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About this Episode

Wine educator and certified sommelier Grant Wood joins Robert Tas to review the wine list at Gramercy Tavern, a contemporary American restaurant that the restaurant has earned nine James Beard Awards, including "Outstanding Restaurant" and "Outstanding Chef in America"  In addition to a few cocktail suggestions to kick off the evening, Grant identifies a bio-dynamic wine on the list that should not be missed, wines to impress the wine nerds,  the best wines for fatty, gamey dishes, and a lighter wine that will pair with pretty much everything. In addition to wine, Grant suggests a few sweet wines to finish off the meal. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2018 Rosé of Merlot by Channing Daughters
  • 2017 Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau in Austria
  • 2018 Peter Lauer Barrel X Riesling
Transcript: Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern

Here we are, I’m finally able to pay my homage to one of my all-time restauranter, Danny Meyer. I cherish his book on hospitality “Setting the Table” and I now find myself in the position of making a review of one of his all-time, best-known restaurants, Gramercy Tavern. Big names like chef Colicchio and sommelier Paul Grieco are the names I remember that inspired me years ago and their current team is carrying the torch to this very day.

Based on their current beverage list online, I couldn’t find wines by the bottle but their list by the glass, cocktails, fortified wines, beer, etc. was still a fun mash-up of amazing elixirs to enhance your dining experience.

Let’s start with cocktails, shall we?

The postproduction with Cimarron blanco Tequila, Cocchi vermouth di torino, Génépy and orange bitters sounds like a revolution but the Bad Larry featuring Cruzan white rum, El Dorado 12-year rum, Ramazzotti, passion fruit and lime is sure to change my name to Larry and get my juices flowing.

For bubbles by the glass, I like that they have the 2018 Rosé of Merlot by Channing Daughters pet-nat from Long Island to really represent the wines of their home state. Otherwise, the 2016 Marguet “Shamon” rosé, extra brut grand cru from Ambonnay in Champagne is an amazing grower-producer and biodynamic wine that is not to be missed.

As for whites, I’m immediately drawn to the 2018 Peter Lauer Barrel X Riesling from Germany's Saar in the Mosel. I literally have their 2019 of this wine in my fridge right now and is a no-brainer when you need something of an old friend to wake up your palate and refresh the soul. The 2017 Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau in Austria is of course a great food wine to open up your mind to culinary exploration. I also see the 2018 Hanzell which I’ve already championed before on this program as truly great farmers and thoughtful winemakers.

On to reds, the 2018 Jean-Claude Lapalu, Brouilly from Beaujolais is such an easy go-to light red that will match with so much on the menu at a great price. He Romain Chamoit Mondeuse from France’s Savoie will perk up any wine nerd’s ears. I have to shout out to Turley’s Cinsault from California of course and the 2016 Renato Fenocchio Barbaresco is a great wine to match up to gamey and fatty dishes on their menu.

Lastly, though there are labeled as “sweet wines BTG” I love their selection of Sherry on their list. I love the Manzanilla Fino by Valdespino from Sanlùcar de Barrameda in Spain. It’s briny, dry, high acid, nutty, and a perfect wine pairing for lighter, salty starters and is a great way to expand your palate. Also, please consider the 1960 D’Oliveras Sercial from the Island of Madeira as it is a drinking experience like no other and a true encapsulation of time and place. Sercial is the driest of Madeira but with age, truly a versatile and unique wine to tie off an amazing meal.

All I ask of you, the guest, is to come hungry and be adventurous. Curiosity is the spice of life and it’s places like this where you get to venture into the unknown and let your mind wander.




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