Tag Archives: Wine

The Brooklyn Winery! Wine Tasting Fun!

17 Jun

IMG_0260So a few weeks ago, my girlfriend suggested we hang out, for it’s been about three months since we last saw one another!

I’ve been meaning to go to a wine tasting class – however I wanted to also see what wineries were close to New York.

Low and behold, there are wineries right here in New York City, one of them is the Brooklyn Winery! Brooklyn? Yes, it’s true; I said the same thing?

Looking at their website, there were a few upcoming events on their itinerary and there was wine tasting! So a wine tasting class it was, a great thing to do together! The Brooklyn Winery is located on the north side of Williamsburg Brooklyn, where their wine is made right there on the spot!

So on a Monday night where it was raining fiercely and the anticipation was very high on seeing my girlfriend, partaking in the wine class and just having fun! So I get there and immediately notice the decor!


Beautiful Decor with Copper Tones

The decor is rustic, dark, with copper tones all around and definitely cozy.

There is an open feel; giving you the sense to relax and get in the mood to try some wine! Then I noticed my girlfriend, sitting at the bar – we were early, so it was good time to catch-up!

Brookyn Winery Wine Tasting Class

Brookyn Winery Wine Tasting Class

Before you know it, it was time to go to our wine tasting class! Ascending upstairs to a private room, we were greeted by our Sommelier; Kristina Sazama.  Kristina was very engaging and a lot of fun!  The class was full and we learned the basics of wine tasting and pair basics.   I found out that I really love wine; more than I lead on!

So you hold your wine glass at a 45 degree angle, swirl, sniff (checking to detect what your senses are telling you),  then sip!  Always do this in that order, so even though you may not understand at times what you may be doing, it will always look like you do!!!!

5 Basic Wine Characteristics

  1. Sweetness -wine is its level of sweetness. To taste sweet, focus your attention on the taste buds on the tip of your tongue. Are your taste buds tingling?–an indicator of sweetness. Believe it or not, many dry wines can have a hint of sweetness to carry a larger impression of Body. If you find a wine you like has residual sugar, you may enjoy a hint (or a lot!) of sweetness in your wine.
  2. Acidity – Tingling sensation that focuses on the front and sides of your tongue. Feels like pop rocks.
  3. Tannin -Imagine putting a used black tea bag on your tongue. A wet tea bag is practically pure tannin that is bitter and has a drying sensation. Tannin tastes herbaceous and is often described as astringent.
  4. Fruit – characterized by their main fruit flavors. Tasting for fruit flavors in a wine can help you better define your preferences. Like plum, blackberry, strawberries or raspberries.
  5. Body – Result of many factors – from wine variety, where it’s from, vintage, alcohol level and how it’s made.

IMG_0269I also found out how different foods definitely affects the way a wine tastes on your palette! So I am avoiding mushrooms and asparagus unless it has a little char on it! The class was fun and a great opportunity to try Brooklyn Winery’s wines; their very good!


Wine Barrels

Wine Barrels

The hour passed so quickly and we’d both decided to put our lesson to the test and try their featured dishes with our favorite wine, Pinot Noir – Los Carneros from the class:

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Togarashi Spice, Orange, Sunflower Seed Brittle, and Prosciutto Chips

Fried Buttermilk Chicken Bites with Soy Glaze, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Fresh Herbs

Lamb Meatballs with Rutabaga Sauerkraut, English Pea & Mint Pureé, Topped with Micro Pea Tendrils.

IMG_0279Sweet Potato and Chickpea Falafel – with Coriander Spiced Yogurt and Sesame. (ordered it twice….it was so good!)

The staff was very accommodating, it was such a great night! So if you want to learn more about wine, be in a great atmosphere with a lot of fun, the Brooklyn Winery is an excellent choice! (BW’s calendar)

Brooklyn Winery located 213 North 8th Street Brooklyn, NY (347) 763-1506. Gives tours of the winery to learn about how their wines are produced, has a wine bar and savor artisanal wines with great seasonal menus. The winery also can be available for private event venues, such as full-service weddings with wine crafted on-site, exquisite cuisine, and the beautiful winery as a backdrop.

