Go to Ruffian in the East Village if You Love Wine and Food

There’s nothing I love more than tiny places and there are a few in the East Village I adore. One is Ruffian wine bar. It’s an extremely narrow spot specializing in natural wine. They also crank out some great food behind the bar in the tiniest square footage.

It also reminds me that some of my favorite places to eat in New York are wine bars. Even if I wasn’t a wine drinker (LOL), I’d go for the food at places like Ruffian. June in Brooklyn also comes to mind.

My wine modeling career will never make me a rich man, but I can tell you about this intriguing bottle at Ruffian wine bar.

Anne & Jean-François Ganevat Vin de France J’en Veux Encore*

From a beloved producer in wine hipster HQ, France’s Jura region, it’s a blend of 70% Gamay and 30% Trousseau. Importer Kermit Lynch has the story about this and other Gavenat wines with the Vin de France designation:

After consecutive vintages of losing large portions of his harvest, Jean-François was forced to innovate to make more wine. In partnership with his sister Anne, he went to friends in Alsace, Beaujolais, and Savoie to source more fruit. Anne and Jean-François even went so far as to purchase vines in the Beaujolais. Each Vin de France cuvée is a blend of estate fruit from the Jura and purchased (or estate) fruit from another region, thus allowing Jean-François to apply his savoir-faire in winemaking with indigenous grape varieties from the Jura to create a new and unique line of wines. All of the vineyards contributing to this project are farmed organically.

Not surprisingly, this wine drinks like a Beaujolais with a little bit of funk you might expect from a natural wine.

Another interesting wine I tried was a Cinsault from Lebanon. Truth be told, the only Lebanese wines I’ve had were from Chateau Musar. Though if you are only going to try one winery from Lebanon, you can’t go wrong with Musar. Meeting winemaker Serge Hochar was a highlight of my career, and you can read about that experience and my tribute to him here.

Domaine de Tourelles 2015 Cinsault Vielles Vignes (Bekka Valley)

Go to Ruffian in the East Village if You Love Wine and Food

This wine from Domaine des Tourelles was a nice follow-up to the Ganevat. Made from over 50-year-old Cinsault vines, it’s fermented in concrete tanks using wild yeast. I’m used to seeing Cinsault as part of a blend for reds and rosés so it’s great to try an old-vine version from Lebanon that shines as the star of the show.



This month Ruffian wine bar is taking a page/pages out of Homer’s Odyssey. Try wines from countries mentioned in the epic and get a passport stamp for each one. (Think Mallorca, Sicily, Crete, Turkey, Sardinia, and Greece.)  Submit your completed passport for a chance to win a cool bottle. There’s also a lamb feast to share and a special Wine-Dark Sea cocktail made from tea-infused vermouth, red wine from Georgia (the country), and cherry syrup.

Here’s a nice little passage and an article from the NY Times about The Odyssey and wine:

[I]t is the wine that leads me on, the wild wine
that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs,
laugh like a fool – it drives the man to dancing…it even
tempts him to blurt out stories better never told.

The post Go to Ruffian in the East Village if You Love Wine and Food appeared first on Jameson Fink.

New York Wine News Roundup (June 21, 2016)

Editor’s Note: TasteCamp 2016 organization and debriefing consumed enough time in the last several weeks to sideline news reports, and so this list represents what we think were items of note during the period.  NEWS Wine Spectator – 6/15/2016 James Molesworth teases readers with a new found interest in Long Island wines. Innovation Trail – 6/15/2016 Finger Lakes wineries take the “sunlight into wine” concept even farther as solar energy becomes a bigger part of the regional program. Watertown Daily Times – 6/15/2016 Cold-climate winery Coyote Moon awarded “Winery of the Year” an the New York International Wine Competition. Finger Lakes…

Coming in June: The Cork Report’s 2015 Eastern Rosé Tasting

New York wine remains the core of this website, but — as you’ve probably noticed — I’ve started to stretch my legs a bit. I’ve been learning about and tasting wines from other eastern states, which I’m arbitrarily defining as any state that isn’t California, Oregon or Washington, more. My time organizing TasteCamp up and down the east coast, as well as my time on the Drink Local Wine board, taught me something: there are some seriously delicious wines made in places even a local wine advocate might not expect — places like New Jersey, Connecticut, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont,…

