Celebrating St.Patrick’s day @ Brooklyn Brewery :)

On a sunny Saturday, which happened to be St.Patrick’s day, we visited the finest brewery in Brooklyn – BROOKLYN BREWERY! Just in the center of a hipster town, Williamsburg, BB welcomed us with an Egyptian spell saying…

The tour was already in progress, and the guide was giving us a short summary of the brewery’s history, which I’m going to quote as fun facts right here:

1) Just like many other beer enthusiasts, the owner of Brooklyn Brewery started off his business by home brewing.

2) BB was the first brewery to open in Brooklyn after the prohibition (why this location? because Brooklyn real estate in the old days was cheap!)

3)  BB owner refused to pay the mobs for security (common practice back in the day), so he went to get advice from his prosecutor friend, who advised him to just pay the mob. In the end, he didn’t get into trouble because the mafia thought addition of a brewery will help the village economy 🙂

4)  Milton Glaser, the graphic designer who made “I ♥ NY” logo, also made BB logo. Guess how did he wanted to get paid for the logo?!! He got BB beer for FREE for REST OF HIS LIFE and, of course, some shares of the company.

5) Most of their brewing tanks are from Germany, again, customized just like in any other fine brewery. (I bet these tank companies make millions!)

6) BB uses New York City tab water to make their beers. If you didn’t know, NYC has the best water supply system in the country (according to the guide).

After the tour, as you can imagine, we tried some of their special drinks with bunch of beer enthusiasts. To get drinks, you need to get beer TOKENS! (from a hotelie’s perspective, this looked like a very efficient and smart service operation technique). And, they even had a small collection of their old bottles that showed how their bottle design changed over time!

If you are  interested in learning more about Brooklyn Brewery or want to visit them, here is the link to their website: http://brooklynbrewery.com

Cheers!

-Sunnie & Yaris

Finger Lakes Wine Center

To celebrate my birthday, my friends and I stopped by the Finger Lakes Wine Center. From my experience, people who work at alcohol-related places are incredibly friendly. How can you not be when you’re surrounded by fermented juice? This wine center, located near the Ithaca Commons, is only a few blocks from the TCAT bus stop (perfect for Cornellians who don’t want to choose a DD).

The wine center was recently renovated and would be a great venue for professional gatherings or intimate parties. It’s a spacious place with a high ceiling, a separate shop area displaying local foodstuffs, and a lounge with soft seating. Wine facts are creatively shown on the walls; one part shows samples of various soil compositions that make up the Finger Lakes areas.

Since we did not have any varietal preferences, the lady helping us chose a hodgepodge of three white wines, one red, and one rosé. All wines are local. Our favorite was the Lamoreaux Landing 2010 Dry Reisling for its refreshing peach and apricot notes. Now for the pictures!

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Midnight Wine Talks #3: Chianti Superiore

Today we tried a Banfi wine, the namesake of our school’s hotel’s restaurant.

Varietal: Chianti

Vintage: 2009
Origin: Tuscany, Italy
ABV: 13%
Price: ~$10

Winemaker’s notes: “Fresh and fruity hints on the nose, well integrated in a round structure and full body.  The lively acidity is well balanced with the rest of the structure. Ready to drink, pleasant and persistent. [It]… is pleasingly smooth and satisfying with its clean and distinctive flavours… Ideal with grilled meat dishes, poultry or pasta.”

Our notes:

Sunnie: I would say it’s very medium body, light on the tannins, and there’s a strong aftertaste.

Audrey: What varietal is this?

Sunnie: I think it’s just Chianti.

Audrey: Definitely not as familiar with that name as ones like Cabernet, or Pinot.

Sunnie: Time for some internet research… They age it for 4-5 months in a French oak barrel and after, another 4-5 months in the bottle. It is 75% of the Sangiovese varietal.

Audrey: I didn’t know Banfi’s makes this kind of wine. I’m really enjoying this Da Vinci painting on the bottle. This is very easy to drink… it’s almost sugar-y sweet and the aftertaste is not too strong or bitter.

Sunnie: Wines with Sangiovese grapes usually taste of ripe black fruits, like black cherries or plums. It’s usually used as a ‘blender’ varietal that’s added on to the local varietal. By itself, Sangiovese is usually too harsh and acidic. It’s the most-planted red varietal in Italy.

Audrey: Very cool, I can definitely taste the black fruits. It’s more fruity than floral.

Sunnie: Why is it so cheap? I don’t understand… it’s cheap and affordable, so great! Hm… I can definitely taste black cherry.

Midnight Wine Talks #1: Mirassou

Welcome to our new column where Sunnie and I will be ‘live blogging’ once a week about a different wine. School’s stressful and sometimes after a long day, you just want to pop a cork. We’re wine amateurs (although Sunnie’s taking the infamous Wines class and will be applying her education!) and might be bullshitting from time to time but like most young drinkers, we’re learning. Hopefully, this simple guide can help you find some good wines because let’s face it, selecting wines when you don’t know anything about them can be tricky. I’ve googled “good supermarket wines” on my iPhone while shopping more than once but it usually didn’t help. So, a bottle a week, it can’t be that tedious, right?

Mirassou

Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2009
Origin: California
ABV: 13.5%
Price: ~$9-10

Winemaker’s notes: “Offering intense flavors of cherry and plum, with delicate floral notes, and hints of vanilla… This versatile wine pairs beautifully with salmon, poultry, or risotto.”

Our notes:

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