swanson and continued our discussion about wines and other fun ideas about his delicious and famous Merlot! P.S. I’m not a merlot lover, but this is a kind Merlot that turns around the non-lovers!

To see “Off Roading in Sonoma – Day Two” click HERE

Malbec – The King of WINE (in Argentina)

Malbec Grapes - Mendoza, Argentina

It’s a wine that is known for it’s incredible taste and beautiful heritage that becomes more and more popular in the US.  Distinctively known as home to Argentina, Malbec is an exquisite red wine and the only red that I know of where the grape ties so closely back to it’s origins.  It has a beautiful red violet color with a depth in taste yet still remains fresh and “deep” berry flavors (blackberry, boysenberry, plum).  The grape’s importance to its culture makes this wine that much more enjoyable to drink because of it’s story and provenance.

Some interesting details into the grape’s agriculture and a few recommended Malbecs can be found in

One of my favorites full of berry, spice, sweet tannins with a long last finish – Familia Mayol Malbec Mendoza 2008.  Even the label is beautiful and comforting…. Try it out with a family style dinner of a hearty pasta or an assortment of cheeses.. Delectable!

Chocolate + Wine = Heaven???

Oh my goodness, my two favorite things, chocolate and wine have been smooshed together!  I have yet to try it but it seems more like an after dinner drink complimented to any type of sweet dessert or fruit! I’m wondering how it tastes and even how this will do in restaurants and in stores?  I have a feeling it might not go over too well when ordering in a restaurant but you never know! I definitely want to give this a try!  A great new concept to bring to the wine world – Love it or Hate it?!  See some production and tasting notes below taken directly from the website Cocoa di Vine Chocolate & Wine


An intoxicating blend of chocolate  and wine, Cocoa di Vine* is the ultimate indulgence! The chocolate flavors are produced at one of the top creameries in the United States. The wine – a blend of Torrontes, Pedro Ximenez, and Moscato – was produced at a US winery as well, making this an all-American product.

Tasting Notes:

Rich, velvety-smooth chocolate flavors, combine with undertones of vanilla and caramel.  Best served chilled.  Enjoy within 9-12 when refrigerated or within 6 months when stored at room temperature.

Romance w/ Wine Corks

Instead of having dinner by candle light, how about having dinner by cork light!?  Why not try these wax “corks” that are candles and place them in your favorite wine bottle that you want to preserve.  Not only are they extremely romantic while toasting with your favorite wine, they also can add to your apartment/house décor by displaying them on a vintage wooden shelf or on your wine bar!

Order them at @ $9.95 for a set of four..



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