Bolly and NJ pizza: who could want for more?

Tracie B and I are going to have a hard time topping the wedding guest welcome gifts left for us by betrothed Eileen and Greg. When we arrived last night at 2 a.m. to our hotel in West Orange, NJ, we found a chilled bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvée (the official wine of the band that both Greg and I play in, Nous Non Plus) waiting in our room. Today, as we are primping for the wedding and I am practicing the Beatles songs I am to perform during the ceremony, Tracie B ordered peperoni pizza and broccoli raab from Enzo’s in West Orange and we popped the cork on that bottle. Who could want for more? (A funny thing: Tracie B grew up in West Orange, Texas. No genuine Italian-American pizza there!)

We’re really looking forward to the wedding tonight and celebrating with Eileen and Greg!

You can take foxes outta the country but…

From the “just for fun” department…

Johnny OtisLife’s been a little stressful lately and there’s so much negativity going around right now in the world of wine that I thought it was time for some “just for fun.”

It had been a while since Tracie B and me popped any Movia. So Sunday night, we invited our friend and fellow natural wine freak Josh Loving over for Tracie B’s famous fried chicken and mashed potatoes and a bottle of Puro, which Josh — the consummate wine professional — ably disgorged (check out the video I shot below).

Dinner was served accompanied by one of my favorite records: Cold Shot! by the Johnny Otis Show. I love every track on that disk and “The Signifyin’ Monkey” is probably the most famous. But my favorite favorite track is “Country Girl.” Toward the end of the song, Johnny Otis doubles the following aphoristic chiasmus with his guitar: You can take foxes outta the country, but you can’t get the country outta foxes. It’s one of the mysteries of life but that line just kills me every time. Check it out, as Josh disgorges the wine:

You’ve probably seen Puro disgorged at Do Bianchi before but in case you haven’t, it’s really easy to do (as in the vid above). Winemaker Aleš Kristančič makes the wine using the méthode champenoise but he leaves the lees and sediment in the wine (i.e., he doesn’t disgorge before release). You store the wine upside down in your fridge (using a cardboard cylinder that comes with the wine) and then you disgorge it upside down in a basin of water. The wine will be totally clear (as in the photo below).

Although Bollinger remains the indisputable official wine of my band Nous Non Plus, we have been known to disgorge a bottle of Puro… or two.

Life could be worse…

In other news…

Today, “the absolutely fabulous Alice Feiring,” as Tracie B likes to call her, is up to bat at 31 Days of Natural Wine. Alice is a dear friend, a great lady, a mentor, and one of the few things — besides Katz’s pastrami and Barney Greengrass whitefish salad — that we miss about New York City. I love the wine she talks about and I can confirm what Cory writes in his intro, that “very Alice Feiring” has become a canonical wine descriptor. How cool is that?

Ending on a high note: a swig of Bolly to wash it all down

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Above: Bonnie Day (Emily Welsch) and Jean-Luc Retard (Dan Crane) at the end of our sold-out show in New York on Monday night. Official Sponsor Bollinger (our only endorsement… no Ibanez guitars here!) provided us with a few bottles to end NN+’s “tourette” on a high note.

Touring is never easy and we were all pretty beat by the time we got to NYC for the final show of our tourette, as it was dubbed.

me_ry

Above: Me (Cal d’Hommage) and Maurice Chevrolet (Ryan Williams) in the green room before the show. Ben Shapiro, seated between us.

Yesterday our new record Ménagerie hit number 22 on the college radio charts. We’ve never debuted so strongly and I can’t conceal that I am thrilled at the response to the record.

crowd

Above: A view from the stage at the show. Thanks everyone for coming out on a Monday night.

A hearty thanks to everyone who came out. Check out JT’s take on the show (thanks for the shout-out, man!).

cavatelli

Above: Cavatelli with broccoli raab at Centovini in SoHo.

Tracie B, Prof. Harry Covert (Greg Wawro) and his lady Eileen, and Ben Shapiro and I convened at Centovini in SoHo for a light dinner (much needed after saucisson lyonnais!) and 2006 Pelaverga by Castello di Verduno before the show. Times may be tough in the NYC restaurant world these days but Nicola Marzovilla’s mother Dora’s cavatelli are always a winner in my book. The 06 Pelaverga had a richer mouthfeel (more corposo, you would say in Italian) than in previous vintages I’ve tasted. I like the way that winemaker Mario Andrion is making it even more rustic in style. A great food-friendly wine that will pair well with a variety of dishes.

Thanks everyone for visiting Do Bianchi, all the well wishes and the kind words about the tourette. Tracie B and I are back in Austin and tomorrow I’ll start posting about our enogastronomic adventures.

On deck for tomorrow: “The Best Pork Store in New York City.”

Stay tuned…

Mixing Bollinger?

Above: Jean-Luc Retard (aka Dan Crane) and Céline Dijon (aka Verena Wiesendanger) relax after mixing the first track from our new album.

Nous Non Plus celebrated the mix of the first track from our new album (work-in-progress title Ménagerie), “Bollinger,” with a bottle of the eponymously named Bollinger (NV, Special Cuvée) that I had picked up earlier in the day at my favorite Southland wine store, Wine House (great Italian selection, a really cool enomatic tasting room, and an excellent cheese monger as well).

We’re such fans of Bollinger that we were inspired to write a song (about some lovers who love the wine). Bollinger will also make another appearance in one of our more sexy tracks (but you’ll have to wait until we disgorge the album to hear it…).

Above: It’s quite a scene at Colorado Wine Company’s Friday night tastings in Eagle Rock.

After we finished tweaking the track and listening with our friend, engineer, and fellow wine lover Bryan Cook at Juice Monster studios in Eagle Rock, we headed over to Colorado Wine Company for their Friday night wine tasting. When I asked the dude at the register what the theme was, he said “After a while, we just ran out of ideas so there really is no theme” to the flight of wines they serve. This week’s tasting was dubbed “Under the Covers” because “we’re playing only cover songs” on the house stereo, he told me. It’s quite a scene (read “singles”) over there at Colorado Wine Company and for $15 you get 5 generous pours — nothing to write home about but it helps to “break the ice.”

My night ended with mezze lune ravioli stuffed with eggplant and scamorza over at what’s become my LA late-night hangout, Mozza, where I believe they serve until about 10 or so. GM David turned me on to a wine I’ve never tasted before (and imported to the U.S. for the first time only recently), 2006 Sella Coste della Sesia DOC Rosato “Majoli,” 100% Nebbiolo rosé, fresh and bright with a perfect touch of tannic structure, a great pairing for the flavors of my ravioli.

Life could be worse…