Weekly New York Wine News — May 16, 2016

Whitecliff Vineyards’ new gamay planting in their new Olana Vineyard NEWS Thrillist – 4/29/2016 The Finger Lakes top this wine pros list of “Best US Wine Regions” to visit. TimeOut – 4/29/2016 Hudson Valley wineries are suggested as great out-of-town destinations for NY City dwellers. Your Niskayuna – 5/4/2016 Copoccia Winery has already outgrown its first home and seeks new space in the Capital District. Wine Enthusiast – 5/5/2016 Profiles of wine makers who dream big, on the east end of Long Island. New York Upstate – 5/12/2016 Two new wines on the market: a Billsboro sparkling Riesling appears and…

Weekly New York Wine News — May 2, 2016

Bud break at Sparkling Pointe  NEWS Finger Lakes Times – 4/26/2016 Local wine production plays a part in growing career opportunities in agriculture. Chronicle-Express – 4/27/2016 Major rodeo in Alberta, Canada selects a Fox Run Vineyards unoaked chardonnay as it’s official white wine. Opelika-Auburn News – 4/28/2016 Word is spreading wide about New York wine, as evidenced by this discovery in a local Alabama publication. Urban Phoenix – 4/28/2o16 Visiting photographer assembles a compelling pictorial profile of Geneva, New York’s unique cultural and community assets. Burlington Free Press – 4/29/2016 Savvy beer connoisseurs in Vermont are looking across the lake…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 26, 2016

Cabernet franc vines budding out at Shinn Estate Vineyard NEWS ShipCompliant – 4/19/2016 Big wine industry player ShipCompliant provides its own synopsis of recently recommended changes for New York’s alcohol laws. Chicago Now – 4/19/2016 Chi Town Somm takes a closer look at New York wine, beginning with Long Island, in this first of a three-part series. East End Beacon – 4/19/2016 The Long Island Wine Council had updated it’s website and is taking a new approach to marketing the region. North Fork Patch – 4/20/2016 The LIWC may be bringing new leadership and ideas, but could mean different things…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 18, 2016

Spring at Macari Vineyards NEWS Hudson Valley news Network – 4/13/2016 Recommendations on modernizing New York alcoholic beverage laws come down from the working group created in late 2015. New York Upstate – 4/15/2016 Shmaltz’s Brewing celebrates 20 years of “Beer with Shtick” in the Capital District. Examiner – 4/17/2016 William Dowd digs into the Wine and Grape Foundation archives to surface this list of states that receive shipments of New York wines, and the wineries who do the shipping. New York Times – 4/17/2016 Cold-climate wine making continues to gain ground in upstate New York, while Victory View and…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 11, 2016

Photo credit: Nancy Irelan, Red Tail Ridge NEWS Wines & Vines – 4/4/2016 Interview tells more about Samuel Filler, incoming Director of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. Democrat & Chronicle – 4/6/2016 Holly Howell is ‘researching’ wining wines from the Finger Lakes International Competition and takes a shine to Thirsty Owl’s Diamond. Al Jazeera America – 4/7/2016 Hazlitt Vineyards featured in this report about the ongoing dispute over gas storage facilities on Seneca Lake. Examiner.com – 4/9/2016 Bill Dowd gives kudos to Adirondack Winery’s Meritage blend which went Platinum at the Critics Challenge. EVENTS Honoring the Hands: A…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 4, 2016

Co-owner and winemaker Paul Brock pruning vines in the estate vineyard at Silver Thread Vineyard. NEWS Edible East End – 3/22/2016 Long Island vintners line up their 2013 reds for market, and believe that the vintage will be  a long-lived one. Albany Times Union – 3/28/2016 Capoccia Vineyards & Winery of Niskayuna, opens a wine lounge in downtown Schenectady to showcase its products as well as ciders from around New York state. North Forker – 3/29/2016 NYCR Executive Editor Lenn Thompson pens a piece for the Long Island Wine Press in which he takes another look at Long Island Chardonnay.…

Weekly New York Wine News — March 28, 2016

NEWS Forbes – 3/23/2016 The New York Wine landscape merges with Google Maps resources to plot the state’s wine regions with an interactive tool. Suffolk Times – 3/24/2016 Southold Farm and Cellars running out of options as Zoning Board of Appeals denies variance that would allow the winery to operate. Food & Wine – 3/25/2016 Christopher Bates, champion of Finger Lakes syrah is selected as one of this magazine’s top sommeliers of 2016. Lancaster Farming – 3/26/2016 A good turnout at the eastern New York “Winter Grape School” where it was agreed that cold-climate wine making is a real thing,…