Valdo Rose Brut Is An Affordable Charmer

Just tasted the current version. Just delightful!

The Walman Report

Nerello Mascalese Hi-Res

Valdo’s Philosophy: “Prosecco” is the distinguishing factor on the regional level- refined aromas, balance and overall quality are the key features Valdo
focuses on to produce unique and unrivalled products.

Valdo was started in 1926 by the Societa Anonima Vini Superiori & purchased by The Bolla Family in the 1940’s. Over 80 years of continuous
innovation with an ongoing quest for quality and devotion to respecting the vineyards & wine-making traditions of the region.

The Spumante Rosé is created from the perfect blend of two typical Italian vines, the Sicilian black berry Nerello Mascalese, from Sambuca Sicily in the province of Argiento which is 300 meters above sea level, and Glera, the fruity grapes from the Veneto region in the province of Treviso at 80 meters above sea level. The vineyard that grows the Nerello Mascalese has clay and limestone soil and the Glera vineyard is alluvial clay.

View original post 150 more words


Dry Creek Vineyard Signature Wines Old Vines Zinfandel

A terrific red with a real Bordeaux character. Lovely fruit and balance.

First coined by winery founder David Stare in 1986, the term “Old Vine” has special
meaning to our family.  We define an old vine vineyard as being more than 50 years in
age. In the case of our Old Vine Zinfandel, the vines for this bottling are an average of 90
years of age and in some cases, more than 110 years old! Old Vine vineyards remain the
most prized and historic of all plantings in the Dry Creek Valley.
2009 was almost a perfect growing season, with the only blip a minor shortage of
water from light winter rains. Growing conditions were ideal with bud break and
bloom happening normally. Summer temperatures were moderate with minimal
heat spikes. Harvest conditions were superb and by the time the rains came in early
October most of our fruit was already harvested.
At first swirl, this prized wine presents a special aromatic profile that is distinctive and
nuanced. From the beginning, one realizes that this wine is going to be a cherished
experience. Layers of briary blackberry, raspberry, exotic spice and black and white
pepper come forward. On the palate, the wine is precise and expressive, building
layers of flavor with elements of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee. Several
more minutes reveal a bright earthy quality that is truly unique. This beautiful wine
is a seamless experience from start to finish. 
89 Points
Wine Spectator Magazine
2008 Vintage
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
89 Points – BEST BUY
Wine & Spirits Magazine
BLEND 86% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah
APPELLATION Dry Creek Valley
HARVEST DATES September 28-29, 2009
BRIX Average 26.3
FERMENTATION  Average of 20 days, pumped over twice daily.
BARREL AGING 18 months in French, American and Hungarian oak
PH 3.79
TA 0.56g/100mL
Hillside vineyards, mixed gravelly soil. Decomposed granite
in certain areas
VINE AGE Average age is 90 years
YIELDS Less than 2 tons per acre
Scan here for more information:
DRY CREEK VINEYARD     3770 LAMBERT BRIDGE RD     HEALDSBURG, CA 95448     707.433.1000     FX 707.433.5329     DRY


Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


5 Tips for Booking a Private Jet Flight for Your European Vacation


              Private travel expert outlines important differences from commercial travel

Where will your vacation take you this summer? London? Paris?The French Riviera? If you want to fly by private jet, it’s not too early to start planning. Booking a private jet flight to Europe requires very special expertise. There are dozens of fees, permits and other considerations that you or your travel consultant need to know about to ensure a successful trip.

The XOJET Blog spoke with Clayton Smith, senior charter sales representative, to compile a list of five tips to ensure a smooth flight experience and a great vacation.

1.      Plan in advance. The more advance planning you do, the more choices you’ll have. “For example, if you plan 6 months out, you could have twice the aircraft options available to you,” says Clayton. “A good rule of thumb is that the longer the flight, the further out you should plan.” Foreign-flagged aircraft typically need several permits to enter other countries, which can take time to obtain, especially if you’re travelling to multiple destinations. Try to book at least eight to 12 weeks in advance.