IMG_0263As for Kristina Sazama, has an impressive background, worked at Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko, and Michael Skurnik Wines. Kristina holds the Diploma of Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London and is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. So there!  kristina.sazama@gmail.com @thirstyredhead

The wine Tasting Class featured the following Brooklyn Winery wines: Stainless Steel Riesling, Rose of Old Vine Zinfandel, Pinot Noir – Los Carneros  and Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Blend.

IMG_0271 Letia 🙂

Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar, Six Degrees of Separation – All in Tarrytown Westchester County, NY!!

29 Dec

chiboustSix degrees of separation is the idea that everyone is approximately six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.

Crème Chiboust is a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites. Occasionally using whipped cream to lighten; known as a traditionally a millefeuille cream.  Crème Chiboust can be flavoured with vanilla, orange zest, or liqueurs. Mixed with fruit, it becomes crème plombières.

Friends are about friendships and acquaintanceships with the thought of spanning across the same continuum.

Now we are all so busy and find it hard to connect throughout the year.  Yes we may e-mail, use social media quickly to say thinking of you and maybe even  give a text or two!  However during the Holiday season, it’s the time from the beginning of December until we bring in the New Year, we DO take the time to laugh, smile and catch-up with one another.

So here I am looking forward to attending Holiday parties and for one particular party I’m never disappointed at all, where the hosts, very good friends of mine have a spread of food, wine and desserts that will have you not paying attenion to the person you are talking too!  Only to excuse yourself and go back to taste some more!  This is what food does; it’s a great catalyst in helping you to meet new people; whether it’s the first time or just making it easier to engage to enjoy!

While mingling, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting this lovely woman named Jill Rose for the first time!  Simply marvelling on her contribution to the food spread, her pâté <to die for> and her pleasing response to the many types of desserts while eating.  She’d mentioned modestly that she was a restaurant owner; named Chiboust!

A kind invitation was extended to her restaurant and there we were both off in different directions; continuing to mingle with the other party guests.  This year, Christmas fell on a Wednesday for the work schedule for many did not stop for the next day. So I graciously kissed my dear friends good-bye who were the hosts; letting them know I had a ball and wished them the best for the New Year!

 A day passed, where I’d received Facebook messages, e-mails and phone messages (this is always the case, get Letia Operation 1 on 1) from another set of great friends whom live in Tarrytown, NY.  Calling to see what I would be doing that evening – for they wanted me to be part of an exciting Tapas and Wine Tasting gathering of ten!  Wine, catch-up with my friends, food….I’m in; #1 certified foodie!   “Where is it going to be held?” “Oh it’s going to be right here in town, the restaurant is named Chiboust!!!!

Unfrigginbelivable (its a word)!  I said, I just met the owner, Jill Rose the other night!!!  I know it sounds cliché, but IT IS a small, small, small world!

Shall we talk about Jill Rose! 🙂

When you first meet Jill, you notice almost immediately her warm and kind demeanor.  All of my friends speak of her in such admiration; for her dedication to her establishment, exceptional cuisine creations and commitment to the community. Since 2004, Jill has been the proud restaurant owner of Chiboust Bistro and Wine Bar; which is located in the quaint Westchester, NY town of Tarrytown.  The French Mediterranean restaurant’s location is right across the street from the famous theatre called the Tarrytown Music Hall.

Jill is a graduate of the  Culinary Institute of America (CIA); plus an award-winning pastry chef!!!  Everyone at the gathering, all indicated that her desserts are out of this world. …..how this was kept from me, is beyond me!!   If her desserts are her passion, let’s say Jill’s love of food was expressed in every dish brought to us to feast on that evening!

Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar 0

Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar

Let’s begin, the restaurant has a soft ambience, the exposed brick walls give a worldly look, while the color hues are very warm and inviting.  The seating is gracious, where you don’t feel crowded; where the background music’s volume is soft and enjoyable.

