thursday night tasting

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Old World Wines for a BEAUTIFUL Spring Day

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of three amazing values from across Europe. We’re talking romance languages, love stories, family values, and ancestral grapes… these wines have it all! Our friend Daniel from IPO wines will be here pouring and we’ll have bread from She Wolf and cheese from ED.

Elvio Tintero Grangia Rosato, Piemonte N/V

I always enjoy a good love story, and the one behind this delightful effervescent rosato is a gem. The estate dates back to 1900, when Frenchman Pierre Tintero travelled to Piemonte in search of employment. He got a job on a small vineyard doing odd jobs for widow Rosina Cortese who was struggling to keep things afloat solo. He quickly became an indispensable, and he and Rosina fell in love. Two years later, they married and lived happily ever after. Today, their great- grandson Marco carries on that legacy! 90% Barbera, 5% Moscato, and 5% Favorita, this pink refresher is fresh and dry with a hint of just-ripened red berry fruit, low alcohol and tiny, spritzy bubbles. Believe it or not, it’s gonna be hot soon, and this is what we’ll reach for. $15

Le Paradou Grenache, Rhone 2011

This pure, unoaked expression of Grenache is a fantastic red for this transitional time of year. Made by two handsome brothers in Luberon with estate fruit grown in accordance with the laws of Terre Vitis, an organization that ensures that properties respect the environment in which the vines are grown and stresses the benefits of integrated farming. These hard-core vineyard practices and high altitude, mountainside vineyard sites produce a vivacious and dynamic Grenache, bursting with fresh red fruit and spirited acidity. The Chaudiere brothers stress that this is a wine for sharing with family and friends, a wine for picnics and gatherings, and we couldn’t agree more. $14

Celler de Roure “Setze Gallets”, Valencia 2011

The name “Setze Gallets” translates to “16 Cookies”, which is a regional term for something that is a very good value… like this wine! Hailing from a recently revitalized 300+ year old vineyard, “Setze Gallets” is a blend of Garnacha, Merlot, Monastrell, and Mando. Here, juicy black fruit is balanced by exotic spice and a distinctive earthiness. Fire up the grill, my friends! This wine is terrific with bbq. $15

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When the cat’s away, the mice will play… and this Thursday night is definitely playtime! Lily is headed to Spain for a week, and in her stead, we’re partying with our friend Rob from T. Edward, some Spanish wines (plus my favorite Cali sparkler), and cheese from Eastern District, tonight from 6-9!

Ostatu Rosado Rioja 2012

For the second year running, this rosado from Rioja is one of our faves in the fridge. A sustainable blend of old-vine grapes( 50% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha, and 10% Viura), this is the ultimate hot weather refresher. Tart citrus meets juicy red fruit and finishes dry. We just got a fresh shipment of the Govino glasses delivered… I think it’s high-time to drink pink wine out of doors. $15

D. Ventura Vina do Burato Ribeira Sacra 2011

This fresh, medium bodied Mencia from 80 year old organically grown vines can take a bit of a chill, making it an ideal summer red. Vibrant and aromatic, with pretty florals, raspberry fruit, and a cool minerality. Drink picnic style with roast beef sandwiches or over a tv marathon in the A/C. $16.50

Salinia 25 Reasons Sonoma County 2011

I could totally give you 25 reasons to drink this all natural, organic, sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from California, but you really only need one: It’s DELICIOUS. Dry as can be, cider-y, lemon-y, minerall-y… It’s a terrific aperetif, and the mouth watering acidity is somewhat addictive. With no additives, native yeasts, and natural fermentation- I’ve convinced myself that it’s actually healthy, and If I had to choose one thing to drink all summer, this would be it. Did I mention I love this wine? $23

MOLTO BENE! Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of some Italian favorites from importer Domenico Valentino. We’ll have cheese from ED and bread from She Wolf Bakery.

Lini Labrusca Bianco

Lambrusco is all the rage, and has been steadily trending for a while now. But there’s more to it than just fruity, fizzy red. The Lini family has been crafting quality Lambruscos in Emilia Romagna for over a century. Currently headed by super-babe Alicia Lini, the winery has had a huge roll in re-invigorating the reputation of Lambrusco in the US. Their white “Labrusca” is made from 100% Pinot Noir. It’s soft, minerally, and dry with notes of stone fruit, green apple and fresh herbs. It makes an incredibly festive libation for all the upcoming holiday parties on your calendar. $18

Oppida Aminea Simbiotico, Campania 2011

The label says it best: “Vino Simbiotico represents an ongoing commitment to complete sustainability. It reflects a profound respect for the environment. It is a wine born of advanced soil management and rigorous, low-intervention winemaking. No filtering, no fining, and no added sulfites; recycled packaging materials and solar power. Winemaker Francesco Iocono spent a decade on his vineyards and cellar preparing for this, the first release of Simbiotico.” We were won over by it’s complexity and finesse. Come try the very first vintage of this amazing wine! $24

Luca Ferraris Barbera d'Asti 2012

Dreamy Luca Ferraris’s easy, elegant Barbera is my go-to red for the ever popular pizza/pasta night. Dry and medium bodied, with ripe red fruit and acidity in perfect balance. A match made in heaven (Piemonte, to be exact) for anything cheese-y, tomato-y, mushroom-y, OR chocolate-y. One bottle generally isn’t enough. $14

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Thursday Night Tasting: Let there be bubbles!

