First Week at Vintners / Biodynamic Wine Week

New York Vintners Store

New York Vintners Store

In order to skip the pain and awkward aspects of a boring Introduction, I’ll attempt to get right to the point… my name is Daniel and I’m the “New Guy” around New York Vintners.  My path to this position through the wine world has been quite interesting. My love for wine, food, travel, culture and tradition has taken me around the globe before sitting at this desk. From tasting in the south of France, sipping in South America, touring in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece to working the 2009 harvest for Chateau Montelena in Napa California, wine has been at the center of my life for as long as I can remember. Its path has now led me to New York Vintners, where I have started to help with aspects of Internet marketing and creative direction for the brand… a dream job to say the least.

The purpose of this post, however, is not to talk about me (as I hope you will get to know me a little better over the next few weeks), but rather to discuss the amazing events taking place at NYV.   This past week, in a charitable effort to raise money for Slow Food USA, Vintners hosted three events centered on the evolving field of Biodynamic and Organic Wines. Biodynamic wines, for those unfamiliar (as I was before this week), are wines made using the principles of biodynamic agriculture – Biodynamic referring to the handling and processing of the fruit post-harvest and the agricultural methods used in the vineyard during the growing season. It is a labor-intensive style of farming and winemaking that is growing in popularity as the environmental issues facing our Nation and World become greater each day.

The specific events held were Biodynamic and Organic Wines and Food, Biodynamic and Organic Winemaking and Farming, and A Vertical Tasting of Mooiplaas Winery (a Biodynamic South African Winery). The first night we were led by Certified Holistic Nutrition Counselor, Andrea Davis, and New York Vintners’ wine consultant and organic gardener, Gerard Quirk, through the principles behind the organic production of food and wine around the world. We tasted seven different organic/biodynamic wines that were paired with several fresh and organic based recipes (prepared by our dashing young owner and incredible chef friend Shane Benson—his guacamole is arguably the best in the world, or so does he boldly claim!). It was incredible to see and hear Andrea’s presentation on the importance of organic farming and a healthy lifestyle.  Her slides were as interactive as our gardener friend Gerard’s British accent was charming—a very tough thing to do I must inform).

Mooiplaas Wine

Mooiplaas Wine

On the second and third nights, Dirk Roos, owner of South Africa’s Mooiplaas Winery, joined us. We tasted a beautiful selection of his South African wines, highlighted by a 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, one of only 36 bottles left in the World! The wines were exquisite, expressing the philosophy of Dirk’s winemaking and the terrior of South Africa’s tricky growing environment.  He showed slides of his family, introduced us to a way of life that your typical New Yorker might not necessarily imagine, and chatted with a group of younger, passionate and enthusiastic guests. The experience he created was authentic, taking each of us in attendance on a trip to the beautiful and misunderstood landscape of South Africa.   It was amazing to see his passion. It reminded me of why I love and care for wine so deeply, of how the language of wine speaks universally, and, that regardless of what bottle you open, or where a wine is from, the core concepts of its production are rooted in love, family, tradition, hard work and enjoyment. It was an amazing night and one I soon won’t forget on my journey through the world of wine.  We are hoping to carry some of his wines soon!

Dirk Roos at New York Vintners

Dirk Roos at New York Vintners

What I hope to have expressed in this post is how interactive and engaging the events NYV puts on are. In only my first week I’ve realized that every evening is original and each presenter offers a new educational experience for anyone interested in developing his or her love for wine.   All of the proceeds from this week’s event went to the Slow Food USA, and the awareness raised for a very interesting style of farming and agriculture is continuing to grow as the responses we’ve received since have been amazing.

Make sure you keep up to date with the new events taking place at New York Vintners over the next several months. They fill up quick so make sure and get your seats now!  Below you will also find some picture from this week.  Let us know what you think. We love to hear from you!

Cheers,

Daniel … aka “the new guy”

Check out our Biodynamic and Organic Wines

Featured Recipes from Event:

Shane’s Guacamole:

  • 4 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons finely minced jalapeño
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of above ingredients together.
Gerard’s Locro de Zapallo:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 Pounds acorn squash
  • 1 Cup peas or fava beans
  • 1 ½ cups corn (white if possible)
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 100 grs queso fresco crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon Peruvian yellow chili paste (aji amarillo)
  • Salt and pepper

How to prepare:

  1. Put oil in pot, add onion and garlic and fry over medium heat, add chili paste, oregano salt and pepper……. about 5 minutes.
  2. Add diced squash, peas and corn (if using fresh) and the potatoes.
  3. Add chicken stock cover and cook over low heat for about 30 min. or until the squash begins to crumble. If necessary add more stock.  (If using frozen peas and corn add after 20 minutes ).
  4. When all the ingredients are cooked add the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and cubed fresh cheese for decoration.

ALTERNATIVE : While the dish is simmering you can sauté 3 dozen fresh prawns in oil or butter until they are pink and add them along with the cheese. Hold back three or four prawns for decoration.

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Filed under Biodynamic and Organic Wine, South Africa

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