2.      Be flexible. “Flying privately to Europe is quite different from flying on a commercial airline,” explains Clayton. “Some airports have customs offices, some don’t. We have to take this into account when we plan, especially with customers who want non-stop travel.” The more specific you are about your trip, the fewer cost-saving options will be available to you. However, if you can also be flexible on things like jet type, aircraft year of manufacture, date and time of travel, and airport, we can find the best price and options available. For example, flying into a general aviation airport like Paris’s Le Bourget could be much less expensive than flying into Charles DeGaulle.

3.      Tell us everything. When you call to book your flight, we’ll start by asking you not only for the dates and times of your trip but also your requirements and preferences. The more you let us know up front, the more options we can deliver. When we have complete information such as the size of your party (including pets!), aircraft preferences (if any), if you are willing to consider options that require a fuel stop, dietary restrictions and the like, we can deliver options to meet your exact needs—and a customized flight experience in the air. Again, being flexible your requirements can dramatically impact the options and prices available.

4.      Remember Customs. You’re no doubt aware that when you travel internationally, you’ll need to go through Customs when returning home. But where you clear customs depends on whether you are on the aircraft operator’s Border Overflight Exemption (BOE) program. Getting you an operator’s BOE could take as long as two to three weeks, and you’ll need to provide passport information for every passenger—so allow enough time. “The BOE is particularly important for non-stop flights,” adds Clayton. “Check to see if your provider offers a BOE program. Otherwise you’ll have to stop to clear customs at the first point of entry into a country, possibly delaying your return home.”

On a related note, if a minor child is traveling with just one parent, the other parent will need to provide a notarized letter authorizing the child to leave the country. This can be important if your spouse and kids are planning to join you in, say, Paris, after you finish your business trip.

5.      Pick the right aircraft for your flight. If you want to fly non-stop, consider a large-cabin heavy jet. For flights from the East Coast, the Gulfstream G-IV series is the smallest heavy jet that flies nonstop to and from Europe in either direction; other options include the Bombardier Challenger 600 series or the Dassault Falcon 2000 series. All of these jets can typically fly from the northeast United States to most destinations in Western Europe nonstop. However, for the return flight to the United States, these aircraft will likely require a fuel stop.

For flights from the West Coast, you’ll need to upgrade to ultra-long-range aircraft like the Gulfstream V or G550, the Falcon 7X or the Bombardier Global Express/5000. Super-mid-size jets like the XOJET Citation X and XOJET Challenger 300 will need to make a fuel stop (usually in Iceland, Canada or Maine) when flying to and from Europe. Watch this blog for an upcoming in-depth comparison of these aircraft.

At XOJET, we can arrange any of these aircraft for you through our own fleet and through the XOJET Preferred Partner Network, a carefully vetted list of the best operators.

Bottom line: it’s the little details that can affect your flight experience. Work with a private aviation consultant who has booked international travel before and can handle all the details. Make sure your consultant has the trip management capabilities to handle a European trip and can give you an all-inclusive price, including fuel (measured by the liter, fuel is much more expensive in Europe).

The XOJET team has extensive experience arranging for private jet trips to Europe and the rest of the world. They know what airports have the tougher permits and the most traffic, and which have customs offices. They also know the airports that charge less for fuel and landing fees. For example, flying into London Luton can possibly save you thousands in fuel costs, permits, and landing fees over flying into a high-volume airport like Heathrow or one that requires special permits, like London City.

A good aviation consultant will give you those options, make suggestions, and handle all of the details for you. Bon voyage!

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.





NYC 10019



Fine Wines and Giant Lobster Special

Mondays and Tuesdays Only

$129 per couple

Share a 4-41/2 lb Lobster along with a bottle of wine from the following selection:

Chateau Montelena (Cabernet)

Joseph Phelps (Cabernet)

Jordan (Cabernet)

Shafer (Merlot)

“J” Wines Reserve (Pinot Noir)

Chateau Simard (Bordeaux)

Ruffino, Reserve Ducale Gold Label (Chianti)

Santa Margherita (Pinot Grigio)

Far Niente (Chardonnay)

Tax and Tip In Addition.

