No entries here for months. A lot going on at Domenico Selections. Weird scenes inside the goldmine. Big doings. The wines, they are a-changing.
That's done. [Insert sunglasses emoticon here.] Now let's move on...
To a joyous occasion.
Last week the "kids" from Aquila del Torre were in town, namely Francesca Ciani and her husband, Pier. With Jeff Mazen and myself they covered a good amount of ground in New Jersey and Manhattan in two days. We took them to "all the best places," we opened new accounts, and, of course, like all true Italians who come to New York, Francesca and Pier avoided Italian restaurants and fixated on Asian food.
OK, this isn't the best picture of Pier and Francesca, but it's the only one I can find easily. Crouched at their feet is their dog, Burro (that's Buddah to you Streisand fans). The vineyards are arrayed around a natural amphitheatre on the highest ground around, which means that there is no runoff from non-organic properties. Practicing organic agriculture since 2005, Aquila del Torre will receive official certification in two years. To show they're really hardcore about this organic business, Francesca says that they will soon use horses to plow between the vines. Totally natural fertilizer! Sustainable agriculture!
By the way, I've been remiss in omitting, till now, the name of the fine enologo at Aquila del Torre, Francesca's big brother Michele. Buon lavoro, man. And congratulations on the new addition to your family!
One of the highlights, from my point of view and, I think, Francesca's was the moment when the wine buyer at a very high-end Upper East Side restaurant lit up with pleasure and immediately added the Aquila del Torre Riesling and Friulano. Her comment about the Friulano: "This is so much better than L___ F___'s, I'm getting rid of his right now."
Yes, Friulano is the breakout hit of our AT current selection. Francesca said to me, "It's a good thing we've planted more of it."
The kids sold a nice amount of wine on a Tuesday night [insert emoticon of astonishment here] at our friend Christy Frank's tiny but well-curated shop, Frankly Wines.
And, as you can see in the following pix, we have some nice iPhone shots of a couple of venues in town, where Aquila del Torre is currently available. The pix were taken by Pier.
The "AT" Sauvignon Blanc holds a place of honor at Greensquare Tavern, a wonderful spot on 21st, just west of Fifth Ave. Fresh, local ingredients, refined editions of American classics. The Cobb salad is the best I've ever had. Prices are reasonable. The place is packed. Attractive space, friendly vibe.
A view of the übersleek new store, Vintry, which is located in the Goldman Sachs building at the edge of Battery Park City. As the location would imply, this is a carriage-trade establishment. Our old wine-schlepper amico, Mike Martin, is one of the partners in this gorgeous place. He looks much better now he's in a Serious Suit and tie every day.
The striking label of the AT Friulano on the shelf at Vintry. These labels, a quantum leap beyond the old ones, have won rave reviews from both retailers and restaurateurs (who are alive to the impression the bottle will make on the table). I call Pier the "creative director" at Aquila del Torre because the new labels are based on his concept, although a moody design genius came up with each of the particular labels developing his basic idea.