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for an incredibly special tasting of Champagne and Sparkling Wine with our friend Ben from Bonhomie. It’s our last tasting of the year and we’re gonna make it count! Please come by and share a bubbly toast with us over cheese from ED and bread from She Wolf.

Moissenet-Bonnard Cremant de Bourgogne

100% Pinot Noir sparkler from one of the most revered villages in Burgundy, this Cremant is perfetly party ready and available in both 750 mL bottles and MAGNUMS if you really want to do it right. Citrus fruit, green almond, firm bubbles and a dry finish- sophisticated and festive! $25

Pierre Brigandat Champagne

Over the past few years this wine has become our “House Champagne”, one we don’t ever want to live without! All Pinot Noir, this Grower Champagne is onsistently delicious with robust fruit and bracing minerality. Brigandat is ready to party alllllllllll season long. $40

Marie-Noelle Ledru Grand Cru Brut

We feel fortunate to be one of the few retailers with access to the incredible Champagnes made by Marie-Noelle in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay. As far as we’re concerned, she is one of the best and most conscientious producers around, the “Beyonce of Champagne”, overseeing every single step from viticulture to vinification. Her Grand Cru is elegant inside and out, the perfect balance of bread-y brioche and zesty citrus. Bottoms up, babes! $69

Jean Velut Rose

This bold, organic Rose Champagne packs a punch and definitely leaves an impression from it’s vibrant red hue to it’s lingering finish. 100% Pinot Noir from one of the “lost villages of Champagne” in the Aube region. A Champagne suitable for hearty holiday meals that turn into raucous late night celebrations. Live a little. $55

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Thursday Night Tasting: Vini Bianco

Steamy days and sultry nights call for crisp white wines of character served chilly, on repeat! Join us tonight, 6:30-8:30, for two perfect Italian whites that will spice things up on these long, hot summer days! Food friendly and crowd pleasing, these just might be your new faves in the ‘fridge. David Pinzolo of Wine 4 All will be joining us tonight to pour, alongside cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf Bakery.

Vite Colte Aureliana Gavi 2015

The Piemontese village of Gavi is smack between the port city of Genova and historic Allessandria, and it is here that the region’s most important white wines are made. Gavi achieved fame in the 1950’s and 60’s with the glittering celebrity set vacationing on the Italian Riviera, and has remained popular, known for it’s elegance and versatility. 100% Cortese grapes, Vite Colte’s Aureliana is textbook Gavi, boasting bright, cheery citrus notes, impressive bod, and a long, supple finish. Delicious with fish and salsa verde, citrus-y chicken, and shellfish. $19

Podere Santa Maria Terre Irpine Falanghina, Campania 2014

Playful and luscious, and very affordable, this Falanghina has become something of a summer staple around here. Luscious orchard fruit- green pears and yellow apples- with remarkable concentration, a hint of minerality, and a buoyant, lifted acidity on the finish. This vivacious wine is crowd pleasing, refreshing, and ready to party. $14

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THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING: Let’s Get Domestic

10/9/14, 6-9 pm

Dandelion loves the little guys- small producers, small distributors, and tucked away/ up-and-coming regions all hold a special place in our hearts. Enter, Coeur Wine Co., a small, independent importing and distributing company that started with just one man, Eric Clemons, a passionate wino (and now winemaker!) who branched off on his own after working for some of the larger companies in the market. He represents wines from small producers all over the globe and has a point of view and palate very similar to our own! And several months in, when he told us he had hired a sales rep., we were thrilled to discover it was our former neighbor and customer Mariel! Join us tonight in welcoming Mariel back to Gpt for a tasting of three great domestic wines from the Coeur portfolio, over bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District.

Grochau Cellars Commuter Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013

 Willamette Valley Pinot is hot, hot, hot! An underdog no more, this beautiful wine growing region in Oregon has become incredibly popular, producing a lot of really fantastic wines, most notably from Pinot Noir grapes. Despite it’s popularity and the abundance of it available these days, this thin skinned grapes is one of the hardest to grow and vinify- just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean they should be. The climate and terroir of the Willamette Valley however is ideal for growing this finicky grape! The folks at Grochau source fruit from a number of choice vineyards to make their Commuter Cuvee, a wine intended to demonstrate the “bright, fresh purity” of the region’s Pinot. The wine is aged for 7.5 months on the lees, in mostly used oak, and racked just before bottling. The result is a spice laden sipper with plenty of juicy red and black berry fruit. Drink it with abandon, and drink it in abundance. $22 

THE FINGER LAKES

Lily and I both love the Finger Lakes, having both visited and participated in wine in the region at various points in our careers. After working (and drinking) a bit there during the 2013 harvest, I was really taken with the people I met and the wines being made. The growers and producers I got to know were humble, creative, hardworking people in the business of making wine for all the right reasons. Definitely an underappreciated area, the Finger Lakes region is producing some really excellent wines from both international varietals and hybrid grapes, the latter often with the help of nearby Cornell University’s Viticulture and Oenology program. While we are all eager to buy local goods and eat locally sourced produce, meats, and fish, somehow drinking wines from nearby hasn’t become as much of a priority. We know we can have a part in changing that, and are excited for you to taste these wines with us tonight and make them a part of your lives! 

