As part of our efforts to grow as a wine business and bring back unique products and ideas to Nova Scotia, our team routinely travels around the globe to walk through vineyards, find new products, seek out trends, and meet our colleagues in the industry. Last week, members of our team hopped on a plane to New York City to attend the Annual Kermit Lynch Wine Show/Portfolio Tasting. Most of you familiar with our shop are aware of our love for the Kermit Lynch portfolio – these are wines known for their impeccable balance, unique stories and the wonderful individuals behind these great wines. This date is circled on our calendar’s every year and this year’s tasting did not disappoint.
Visiting with Friends
Once we landed in New York and dropped our luggage at the flat, our little quartet quickly set on our way to find something to refresh our palates on the beautiful Sunday afternoon. Our walk through the eclectic Brooklyn streets led us to Torst – an amazing craft beer bar with a unique Scandinavian decor. We also happened to know the head chef, a native of Dartmouth – Dan Burns, who graciously gave us a full tour of the restaurant, explained the concept, and even left us to explore their extensive beer cellar unattended (Don’t worry Dan – we didn’t break into any bottles).
After sampling a few exceptional beers and making some great contacts for our growing craft beer portfolio – look out for more exciting new beers regularly – we ventured off to meet former retail manger, Thomas Morgan, for a wine tasting at the Brooklyn home of our gracious hosts Suzanne and Kenny. A gathering of collectors, wine professionals from around New York, and customers visiting from across the Southern US made for a wonderful evening of wine, conversation, and shop talk. Nights like these are where many of our long term partnerships and friendships in the wine world begin – thanks Suzanne & Kenny for being such great hosts!
Meet and Greet
Following a full day of exploring NYC on foot (we clocked in over 20 kms exploring various wine, spirits and beer shops throughout Manhattan) we eventually made our way to a soon-to-be opened wine shop for a meet and greet with many of the Kermit Lynch producers. It’s always a pleasure to meet the people behind the wine and, even better, enjoy the fruits of their labour while in their company. Although all of the encounters were wonderful in their own respect, a few standout moments included enjoying the latest vintage of Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape poured by Daniel Brunier himself and, of course, meeting legendary importer Kermit Lynch.
A wonderful meal at a great up-and-coming bistro in the East Village named North River (seek this place out in NYC – incredible food, wine and staff!) rounded out a fantastic day of exploring New York City. One of our new friends that we had met the evening before (and manager of what could easily be our sister wine store in Tennessee) persuaded us to check out a hip wine bar called Pearl and Ash. In true wine-geek fashion we sampled obscure Aperitifs, Maderia, Artisanal Cider from Normandy, and even Poulsard from Jura. Hey – when in Rome…or NYC – try the obscure stuff. What a day!
A hearty breakfast and a few quick stops in the shops on 5th Avenue (window shopping only, I’m afraid) prepared us for the big day – with almost 300 wines to taste over 5 hours. We began the show with a glass of Champagne together (a Bishop’s Cellar tradition at every wine show) then broke into teams to taste our way through wines, ranging from Burgundy to Barolo, Corsica to Champagne, and everything in between. There’s a reason we always circle this tasting in the calendar – the wines are outstanding! Such a broad range of beautifully balanced wines, many poured by the winemaker or proprietor of the estate.
Hard to pick favorites but notable wines included the decadent Sauternes from Château Roumieu-Lacoste, elegant burgundies from Christophe Buisson, ethereal Brunello from Sesti, and refined Northern Rhone from Faury.
A rare experience was the opportunity to taste a vertical line-up (multiple vintages of the same wine) of Condrieu from Faury (pictured below). It was so interesting to see how these wines develop and showcase both similar and, uniquely different, characteristics based on vintage and the time spent in bottle. Side note: we have the 2012 arriving in shop this week.
A nice meal and some much needed rest capped off a great experience in New York City. If you’re planning a trip in the near future, we’d be happy to lend some tips on a few great places to shop for wine or to enjoy a glass.