The evening started with a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks provided; all gearing towards to a Spanish cuisine of pure happiness!

To name a few….warmed spiced olives placed among the guests, then plates of  superbly fried corn fritters on a bed of arugula with a spicy aioli sauce followed by a tasty balsamic glaze over a pear roasted in honey and wrapped in prosciutto.  Oh! How about the dates wrapped in bacon, where the sugar from the date gave such an pleasant aroma – that you wanted to perhaps say bottle up to take with you! <YES, I was paying so much attention>.

There was grilled octopus so tender that, one of the guests said…”I never had this, wouldn’t never have try this and why is this so damn good?!”  There were assorted cheeses, beautiful selections of wine, red grapes and these delicate lamb meatballs in this intensifying flavored reduction sauce that left me wanting more!

Jill Rosen, Owner of Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar

Jill Rosen, Owner of Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar

Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar 2

Spanish Paella, Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar

All gearing  up to the “plat de résistance”…… the Paella!  A superb robust flavored dish with chorizo sausage, chicken, rice which had the texture of risotto and just enough of peppery heat to give your lips a slight tingle!  It was so, so good! The hmm’s amongst all of us was almost like singing a song!  🙂

What an evening!!! We all intend to make plans to return to Chiboust!  Jill and her staff were quite wonderful and everyone was so very, very pleased.

Letia Mitchell and Jill Rosen, Owner of Chiboust Restaurant

Letia Mitchell and Jill Rosen, Owner of Chiboust Restaurant

If you so happen to be in Westchester County NY, near Tarrytown, or attending a concert at the Tarrytown Musical Hall or just want a change of scenery from NYC……head over to Chiboust; you won’t be disappointed at ALL!

To see all the possibilities that this bistro could ever offer, please take a moment and view the menus; here’s the website: http://www.chiboust.com/

It is so true this thing called six degrees of separation; Jill Rose, her restaurant named Chiboust and wonderful friends!

Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design

Merci beaucoup Jill!!!

Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar 14 Main Street Tarrytown NY  (914) 703-6550 

Photos by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design® 

Different Wine Glasses for Thanksgiving Dinner??

21 Nov
Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass, sh...


Maggie from Richmond, VA had a great question! 

 “I am confused about wine glasses, what’s the difference?  Thanksgiving is only a few days a way and my mother-in-law says, do I have the right glasses!  And floral or solid tablecloth, I have two… my napkins are solid?”    

In a few days, you will be greeting your guests for Thanksgiving dinner and you want to know what type of wine glasses should be on the table.   Is there a difference?   The answer is yes!   Red wine should be poured in a specific glass, which is different from white wine.   It’s all in the way the wine breathes and enhances the taste.    I don’t know what types of wine you’ll be having, but don’t get so crazy; you can quickly go to Target® or Bed Bath & Beyond and buy a couple of sets or how many you may need <usually comes in 4>.   

A wine connoisseur could go on and on about the specifics; where the glasses may become pricey!  You just need the basics!

  1. When looking at wine glasses,  you should have at least two for your collection. The Bordeaux glass, which is designed for full-bodied red wines such as Cabernets and Merlots; for the wine to breathe and brings out the aromas.   The glass allows the wine to touch the back of the mouth allowing for a great flavor. 
  2. Next is the Burgundy glass to use for other type of full-bodied wines such as a Pinot Noir.  It’s a bit larger, not as tall at the Bordeaux.   This glass allows the wine to dispense to the tip of the tongue; which makes its easier to taste the sweetness of the wine.
  3. Now white wine glasses are smaller to help keep wine cool.  These glasses allow the wine to dispense at the tip and sides of the tongue to better enjoy the wine’s sweetness.

As for the table setting,  you already have your china, so a solid tablecloth will do fine, as for napkins….go to the nearest Marshall’s, TJ Maxx to save money on buying extra cloth napkins.  When your there you can see whether you can pick up those last items;  but from your e-mail; you’ve got everything covered!

Good Luck, Maggie and Happy Thanksgiving!

Letia 🙂

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