 Keuka Lake Vineyards is a gorgeous, small estate winery located on fertile southern slope of the Y shaped namesake lake. They sell a lot of their fruit to neighboring wineries, but reserve a small amount of certain varietals for their own small production of old-world style artisan wines. 

Keuka Lake Vineyards Gently Dry Vignoles, Finger Lakes 2013

 I’m proud to say that I hand picked some of the grapes for the wine in this bottle with some fellow sommeliers and wine buyers this time last fall! But my contribution ends there, and Moss Bittner, Keuka’s winemaker last year, is responsible for the rest. Vignoles is a complex hybrid grape variety of unknown heritage most commonly grown in the Finger Lakes. The 2013 was vinified relatively naturally, fermented long and slow in stainless steel tanks. Though it’s a grape that naturally produces a good bit of residual sugar in it’s wines, there is also an incredible amount of bright, sunny acidity and we find this wine to be extremely well balanced. Lip-smacking but never sour, tropical and fruit forward but not sweet, this “Gently Dry” Vignoles is an excellent example of some of the cooler hybrid varietal wines coming out of the region. It tastes like an eternal summer, which I know I want in my life! Drink as an aperitif or with light seafood dishes. $17

Keuka Lake Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2011, Finger Lakes 2011

Cabernet Franc is consistently one of my favorite red varietals grown in the Finger Lakes, and Keuka’s is an excellent example. The majority of the grapes for their cuvee actually came from Overlook Farms on Seneca Lake, with the remainder from their own younger vines. This is a dark fruited, spicy red, with elegant, silky tannins and significant structure. This wine pairs beautifully with the crunch of fall leaves, slow roasting brisket and farm fresh root vegetables. Done and done. $22

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THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING

LET THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND BEGIN!

It feels like summer out, we have the AC blasting, tattoos bared, and some great tunes spinning. We’re ready to party! Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, in welcoming our friend Melissa from Banville and Jones Wine Merchants, who will be pouring three stellar sippers, ideal for drinking upstate, at the beach, or on the roof. I can’t tell you how excited I am for the warm sunny days to come! We’ll sweeten the deal with bread from Marlow & Sons and cheese from Eastern District!

Tangent Albarino Edna Valley 2011

Smack dab between Monterey and Santa Barbara lies the Edna Valley, a tiny valley with one of the coolest, longest growing regions in California. The grapes for Tangent are grown and harvested sustainably, and see no oak in the winemaking process, giving us a pure expression of a grape we generally only see grown in Rias Baixas, Spain. Notes of lime zest and pineapple shine through in this refreshing and delightful white! We especially appreciate the screw cap for easy access when you’re drinkin’ away from home. $19

Love Drunk Rose Oregon 2011

We’re running dangerously low on this delicious rose, so get it before it’s too late! Our friend, former sommelier, and fellow Brooklynite Andre Mack is the brains (and palate) behind this operation, producing spectaular wines from Oregon and Washington State. Inspired by the Champagne region of France, his rose is and blend of 15% Pinot Noir and 85% Chardonnay. It’s a kiwi, strawberry, raspberry lemonade for grown-ups, tailor-made for days like this. $18

6 Hats Cabernet S. Africa 2010

Intense, spicy, and full-bodied, this is a wine for MEAT. Certifiable Fairtrade vineyards are the source for the 6 Hats grapes, and the unique terroir of South Africa really shows through in the wine. Smoky and deep, with concentrated, bold blackberry and black cherry fruit, and freshly cracked pepper. Some time spent in both American and French oak imparts an incredibly smooth finish that lingers and lingers. $12

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VALENTINE’S DAY TASTING

Whether you’re single and ready to mingle or happily coupled-up and looking for a good time, join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for pink bubbles, oysters, and treats! Meg is pouring, Will is shucking, Nelson’s delivering, and Lily will help you out with your toughest pairings. Dandy loves you!

Vina Enebro Rosado

Vina Enebro’s bubbly Monastrell hails from a winery that has been run by the same family for countless generations. Their grapes are grown and harvested sustainably, and the resulting wine is fermented with only native yeasts. The wine is bright and fruit-forward, with a satisfyingly yeasty finish almost remniscent of some fruitier beers. $23

Scarpetta Vino Spumante Brut Rose

The Scarpetta vineyard is a collaborative effort of Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey and Chef Lachlan MacKinnon Patterson from Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. Bobby and Lachlan fell in love with Northeastern Italian region of Friuli and decided to make their own wines there. The Scarpetta sparkling rose is a lush, dry blend of Pinot Nero and Franconia. It’s an excellent aperetivo with salumi and cheese. $25

La Ritournelle Rose de Loire 2011

This organic, biodynamic Cabernet Franc, made by renowned Chinon producers Pierre and Catherine Breton, is pure joy. La Ritournelle is round and bright, with notes of tropical flowers and strawberry fruit, and persistant little bubbles. Best enjoyed with friends and light fare. $25

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Thursday Night Tasting: Terry Theise Estate Selections

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of three Austrian and German whites from the distinctive portfolio of legendary importer Terry Theise. A wine world deity, Theise is well known for his impeccable taste, devotion to winemakers and terroir, and indefatigable quest to discover some of the best wines in the world. Terry’s manifesto is admirable:

  • Beauty is more important than impact. 
  • Harmony is more important than intensity. 
  • The whole of any wine must always be more than the sum of its parts.
  • Distinctiveness is more important than conventional prettiness. 
  • Soul is more important than anything, and soul is expressed as a trinity of family, soil, and artisanality. 

