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Winebar, Burger, and Recent Wines of the Night (WOTN)

Posted on | December 15, 2009 | Written by Chris Deas | 5 Comments

At the recommendation of Melissa, our Creative Director, and in the service of finding  Manhattan’s next amazing wine bar, I stumbled onto an even more elusive find: a great burger and an incredible red.   It was an “OMG,”  “WOTN” and “w00t” discovery, all rolled into one.

I experienced what many of us wine enthusiasts look for –that moment when a little patience is rewarded, and that time when the primary and secondary flavors of a wine have evolved and meshed to create a spectrum of tastes.  The wine in question was a 1996 Sociando-Mallet, and thanks to Bar Henry’s new Marketplace approach, you don’t have to pay the full bottle price to have a glass of vintage wine.  Typically, it’s prohibitive to enjoy a respectable thirteen-year-old Bordeaux by the glass at a restaurant. However, when you order half of a bottle of the Sociando-Mallet, Bar Henry opens a fresh bottle, pours half to satisfy your order and then places the remaining half on their “Marketplace” board for others to enjoy. In essence, you are sharing the cost of buying a full bottle of wine. It’s not a bad idea, especially if you are coming in to retrieve the second half after it has had a little time to breathe and open up.

Wine and burgers at Bar Henry

Wine and burgers at Bar Henry

To accompany this unclassified and often unsung wine of Bordeaux’s Left bank, we ordered the La Frieda Burger (named after Patrick La Frieda, the meat master behind some of Manhattan’s landmark burgers at joints such as Shake Shack, Minetta Tavern, among others).  Bar Henry provided a tasty and sizeable burger:  fresh, juicy, perfect for some vino, and a welcomed change from the 2:00AM Corner Bistro-Bud combo. From the Sociando-Mallet, we moved on to the 2006 Tempier Bandol, which could use a decade of aging, some German beers and more. However, this night belonged to Sociando-Mallet; it’s a wine that’s currently peaking and joins my list of value performers or “WOTN” for the month.

The WOTN List:  Value Wines of the Night (December)

1. The 1999 Fontodi Flaccianello: While everyone is focused on buying the 2006s from this Tuscan estate—and with good reason—I have been pouring the 1999. With ten years of age, the wine can be better described as a masculine Brunello. I poured this wine in the company of aged Barolos and single vineyard Pinots for a group of eight enthusiasts two weeks ago.  On tasting the Flaccianello, three of the eight stopped what they were saying, stared backed down in their glass for a second take, and then returned their attention to me to say, “I will take a case of that.” This wine is simply on.

2. The 2001 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva: It’s the little wine that’s capable of changing the perception of Chianti. While most of us consume the Tuscan red within five years of the vintage date, this is a great example of a Chianti Classico showing maturity and providing tertiary notes of mushroom, underbrush, and cherry.  We poured this wine at a tasting event for 100 guests outside of Philly, with emphatic responses like “what is that?” and “that’s Chianti?” I completely recommend this wine.

3. The 1996 Chateau Sociando-Mallet: Thanks to Bar Henry, I was able to share a half bottle of this with a friend without a premium, and I am now in the process of asking our Wine Acquisitions Director Christy for some bottles to enjoy at home.  This is a classic Bordeaux blend and one of the great values in the overpriced region. I also think this 1996 is great example of how the rating and point system can dissuade enthusiasts from experiencing a great bottle.  This wine over-delivers in price and reviews.  Visit Bar Henry and try this wine while it’s in its moment, and be sure to ask Patric the bartender-sommelier for his well-prepared and seasonally appropriate Tom and Jerry cocktail. It’s the perfect ending for an evening of wine and burgers.


5 Responses to “Winebar, Burger, and Recent Wines of the Night (WOTN)”

  1. Jackie Corso
    December 15th, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    I actually went to Bar Henry for Rob’s pairing of Champagne and fries, but the carnivore in me won and I went with the burger and wine too–happily finishing off someone else’s half bottle of Domaine Thenard Givry- Clos St. Pierre Premier Cru 2005-and a Tom and Jerry!

  2. Christy A. Canterbury
    December 16th, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

    I had my Tom and Jerry last night! It’s adult dessert and HUGE! I have a picture of the Market Board to prove it. My friend and I drank a carafe of Torremilanos 07 Ribera del Duero Roble and a 1/2 bottle of Foradori 06 Granato (yum!)

  3. Tweets that mention Winebar, Burger, and Recent Wines of the Night (WOTN) : Inside IWM --
    December 17th, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ItalianWineMerchants, ItalianWineMerchants. ItalianWineMerchants said: Bar Henry, burgers and Sociando-Mallet […]

  4. Jackie Corso
    December 17th, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

    The Foradori Granato 1998 (yes, yum!) was one of the wines poured at a recent party at Morrell’s Wine Bar for the Rockefeller Center tree lighting-and out of a large format–triple yum!

  5. Chris Deas
    December 17th, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

    I did not realize the Tom and Jerry cocktail was such a hit, I am trying to get Patric to send his version, but here is the recipe that appeared in Saveur this month – great, traditional holiday drink.

    I will have to check out the Fordori with some age, sounds like a good find.

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