Visit to “Terroir”

Those of you who are regular readers are probably familiar with the term Terroir.  As such, you may be confused by my claimed ability to go visit what is loosely described as “a sense of place”.  Fear not, I haven’t COMPLETELY lost it – only partially…          


Having cleared that up, what I did visit last night was the WINE BAR “Terroir”.  Terroir is located on East 12th Street in what is considered to be the East Village, near Tompkins Square Park.  It is a pretty cool area, but the bar is in the middle of a block, a bit hard to find, and really in the middle of nowhere.  Yet, on a holiday weekend, Sunday night, IT WAS PACKED!  WHY????

The place is at first glance nothing special.  Some bizarre t-shirts adorning one wall combined with its somewhat psychedelic menu make this place original, but why is it packed??  The place probably only seats about 25 people between the bar and the 1 communal table so I suppose filling such a small place is easier than a space that seats 125.  The prices seemed a bit high and there is a clear biased to Rieslings – not that there is anything wrong with that.  At first, the crowd made very little sense to me…

But then I got down to business with my fellow wine club members and started tasting.  WOW!  To begin with, our server (Emily) was great.  She was warm, sweet, patient and quite knowledgeable (or so she seemed).  As a bunch of winos, rather than buying a bottle or even glasses we opted for tastes – 3 oz. pours that allowed us to sample a variety of wines.  I took my cue from Emily and a fellow wine club buddy when coming up with my choices.  And while all the recommendations weren’t perfect, having tiny samples before selecting ensured that I was happy with what I ended up with.

We finished the night with a pretty hefty bill, but I tasted 8 or 9 different wines, drinking 6 of them and really enjoyed myself.

The wines I tasted without tasting notes – sorry, wasn’t that kind of tasting…

Muscadet – Sevre & Maine, Cuvee Medaillee, Pierre Luneau, 1995, Loire Valley (100% Melon de borgogne).

Pinot Gris – Cuvee Cecile, Lucien Albreacht, 2004, Alcase.

Chablis – Bel Air Et Clardy, 2006, de Moor (100% Chardonnay)

Riesling – Spatlese, Rudesheimer Berg Rottland, Ehrhard, 1990, Rheingau.

All very nice wines, yet the Riesling was unbelievable, especially for a 1990 – or maybe because it was a 1990???

Moving on to reds, I was feeling pretty good at this point, and ended up trying about 4 reds.  I did not care for 2 of them that friends did in fact enjoy, but thoroughly enjoyed the other two.

Not my favorite was the dirty/barnyardy 2000 Moulin-Tacussel Southern Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape or the fruitless the 2005 Monthelie, Cuvee Paul, Paul Garaudet, Cote de Beaune.

Yet I did really enjoy two nice acidic and somewhat lighter reds.

The Saumur Champagny, Thierry Germain, 2005 Loire Valley 100% Cab Franc has nice subtle fruit, some herbaceous notes and a great acidity.

While the 100% St. Laurent (the name of the grape), Reserve, Forstreiter, 2005, Kremstat was a new varietal for me.  It was light yet it had some depth, minerality and a subtle fruitiness.

Overall a fun and educational wine tasting evening for the Wine Tasting Guy & friends…

Happy WACKY WINE BAR Wine Tasting!


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