Rain or shine, we’re thrilled to share a few of Terry’s gorgeous finds tonight over cheese from Eastern District!

Von Winning Riesling, Pfalz 2011

New York City is a take-out town. The Dandy crew orders OTT Thai once a week, at the verty least. And what’s dinner without something to drink? Von Winning’s organic, natural, un-fined, unfiltered Riesling is a winner to have on hand (or have delivered) for spicy take-out nights. It’s uber sunny and bright with just a delicate touch of residual sugar to balance out the firiest of foods. $20

H&M Hofer Gruner Veltliner 2011

Gruner Veltliner has for years been everyone’s favorite easy summer guzzler, so much so that even we forgot that the grape can make more exceptional, refined wines as well. Terry Theise, of course, has many stellar Gruners in his book, and this one from H&M Hofer is a fresh reminder. Medium bodied, with sharp minerality and soft aromatics, a true stand-out among it’s watery, colorless pop-top peers. $22

Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner Federspiel 2011

Nikolaihof is an “organic, bio-dynamic winery whose wines express the earth, the whole earth and nothing but the earth”, and their Gruner is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It’s richly perfumed and absolutely brimming with character, from home-y baking spices to the most fragrant white flowers, with lush pear fruit and a pretty dose of R.S. I think we’ve drank half the bottles we received of this, and it will be a treat to share it with you tonight. $35

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Party Like a Rock Star It’s cold. It’s grey. It’s winter. And it’s almost March. If you need a reason to drink (we don’t) any/all of those will do… so let’s get down! Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, to celebrate the end of February! Meg will be pouring three hard rockin’ Old World reds alongside cheese from ED and bread from SHE WOLF.

Milziade Antano Montefalco Rosso 2011

To taste this wine is to love this wine, and I can’t wait for you to join us in the fan club. A sustainably-grown old-vine blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, and 15% Merlot from Umbria, a region hidden in the shadow of the Tuscan hills. Following previous generations’ examples, Antano takes a decidedly old fashioned approach to his wines- farming naturally, working by hand, and interfering very little in the winery. The result is a clean, pure expression of the grapes and terroir of the region: bright red cherry fruit, soft but persistent tannic structure, and a unique, lingering finish that demands another sip, another glass, and another bottle. $23

Cesca Vicent Priorat 2011

Fifth generation winemaker Francesca Vicent practices organic farming on her Priorat vineyards which have been growing wine grapes since the 15th century. Paying special attention to the various soil types (eleven!) and microclimates on her property, Vicent grows each of the grape varietals for her blends in the absolute optimal individual conditions. 40% Garnacha, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 10% Syrah make up this powerful yet nuanced wine that at 15.5% abv is sure to get your blood pumping and those sweaters off. $19

Vina Sastre Ribeira del Duero 2011

This organic Tempranillo comes from some of the oldest, most primely situated vineyards in the Ribeira del Duero D.O. Employing ancestral farming techniques and many of the principles of biodynamics, Jesus Sastre mixes the most traditional practices with any new technology he deems practical in creating classic regional Tempranillo. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, fermented with the use of indigenous yeasts, naturally cold stabalized, and aged in large used-oak barrels. I’m told Jesus and his family and friends enjoy this wine with lamb on the vineyard, and I think you should absolutely do the same. $21

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Sophia Loren famously said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti!”, but I think she clearly should’ve thanked red wine as well. Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of three Italian reds (all under 20 bucks!) with our good friend Anthony Lamonica from Golden Vines over cheese from ED and bread from She Wolf Bakery.

Sopra Berruti L'Armangia Barbera d'Asti 2011

A natural choice for Pinot Noir drinkers that want to mix it up, Barbera tends to offer lush red fruit, medium body, and well-balanced acidity. This classic Asti Barbera is all that: juicy cherries, cooked cranberries, delicate structure, and a soft, silky finish. Bellisimo! $17

Montemercurio Tedicciolo 2009

80% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and the remaining 5%, a local field blend, Tedicciolo is a perfectly food friendly wine from the hills of Tuscany. The vibrant acidity that is characteristic of Sangiovese makes the perfect match for anything tomato-y… pizza, bruschetta, or Sophia’s spaghetti. $17

Il Fitto Syrah, Cortona 2009

Il Fitto’s Syrah is a pretty special expression of a grape I find to be something of a chameleon. The perfect balance of savory meatiness and delicate black fruit, with subtle spice and soft tannins. A wine as good with steak as it is with roasted winter vegetables. Versatile and elegant. $16

DISCO TASTING

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… it’s a NEW YEAR and we’re feeling good! Tonight, 6-9 pm, we’re cleaning house. Out with the old and in with the new! We’ll be tasting a selection of wines (chosen at whim) from the DISCO RACK and you know what that means… 25% off! We suggest you stop by for some cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf, and pick up a couple bottles to prepare for the year (and the blizzard) ahead!

