LIEB WINE DINNERS:
As a former restaurant server I have enjoyed participating in winemaker dinners such as Heitz Cellar, Vega Sicilia and Chateau Musar with Serge Hochar. I stepped away from the service floor sixteen years ago to focus on fine wine sales in retail settings, but this month I find myself back in service mode since Lieb Cellars has been invited to be a part of the North Fork dinner series at The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn. The dinners are slated for Wednesday, April 6th and Wednesday, April 20th, and reservations can be made here:
The menu, created by seasoned NYC chef and former Hell’s Kitchen contestant known as “chef tek,” ushers in spring and its verdant bounty with Scallop Tataki with sugar snap pea, pistachio and leeks and paired with 2020 Lieb Cellars Estate Pinot Blanc, Skate Meunière with haricot vert, brown butter, white wine, lemon and capers paired with 2019 Lieb Cellars Estate Sparkling Pinot Blanc, Maitake Mushroom with braised burnt cabbage, fiddlehead fern, frisée and hot bacon dressing paired with 2019 Lieb Cellars Estate Cabernet Franc, and finally Colorado Lamb with baby sweet potato and edamame mint purée paired with 2020 Lieb Cellars Estate Teroldego-Lagrein.
As a botanist’s daughter I was raised observing plant life from an early age, and I am thankful for these opportunities to speak on our vineyards’ behalf and share the fruits of our labor. I look forward to guiding guests by verbally transporting them to the North Fork, by sharing our winemaker, Russell’s, philosophies, by exploring unexpected grape varietals in this area, and most importantly by celebrating Lieb Cellars’ 30th anniversary. Who would like to join me in reveling in the harmonious pairings of our wines with The Williamsburg Hotel’s world class culinary skills?
I have been invited back to judge the Wine Maker International Amateur Wine Competition, the “world’s largest competition for hobby winemakers” taking place this month at the Mount Snow Grand Summit Lodge in West Dover, Vermont.
Last year’s “1,893 entries arrived from hobby winemakers living throughout North America in 47 American states” and “4 Canadian provinces.” I had arrived not being sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised with the quality of several entries, many of which had also had grown their own grapes as well. That’s a dedicated hobbyist!
It was also a pleasure returning to my original wine judging roots of accessing wines made of hybrid varietals, and during this specific competition I even encountered a new grape for me – Southern Home – which is delightfully flavorful.
The next competition on my calendar after this is the Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition which is taking place June 21-23, 2022. “The FLIWC is one of America’s largest charitable wine and spirits competitions” and benefits “the children and families of Camp Good Days and Special Times, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and families impacted by cancer.” Tasting high caliber and interesting wines for a good cause? Sign me up.
Recently I posed with our Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane wines during a Whole Foods Market outdoor photoshoot featuring local products. As the cold wind whipped through my hair I smiled and thought of this parallel experience between me and my grandmother.
Her picture hung in advertisements in grocery stores in the 1960’s when she won a sliced bread manufacturer’s recipe contest. I had only learned of this after she passed away when I was a teenager. In the back of her closet there was a framed ad featuring my grandmother with pride in her eyes and a slight smile, a short wavy bob, a Peter Pan collared polka-dot dress and her prize-winning sandwich loaf. A blurb mentioned her four children, the fact that her recipe was available on the loaves, her hobbies, and even her home address! It also referred to her name as Mrs. Henry DeFelice, Jr.
Five decades later I am sharing with you that her name was Ida.
I’m off to my next adventure and hope to see you along the way. Thanks for reading!
Aimée Lasseigne New
NYC Brand Ambassador