"Paint on Me" | 2010 | The Guests of Vin, Fromage et Chocolat
This past Wednesday, The Noble Rot appeared in Manhattan – Gramercy to be precise – in an amazing loft for an evening dubbed “Vin, Fromage et Chocolate.” Our hosts, Rob and Christina graciously opened up their home and allowed us to coat the place in delicious wines paired with outrageous cheeses accompanied by the best chocolates you’ve never had (but will be able to as the Chocolates will soon have a home…more details toward the bottom of this post).
Below is a recap of everything we tasted and information on the expert wine, Choco and cheese mongers:
Left to Right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Liz Martin of Martin Brothers Wines & Spirits, runs one of the most amazing retail stores in this city. Situated at 2781 Broadway (between 106th and 107th, the store is an elegant dark wood paneled, well lit, incredibly well stocked store. Their selection of fine and rare scotches, frankly is unparalleled – I nearly passed out with sober excitement. The wines we chose from her palace in upper Manhattan were:
1. I Stefanini Spumante Brut (Chardonnay) NV
2. Domaine Serge Sancerre, 2008
3. Iby Traisental 2008 (Zweigelt)
4. Joel Gott Zinfandel, 2008
5. Bodegas Juan Gil, 2008
6. Domaine Claude Dumarcher Clos De l’Abbe Dubois Ardeche, 2007 (The after-party wine)
Martin Johnson - bringing Cheese to the people since 1776. The Joy of Cheese. Photo by Damian Guitierrez.
The Cheese Man:
of The Joy of Cheese
, was our fearless leader in all things salty, funky and moldy. Martin is a genius and a jack-of-all trades. In addition to knowing everything in the world about cheese he writes jazz reviews for The Wall Street Journal. You can run into him at The Bedford Cheese Shop
(corner of Bedford Ave and N4th, off the Bedford L train), but winetology strongly recommends emailing him for more information on his upcoming cheese events: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cheeses we tasted were:
With the Sparkling, Cannestrato from Casa Madaio in Italy. This Sardinian sheep’s milk cheese is buttery at the start, then peppery then it finishes with an herbaceous sweetness.
With the Sancerre, Tomme D’Acquitaine from Jean D’Alos in France. This alpine style goat’s milk cheese from Haute Savoie is known for its lean character and gentle toasted nut overtones.
With the Zweigelt, Camembert from Herve Mons in France. Yes, it’s pasteurized. Get over it. It’s still full of mushroom-ey and cauliflower-ish goodness. It’s one of the best Camemberts available.
With the Joel Gott, Tarentaise from Spring Brook Farms in Vermont. Nutty and delicately balanced, this cheese was the second runner up in the American Cheese Society judging this summer.
With the Juan Gil, Gruyere from Rolf Beeler in Switzerland. Dense, denser and densest, this alpine classic is the very definition of nutty plus distinctive overtones of fresh meadow and malt.
Cacao Prieto's bon-bons (a "beans to bon-bons" operation). Photo by Brian Quinn.
The Chocolate Men:
, will be opening a pop-up store down under the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo – details to be announced before the holidays – so once it’s up and running you are encouraged, good reader, to visit Chocolate-Maker Damion Badalamenti
and the ever-mustached Michael Cirino
of a razor, a shiny knife.
Michael and Damion passed around and spoke very highly of their chocolates, and frankly they can, because frankly my dear, they are the truly finest chocolates in production right now. And I’m not saying that because I think it sounds cute. Perhaps you are aware that their are two types of Cacao in the world from which we derive our chocolate: Criollo and Forastero. Criollo is a truly “fine” chocolate, in much less supply and expensive. You can absolutely tell the difference in quality when you bite into a chocolate made of Criollo. And Criollo is what Cacao Prieto is all about.
Christine Wells and Amanda Wells whipping up Risotto. Photo by Brian Quinn.
Graduating from the French Culinary Institute this coming Monday (Nov 15), Christine Wells whipped up an outrageously delicious Risotto, an improvisation on a Stilton and red beat recipe made famous by our good friend Nora of The Whisk & Ladle. Christine also roasted squash and added that to the mix and the result was utter enjoyment. Christine is available for private parties and if you send us an email (email@example.com) we can put you in touch for more information.
A fabulous duo, normally much more than two: Check out Robin Aigner
page and catch an upcoming set – we look forward to having her back!
As usual the even was a wild and crazy good time. Again, many thanks to our hosts Rob and Christina. Christina is a painter and had the brilliant idea of hanging a canvas and encouraging guests to paint on it. The result, is worthy of a showing in the Moma we think, but you be the judge – the photo at the top of this post is that painting.
The Noble Rot: Vin, Fromage et Chocolat - Michael Cirino about to attack (dark suit on the left) and on the right Damion Badalamenti (in the hat).
Liz Martin of Martin Brothers Wines & Spirits with Brian Quinn, a State-Certified Absolute Gentleman of The Noble Rot