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THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING : Croatia and Slovenia

September 25, 2014

6-9 pm

I returned Sunday from a two week vacation in Central Europe- specifically Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. As with any big trip, I had great expectations, and to say they were exceeded would be an understatement. I strolled through charming capitol cities, explored small medieval villages, hiked among breathtaking waterfalls, and drank a LOT of really fantastic wines, many on the vineyards with the people who make them.  As much as I love New York, it’s always really invigorating to embark on a real adventure, and this trip fulfilled that and more. It was a real two week education, adventure, and love affair…and it’s always wonderful to return home with stories, renewed energy, and of course, wine! Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of wines from Croatia and Slovenia (both formerly Yugoslavia) with our buddy Stetson from Blue Danube Wine. Stetson has been like a guru for all things Danubia for us at Dandelion, and we’re excited to share these wines tonight- some bottles I tasted along the way and some made by friends of friends I hope to meet on future trips! We’ll have bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District, and lots of stories.

Crnko Jarenincan 2013

I spent an absolutely wonderful afternoon with Silvo Crnko and his family at their winery near Maribor last week, smack dab in the middle of their busy harvest season. In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to visit the region to begin with was a picture I came across of Jarenina, the nearby, namesake village where this wine was originally exclusively sold, while researching this very wine for a tasting last year! Despite the flurry of activity, Silvo sat down with me between press loads and we tasted through his entire, impressive line-up of white wines over local cheese and homemade charcuterie.  After, I was invited to have dinner with the whole family and their tired harvest workers. I left late in the evening full, and utterly charmed, and more amped than ever about this wine! His liter blend has been a favorite here for a while- it’s just so damn easy to love! A mixed bag of the white varieties Silvo grows, all sustainably- flowery, aromatic Muscats, vibrant Laski Riesling and Ravenec, and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc. In the summers, Slovenians drink this wine with sparkling water. Although this has been a difficult vintage across Slovenia, I got to sample some of the grapes coming in from the fields before they went into the press. If you can judge from the grapes themselves, I can’t wait to try the spring release! $15

Vinarija Dingac Peljesac 2012

While I didn’t make it to the Dalmatian Coast this trip, I looked into it, and dream of a future summer vacation island hopping between pristine Croatian beaches! This is one of my favorite easy reds on the shelf, and it hails from the sun-drenched coasts of southern Croatia. Made from local varietal Plavac Mali, I like to think of this as an exotic Beaujolais, and I like it best with a little chill. Light bodied and cheerful but surprisingly complex- it boasts fresh plummy fruit, lean minerality, and a super interesting mix of dried herbs, earth, and preserved fruit notes. Locals drink it with wood fired sardines, but it’s versatile enough to pair with a wide variety of foods and palates! $14

Bibich R6 Riserva 2010

This red blend hailing from Skradin in Northern Dalmatia is composed of 34% Babic, 33% Plavina, and 33% Lasin. Deep, dark, and dense, it’s the answer to wet, chilly nights like this and the wetter, chillier nights in our near future. 2010 was a dry vintage, I’m told, and the grapes harvested produced a more concentrated, heftier style of red. Our importer describes “delightful aromas of tart cherry pie fresh out of the oven” and I can’t think of anything more pleasant! Pairs well with roast duck, brisket, and Law and Order marathons on rainy nights! $21

Batic Rosé 2013

One morning I woke up in Croatia, ate lunch in Slovenia, and was in Italy in plenty of time for hours of aperetivo. I’m told that when Yugoslavia disbanded, the property lines weren’t checked before the borders of the countries were drawn, so some families reside in Slovenia and their back yards, in Italy.  Because of this, the culture and food of Friuli and the bordering Slovenian villages have a lot in common. For instance, Vipava, the home of Batic! The Batic family consider themselves more “expert gatherers than heavy handed winemakers.” Ivan and his son Miha are guardians of the local terroir and native varietals who make wines from them as naturally as they can, with little, if any, intervention or additives. This wild rosé is semi-dry, a touch effervescent, and utterly unique. We’ve never tasted anything like it, and the bottle is just as wonderfully weird. We’re only opening one of these, so get here early so you don’t miss out. $33

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Thursday Night Tasting: French and Spanish wines for good summer vibes.

Join us tonight, 6:30-8:30, for a very fun summer tasting with something for every occasion. Our friend Cory from VOS Selections will be here to host, and we’ll have cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf to make it a party!

Sieur d'Argues “Toques a Clocher” Cremant de Limoux
This perky bubbly was originally made for an annual French fundraising event featuring some of the world’s most famous chefs (wearing traditional “Toques”) where the proceeds go to restore old bell towers (“clochers”). A blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac made traditionally in the place where sparkling wine began- bubbly was made for the very first time in 1531 by Benedictine monks right here in Saint-Hilaire.

