New Yorkers are pretty grumpy these days and it’s not hard to understand why: for four weeks, they’ve been schlepping through snow, bitter cold, and the grimy slush that follows snowfall in the city that never slips on the black ice.
It had already begun to snow (again) around 3 p.m. when winemaker Giacomo Mastretta, my old friend Kevin Russell (who sells the wine), and I emerged from the mythical G train in Williamsburg.
But my spirits were bolstered when we stepped out of the weather and into the lovely Vine Wine shop on Lorimer (above).
That’s owner Talitha Whidbee (center) with a couple of her team members. Her shop is as bright and smart as she is and nearly every wine has a handwritten label with thoughtfully composed notes on the wine.
I was really impressed by the breadth of the selection in her tidy store, which is about to celebrate ten years in business.
But I was even more impressed by her savvy use of social media to create awareness and visibility for her brand.
Nearly every day, a staff member (whoever opens the shop, I was told) scribbles parodic news bites on a chalkboard outside the store and then posts it. It’s a brilliant way to host and exploit content. Chapeau bas, Talitha!
After meeting and tasting with Talitha and her team, our rush-hour “no talking on the train allowed” schlepp out to Morristown, New Jersey was rewarded by a delicious spread of oysters, courtesy of New York restaurateur Chris Cannon, who’s opened a wonderful new Italianate restaurant there called Jockey Hollow.
Chris is a passionate Italocentric enophile. And I loved the pairing he served us: the Ottella Lugana Le Creete (below).
I’m about to head out for another day of media appointments and market work with Giacomo and that’s all I have time for today.
It’s currently 37° outside and there’s a 50 percent chance of rain. Snow and a high of 28° are predicted for tomorrow.
But hey, someone has got to keep the world safe for Italian wine… Thanks for tagging along for the schlepp.