Leonard Cohen used to start his concerts with the song, “Bird on the Wire,” saying it would “return him to his duties,” so we recently began our program in New York with this song. Most of us have heard and love the beautiful song, “Autumn in New York,” but few of us know that it comes from a musical by Vernon Duke called “ThumbsUp!” Plus, it was so very fitting for our event in October in … New York. 50 ways to leave your lover” by Paul Simon is inspired by the very small production – just 50 cases – of this wine. We figure… one case = one way to leave your lover. So drink and listen up!
Now, if you’d asked me a couple years ago to name a wine from Germany, I’d have crinkled my nose and sheepishly answered… “Um… Riesling?” That’s until I learned about the unbelievably diverse varieties of wine originating from my birth country as well as the unbelievable diversity of Riesling itself. This week we dive into the 2016 Benevolent Neglect Riesling from Mendocino County in California. Old world inspired but definitely Californian, this winery makes very small quantities of their wine, trying to make wine that is the truest expression of the vineyard and the vintage. This wine is pale straw in color, with fresh, ripe peaches, nectarines, citrus, and honeysuckle jumping out of the glass. On a sweetness scale, we’re at about a 2 out of 10 with this bottle.
So what to pair? In my opinion, ricotta is an underrated cheese, mostly because we don’t often taste it on its own, finding it more commonly buried in layers of lasagna. However, isolating it on a lovely brioche toast and garnishing it with a drizzle of EVOO and some Himalayan pink salt brings out the slight tartness of the cheese, and the texture is a lovely complement to the freshness of the Riesling. It’s worth splurging on a really good Ricotta from a cheese store but store-bought is also delicious!