Chateau de Roquefort Corail Rosé, Provence 2015
Chateau de Roquefort’s biodynamic Provençal rosé is a blend of a little bit of everything:Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Vermentino, and Clairette. Fresh Jersey strawberries, a little citrus, and a cool sea breeze in a bottle- there’s a lot of summer left to drink pink wine outdoors!!!

François Villard “L'appell des Sereines” Rhone 2012
This perfectly defined French Syrah is totally textbook Northern Rhone- earthy, brambly, plummy fruit, and cracked black pepper with edgey minerality. Pair this understated but powerful wine with a mixed grill-Carne asada and heirloom tomatoes as the sun goes down behind the Manhattan skyline.

Pinuaga Nature, Castilla-La Mancha 2014
Dandy boasts a long and friendly history with winemaker Esther pinuaga and we’re thrilled to have this wine back on the shelf. Organically grown and vinified with minimal intervention, this trusty Tempranillo really over delivers with a perfect balance of black fruit and spice and well built structure.

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IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TASTING OF THE YEAR!

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a FRENCH BUBBLY PARTY! For the last several years, our friend Ben from Bonhomie Wines has hosted our final tasting of the year, and we’re continuing the tradition. It’s a celebration of all the great things we’ve drank together throughout the year and a chance to have a festive holiday drink friends and neighbors.We couldn’t be more excited! Come have a sip (or four) of bubbly, bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District, and stock up for the holidays. We wrap, we ship, and we have something for every occasion and everyone on your list.

In addition to being our last tasting of 2015, tonight will also be our last 3 hour tasting. Starting in 2016, our weekly tastings will take place every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

DANDY LOVES YOU!

Jean-Louis Moissenet-Bonnard Cremant de Bourgogne Brut

A staple in the fridge, both at my house and in the shop, this is an absolutely spectacular sparkler and SUCH a bargain. 100% estate grown Pinot Noir from a small family producer, this outstanding Cremant is rich and opulent, with a toasty brioche body and citrusy lift on the finish. Win the best guest award by showing up to your next party with a magnum. Elegance in a bottle. $25/$55

Franck Besson Rosé Granit Brut Rosé

As pretty and perfect as can be, this vivacious bubbly Gamay from Beaujolais is the queen of hearts- lovely and dynamic, with a sparkling personality. Lil and I recently shared a magnum with pals of diverse palates one unseasonably warm December evening, and it was loved by one and all. I plan to have one on hand for Christmas morning breakfast with my family, but it’s also great with birthday cannolis and spicy food.

$27/ $50

Pierre Brigandat & Fils Champagne Brut Tradition

One of our “House Champagnes”, Brigandat is a celebration work horse- perfect for house warmings, new babies, Christmas Eve, New Year’s, anniversaries, Thursdays… you name it, we suggest popping Champagne for it. When asked about his wine-making philosophy, second gen. winemaker Bertrand Brigandat replied “Peace and love.” He plays with organic and biodynamic farming, and is about as non-interventionist as he can be, but “peace and love” is good enough for me. 95% Pinot Noir, and 5% Chardonnay- a pleasure to drink and to share. $42

D. Henriet-Bazin Champagne Blanc de Noirs

When in doubt regarding what to pair, Champagne is always the answer. And a bold, powerful Blancs de Noir like this 100% Pinot stunner is a total statement maker that’ll stand up to cheeses, steak, lobster, or chocolate cake juuuuuust fine. Also sushi, tacos, French fries, pizza… you get the idea. Boss 5th generation Champagne-maker Marie-Noelle Laplagne-Henriet produces killer, terroir-driven bubbles in her family’s long running tradition and you can taste the history in every beautiful bottle. $54

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Thursday Night Tasting

Since we can’t take you all to Spain, we’re bringing Spain to Dandelion! Join us tonight, 6-9 pm in welcoming our old friend Rob Novick from T. Edward Wines for our Thursday Night Tasting! Rob will be pouring three spectacular Organic wines from around Spain (three faves of our newest team member Meghan) over bread from Romans and cheese from Eastern District.

Bodegas Edetaria Edetana Blanco, Terra Alta 2011

Lily, Meghan, and I drank this wine at Tertulia a few months ago on a crazy day/night out in the city. After purchasing a plane ticket from my cell phone, I texted Rob that we “absolutely had to have this wine at the store!” Having had several bottles since (in a more rational state of mind) I can tell you definitively that it’s de-licious. An aromatic blend of 70% Garnacha Blanco and 30% Viognier, with notes of white peach, citrus blossom, and spice- terrific with tapas AND tacos alike. $18

Josep Foraster Trepat Conca de Barbera Trepat 2011

A rare 100% Trepat from Catelunya - Conca de Barbera, to be exact- that our buddies at the NY Times described as “pale, fresh, light and cherry-scented, with a touch of bitter chocolate”. We think it’s Spain’s answer to France’s Cru Beaujolais- a stellar, easy-drinking, elegant wine that can take a little chill and pair beautifully with a variety of meals and occasions. $26

4 Kilos Vinicola 12 Volts Tierra de Mallorca 2011

50% Callet-Fogoneau, 30% Syrah, 10% Cabernet, and 10% Merlot from the gorgeous Mediterranean island of Mallorca. Artist Gary Baseman’s label is striking, right off the bat, and the wine inside the bottle doesn’t dissapoint. Callet, meaning “black” in the Mallorcan dialect, is a hearty, dark varietal that doesn’t exist beyond the island. The wine is violet scented with deep red cherry fruit, balanced acidity, and soft tannins. Super food-friendly, unique and singlular! $26

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WINE WEATHER

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of two cheerful French whites and a favorite Portuguese red with our friend Steven from David Bowler Wine, with bread from SHE WOLF and cheese from EASTERN DISTRICT!

