Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Of Swine and Champagne

Although the furor over swine flu seems to be abating, the fear of catching it – or something – was on full display at a wine tasting I attended in midtown Manhattan yesterday. I was air-kissed several times in a germaphobic rather than social way. (I can’t decide if I preferred the air-kiss or the elbow-shake that restaurant critic Gael Greene offered me at the opening of Marea restaurant last week.)

But putting swinish matters aside for a moment (though I do feel like I’m coming down with a touch of something) one of the most memorable wines of the tasting for me was Champagne Delamotte. Known as the “sister” Champagne to the vaunted Salon, this venerable Cotes des Blancs house is one of my favorite “unsung” producers. Delamotte produces three Champagnes- a Brut, a Rose and a Blancs de Blancs (the 1999 is the current vintage). They’re uniformly well made - elegant and refreshing and the clean, minerally Brut (about $44 retail) is a particularly good buy. In fact, it’s what I think I’ll be drinking if my current “malaise” - as one friend labeled my flu-ish state - develops into something more lasting. (Delamotte is imported by Wilson Daniels. (www.wilsondaniels.com)

Note to those following last week's blog: According to Kareem Massoud, the wines of Paumanok Vineyards will be available at New York Farmers' Markets starting this week. This Saturday they will be at the Abingdon Square market in the West Village and at the Union Square market next Monday, May 11th.

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