The Wine Rundown – Flatiron

As we all know, in every area, corner, and side street in Manhattan, restaurants and bars fill up the streets and extend personal “must go-to lists” daily since they are literally everywhere.  Last week was a week of new beginnings, bon voyages, and a much needed celebration of summertime which has finally graced it’s presence upon us, YAY!  It also was a week spent in the Flatiron area where I was able to get a sense of two great restaurants with fitting wine lists from both ends of the spectrum.  Both selections even paired well with their interior.

Roberto Zero Otto Nove: Stepping into a new Italian restaurant, I met a few friends at Zero Otto Nove Manhattan on 15 West 21st street and enjoyed a night filled with luxurious Italian wines from all over Italy.  The wine list starts with a variety of Champagne/Sparkling  and then goes right into regions that offer white wines – Piemonte, Veneto, Alto Adige, Umbria, Friuli, Toscana etc.  The next section offers white wines from Southern Italy SICILIA, SARDEGNA, and Campania.  It then goes into a nice red selection that suggests regions such as Abruzzo, Puglia, Chianti, Amarone, etc. Some of us opted for a white wine from Fruili (Pinot Grigio Ca’ BolaniAquileia)) and others (including myself) went the red D’Abruzzo (Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano d’Abruzzo) route.  They offer a blended selection of their full menu by the glass, probably about 20 options and have a moderately – high priced wine list.  The cheapest bottle is about $31 and the most expensive is about $855 so choose wisely! As you can tell, you experience a wonderful wine journey through Italy with this list. (Go for the Nutella pizza for dessert!)

Sagaponack: The next night I met up with a friend at Sagaponack on 4 West 22nd street for a lighter meal and a catch up!  We sat at the bar and ordered a few light seafood apps and enjoyed a night of crisp white wines. We felt as though we were in Martha’s Vineyard or the Hamptons… not New York which certainly felt like a breath of fresh air.   My friend likes the sweeter wines and chose the Rex Goliath Pinot Grigio California, 2009.  “It was super light and was very sweet.  Perfect drink for apps so you don’t get full.”  I chose a crisper, zestier, ‘bittery’ white, Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand, 2008 which was also perfect to enjoy with apps and great for a hot summer’s night! The wine list offers a classic selection of wines from California, France, Italy, Australia, Spain even one from the Hamptons!  You can tell this list was handpicked and sought after very strategically and gracefully. The red headed bartender was very nice and extremely personable which always makes for a great experience.  Overall, a wonderful hidden gem with great wines for summer in the Flatiron District.


Italy – A Lost Wine Generation?

In my previous post about the Italian wine region I was upset to stumble upon findings on what wine drinking in Italy has become… Wine drinking is losing its popularity amongst the younger population which has been apart of Italy’s tradition and  heritage for a VERY long time.

According to The Independent – Stats from the recent ‘Vinitaly’ show that ‘while 69 percent of Italians over the age of 65 say they drink wine every day, that statistic drops to 13 percent among Italians between the ages of 16 and 35.’  This is disappointing.  I may be jaded since now the US has the highest consumption rate in the world, but we need to help change this as wine is an essential when living and breathing Italy!  Maybe just my opinion but I feel it is a symbol of elegance, class, and relaxation in life for the Italians – wine could even be considered an institutional practice within Italy’s heritage!  It is that perfect pairing to perfect their meal that they take so much pride in… You can’t just stop tradition and quit wine!!

The article also stated:

“The drop was attributed to a number of factors including the fragmentation of Italian traditions, the cost of wine, and health reasons.”

“Italian families have become more and more fragmented in the last 10 years. They’re not eating meals together and so wine is no longer a form of food. Wine no longer has a nutritional function,” Giovanni Brunetti, a spokesman for market research firm Unicab, told the magazine.

The study also found that 30 percent of Italians no longer consider wine to be a symbol of national gastronomy.”

Over all, it’s sad to think that wine consumption in the youth of Italy is slowly dying.  I don’t believe it will fully die out however, it is important to keep up with your heritage and not forget traditions and what it means to sit down with your family for a meal and a glass of wine.  Not only does wine make you feel good, it is also a symbol for pleasure and communication!  Think about it, you enjoy wine and you inevitably talk about it with friends and family, you usually pair it with a meal and you talk about it… It almost serves as another form of communication that links us all… So let’s figure out how to get the youth of Italy back to where it was – consuming wine!  I will gladly go to help out! :)


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