Jean Perrier et Fils Cuvee Gastronomie, Savoie 2013

100% Jacquere from the small village of Abymes in the Savoie. Nearly ripened pear, green apple, almonds, orange peel, wet river rocks, and a gentle salinity endear this wine to simple seafood dishes and the fondue the region is known for. $12

Domaine Guillaume Cabrol Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc 2012

‘Picpoul" means “lip stinger” in dialect, and we’re longtime fans of the bright, zingy varietal. Domaine Guillaume Cabrol’s has strong, lingering minerality and the softest finish. Thirst-quenching, versatile, and crowd pleasing. The vibrant lime-zest quality makes it a perfect substitute for margaritas on taco night! $12

Adega Regional de Colares Chao Rijo, Sintra 2010

You don’t have to know me well to know how much I love everything about Portugal… especially Lisboa, the beautiful capitol city. This wine, from magical Sintra just outside the city, is another thing to adore! Concentrated and plummy black fruit, exotic spices, and a soft, velvet-y texture… Transportive and comforting. $17

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THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING: España! 

I returned a few weeks ago from a whirlwind trip through Spain with a bunch of new friends from various restaurants and shops led by one of our esteemed importers. We made our way from coast-to-coast-to-coast in buses, planes, boats, and trains, and along the way, met wonderful people, saw breathtaking views, and ate and drank pretty much everything in sight. We didn’t sleep much, but who needs it?!? It was truly an unforgettable adventure.

Getting the opportunity to experience so many different regions and cultures, and walk through the vineyards with the people who grow the grapes and make the wines, then taste them straight from the barrels and bottles in the cellar added layers of context and emotion to wines that I liked to begin with. I was so excited to share some of these wines and stories with friends and neighbors when I got back, as well as my new-found love-affair with sherry… after a nap or three and a huge plate of vegetables.

Join us tonight, 6:30-8:30, for a tasting of four of of my new faves from España! We’ll have records spinnin’ to jam out to, and cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf Bakery to snack on! I’m so excited!!!

Bodegas Juan Piñero MarujaManzanilla Sherry, Sanlucar

The afternoon spent at Bodegas Juan Piñero in beautiful seaside San Lucar was one of my favorite winery visits. A schedule mishap (broken airplane) led us to miss our appointment with the winery’s owner, and instead we got a very hands-on tour with the cellar’s Capitan. Although the region was hosting a large multi-day festival that we planned to attend the next day, the Capitan said there was no place he would rather be then right there, looking after the dusty old barrels full of living, breathing sherry. His passion for his job brought me to tears, and the salty Manzanilla was the perfect antidote! I’ve drank several bottles of this since I’ve returned and I think it’s magic. A sherry buzz is a happy one, best enjoyed icy cold with seafood and sunshine. $16

Ulacia Getariako Txakoli Rosé, Getaria 2015

This fun, flirty, slightly bubbly Basque beverage is only made in pink for the rosé thirsty American audience, and we proudly drink bottle after bottle with abandon every summer ‘til the well runs dry. Hot pink and bone dry, with a tiny touch of spritz, I just can’t think of anything more refreshing! Ulacia is perfect for picnics and the beach, the ferry, and early afternoon. Like summer, this wine won’t last forever, but we’ll enjoy every bit of it while we can! Pour it in the traditional Basque fashion, high above the glass in a thin stream, to enhance the aromas and the little carbonic bubbles, and also to impress your friends. $20

D'Orto Vins Les Argiles Negre, Montsant 2014

Joan Asens is a magical, mystical man of mystery- an electronic music aficionado, and a biodynamic guru. His vineyards are the healthiest, most beautiful rolling fields of grapes I’ve ever seen in my life (see blooming vineyard picture at top), filled with bumble bees, and lizards, and ladybugs, and diverse flowering plant life,. Joan and his vineyard manager are hardcore moon men- meaning they farm and produce wine by the phases and aspects of the moon- it tells them when to plant, prune, pick, and press. And it really seems to work. Les Argiles is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Carinena, both harvested from ooold vines from vineyards near the town of El Masroig. It’s made with little intervention in stainless steel tanks, and aged there for a short time before bottling and sent on its way! The name Les Argiles refers to the red clay soils in which the grapes are grown, and the wine they’ve become is terroir-driven, ripe and angular, with layers of depth and real character, just like Joan himself. $27

