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Freinds, 4th and Foppiano!

Posted in Uncategorized by EVWG on the July 14th, 2006

july4.jpgI have not entered a post in awhile and for this I am sorry. But here we are, back on track. Sometimes life becomes a to do list that won’t let up. Time to step back for a second and take it all in by writing a bit about what I love; life, wine and our town. So… July 4th in The East Village of beautiful hot and sticky New York City. My wife and I had a low-key day with a couple very close friends. We spent it by just sucking down Hoegartens and enjoying the air-conditioning in our jr one bedroom and then attempting to journey outside, only to find ourselves back inside, this time in a comfy lower east side bar (more air-conditioning) that our friend Lauren recommended. They had some of the best sangria I have experienced in NYC so far. I will be picking her brain about it soon and give a full report. I don’t remember the name of the place and but…wow. As the sun began to fall we headed back to the apartment to pop a bottle of wine (this where I was going with this) and hit the roof for the festivities. August had just returned from California where he had attended a friends wedding and while there he picked up a couple of bottles of wine recommended by the locals, one of which he was nice enough to bring by, knowing that I would probably start taking notes even though the sangria from before had made us a bit “lightheaded.”
When my father used go away on business trips he would always bring back a present. Sometimes it was a matchbox car, sometimes a book. I don’t know how the tradition started but it was something I always looked forward to while waiting for his plane to land. I can remember the excitement of, one, seeing my father and two, waiting for him to give me that smile as he reached into his briefcase and pulled out the surprise. I recalled this anticipation as we sat in the apartment waiting for nightfall. August gave us all a smirk as he reached into his bag and pulled out a bottle of Russian River Valley, Foppiano, Estate bottled 2004 pinot noir. Little did I know what lay in the depths of this excellent bottle of wine. Now, this was a different experience than I am used to writing about in that it was not a concentrated wine tasting. I wasn’t with my fellow geek squad. This was a wonderful night with a couple of good friends that had an amazing bottle of wine that I must speak of. I am going to geek out here but what is most important is the social aspect of the experience. Wine should be enjoyed first and foremost. And to enjoy it with friends makes the wine that much more pleasurable.
I ran to the cabinet to grab the wine glasses and the decanter (just in case) while Lauren ordered pizza from Nino’s. Pizza and Pinot…hell yeah. I set out the glasses and popped the cork and was immediately impressed just by smelling the cork. It had that signature spicy, earthy smell pinot is supposed to have. I poured a bit out into everyone’s glass with August’s permission of course (this was his wine after all) and we all took the the first sip. I was in heaven before I even drank any of it. The color of the wine was beautiful, thick, inky, deep and ruby red. I have seen pinot range from opaque to ruby-ish and see-through. With this one you could just tell there was going to be some serious flavor. I swirled and coated the glass and felt like I was the only one in the room for a second. It was just me, myself and the pinot. I put my nose to the rim and took in the aroma. WOW. I hadn’t even sipped it yet and was already in heaven. The nose was full of rich earth and spice that intermingled with dark fruit, which together brought out that signature pinot aromatic character. You could just smell the balance. I was still alone in the room and I don’t know how long it had been. A second. A minute. Five minutes. I took the first sip. The palate was very smooth and thick for a pinot noir. The tannins were soft and silky which intertwined wonderfully with the fruit. There was a low amount of acidity but, hey, if you are going to have low acidity, this is the kind of balance you want. The people at Foppinao know what they are doing (with pinot at least. I haven’t tried any of their other wines). They take the strengths of the area (soil, climate….terrior) and balance it with a good work in the production…it seems.
And suddenly I was back in the room with my friends. The bell rang and Nino’s arrived. Ah…Nino’s. We all grabbed a slice scarffed it down with the great pinot and the four of us headed to the roof. Now that is an awesome combination. Good pizza, good wine, good friends, decent roof and 4th of July in NYC. Bellissimo!