Bodegas Hornillos Ballesteros Mibal, Ribera del Duero 2013

We were supposed to stop by to see the sun drenched Mibal vineyards in Ribeira del Duero just for a quick lunch al fresco, but when our bus got stuck in soft ground soaked in natural fertilizers, our visit was extended and we spent a few extra hours soaking up rays, walking among the neat rows of ancient vines, and getting drunk on this easy drinking Tempranillo . Mibal is a project of two besties- Miguel Hornillos and Javier Ballesteros, and Miguel’s sister Christina who is also Javier’s wife! The three of 'em grow award-winning grapes that are in high demand for some of the most illustrious wineries in the region. They follow biodynamic practices, and keep only a small amount of fruit for themselves to make a few delightful wines in their tiny garage winery in the town of Roa. Dark fruit, spice, soft tannins, and a plush, plummy finish make this wine a great pairing for grilled chicken and sausage, but not a great option for a porron, something I learned from experience. $16

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Thursday Night Tasting: Liberté! Egalité! LE VIN!

Admittedly, it was a happy accident that our friend Ben from Bonhomie Wines was scheduled to pour some of our fave French (and wannabe French!) wines on Bastille Day! But we love serendipity, so we’re seizing the day to celebrate France!!! Join us 6:30-8:30 pm to taste a pink bubbly, a rosé, and an easy drinkin’ red, plus a wildcard Rhone-blend from some California francophiles! We’ll have bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District!

Be sure to stop and see our pals at Duke’s for a bubbly French Strawberry cocktail!

Franck Besson Rose Granit Brut Rosé

This insanely delightful Méthode Traditionnelle Gamay from colorful character Franck Besson is one of my most favorite things to drink in the whole shop, and I don’t need much of an excuse to pop a bottle (or two).  The fruit, organically grown and hand harvested, hails from Julienas, so this is essentially sparkling Cru Beaujolais, a magical thing for which no actual designation exists. Rosé Granit offers ripe cherries and currants with just the lightest touch of sweetness, stony minerality, and a clean, well-balanced finish that lingers until you take another sip, and another- which you’ll want to do, trust me. $27

Domaine de la Bastide Les Figues Rosé, Côtes du Rhône 2015

This organic Rhône rosé is just the thing for a super-steamy day like today. Equal parts Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault, it’s light and fresh, with a soft, dry finish, a bit rounder than a Provençal counterparts perfectly pleasing notes of strawberry-rhubarb pie and red currants. The fruit is estate grown and organic, benefiting greatly from the rich soil of the Côtes-du-Rhône and growers/winemakers Vincent and Stephanie Boyer. It’s name hails from the beautiful old fig trees that grow around the ancient Templar farmhouse on the historic land where the wine is made.  History has never tasted so good! $13

Devois de Perret, Coteaux du Languedoc 2012

This light, mineral-driven Grenache-Syrah blend, mostly made of fruit from the esteemed Pic St Loup, is an easy-going rouge for all seasons.  Red fruit and a touch of spice give way to a particularly clean stony quality on the finish.  Supremely versatile, this is a wine for cold sandwiches or veggies on the grill, Chinese take-out or watching The Bachelorette. Life is complicated, and sometimes it’s best if your wine isn’t. Take it easy! $13

Domaine de la Terre Rouge Tête à Tête 2011

Domaine de la Terre Rouge is a second project of legendary producer Bill Easton dedicated solely to Rhône varietals. Bill has been making wine in the Sierra Foothills for over 30 years, and has pioneered a more “old world” style in both his organic farming and vinification. “Tête-à-Tête” is a classic terroir-driven blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, with beautiful complexity and finesse. It’s a lovely dedication from an American to the French! $22

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Bordeaux boasts around 287,000 acres of vineyards, 57 different appellations, 10,000 wine producing chateaux, and 13,000 grape growers. It’s no wonder Bordeaux is considered the winemaking capitol of the world. We thought we knew a thing or two about the region, until we met Phillippe. He’ll be joining us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a delicious and educational tasting of three reds from various regions from both the left and right banks of the famed Garronne River, within his beloved home of Bordeaux!

Chateau Margerots Bordeaux Superieur 2009

2009 has been hailed as a historic vintage in Bordeaux, and we’re thrilled to have a few on our shelves, including this killer value! A blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Cabernet Franc, it receives the classification of Bordeaux Superieur because it hails from single parcels of old-vines, and is aged for a minimum of 12 months before it is released for sale. Black fruit and silky tannins pair well with most fall meals. $13

Chateau Gauthier Medoc 2009

To the left, to the left!  Another winner from the stellar 2009 vintage, Chateau Gauthier is located in the Medoc, on the left bank of the Garonne. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, this elegant and smooth sipper boasts dense red berry fruit and spice, and a light touch of oak. Drink with CHEESE! $16

Chateau Roc du Creuzelat Luzzac Saint-Emilion 2010

And now, to the right! This intense right bank red is round and deep, with a long, pronounced finish. Merlot is the primary grape grown in Saint-Emilion, but Cabernet Franc grows well in this damp climate and tends to be blended in larger quantities here than the surrounding regions. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a lengthy-finish, “Creuzelat” loves meat and chilly nights! $18