This should run for a minimum of 3 months

The restaurant is very upscale, service is excellent and the food ranks with New York’s best Steak restaurants.

And What A Deal!

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.





Location: 35 West 64th Street, New York, New York, 10023

Contact:  212 – 724 – 8585  212 – 724 – 8585



Hours: Lunch:

Saturday 11:45am – 2:00pm


Monday – Wednesday 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Thursday – Saturday 5:00pm – 11:45pm

Sunday – Closed

Price: $64 to $125 (Plus Supplements)

Seating: Dining Room: 96

Private Dining Room: 24

Wine and Cheese Bar: 16

Parking: Icon Parking can be accessed from either 64th (eastbound) or 63rd (westbound) between Broadway and Central Park West.

Public Transit: 1 & 9 train to 66th Street – Lincoln Center

A, C, B, D train to 59th Street – Columbus Circle

M7, 104, 20, 66 to 66h Street – Lincoln Center

M10 to 63rd Street and Central Park West


CHEF/PROPRIETOR: Terrance Brennan
CHEF DE CUISINE: Carmine DiGiovanni
LOCATION: 35 West 64th Street, New York, NY 10023
Between Broadway & Central Park West
RESERVATIONS: 212-724-8585
HOURS: Monday – Thursday 5:00pm – 10:00pm Friday-Saturday 5:00pm – 11:45pm
Sunday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
SEATING: Main Dining Room: 84
Wine and Cheese Bar: 15
L’Olivier, private dining room: 22
Wine Room: 8
CUISINE: French Mediterranean
SIGNATURE DISHES: Sea Urchin Panna Cotta, Wild Game, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Artisanal Cheese Cart
FEATURES: Cheese Cave is housed in the 2,500 bottle-lined Wine Room.
Special tasting flights and small plates served in the no-reservation Wine and Cheese Bar.
RATINGS: Two Stars, Michelin Guide
Three Stars, New York Times, Crain’s Business
Four Stars, New York magazine
Highest Rated French/Mediterranean restaurant in Zagat New York City: 27, Food; 24 Décor; 25 Service.
RECOGNITION: James Beard Foundation nominee for the country’s Outstanding Restaurant in 2007
Selected as one of the most romantic restaurants in New York City,
Wine Room called “the prettiest rooms” in the city by New York Times.
DÉCOR: Sleek and modern. Grey mohair banquettes and custom-made grey leather chairs with deep purple piping. Custom mirrors. Scalloped scones.
CREDIT CARDS: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Diner’s Club

Cuisine: Mediterranean strongly influenced by the flavors of France, Italy and Spain

Executive Chef / Owner: Terrance Brennan

Chef de Cuisine: Craig Hopson

Maître Fromager: Max McCalman

Pastry Chef: Zachary Miller

Sommelier: Jason Miller

Interior Design: Coffinier & Ku Design, Ltd.


 A Luxury Restaurant Worthy of Every Star

Our major complaint with most celebrated luxury restaurants is that they may look like luxury restaurants, act like luxury restaurants, but why so often don’t they “taste” like luxury restaurants?

That’s a criticism we can’t make of Picholine. Since 1993, Terrance Brennan (pictured above) has captivated diners at his celebrated uptown restaurant,  now outfitted with a stunning re-design and an exciting new menu, Picholine has been reinvented. Chef Brennan collaborated with luxury home and restaurant designers Etienne Coffinier and Ed Ku of Coffinier Ku Design, Ltd. To create a design concept that bridges the gap between the formality of the previous motif, and the modern sensibilities of his Mediterranean cuisine influenced by the flavors of France, Italy, and Spain, one passes through a carved wooden door painted in an arresting high-gloss aubergine into Picholine’s new wine and cheese bar. Purple leather banquettes and walls upholstered in a grey-lavender stripe are an inviting option for guests looking to enjoy a casually elegant pre- or post-performance meal.

Soaring ten-foot boysenberry velvet curtains separate the wine and cheese bar from the succession of dining rooms, where grey mohair banquettes and custom-made grey leather chairs with deep purple piping are reflected in custom mirrors. Multi-tiered crystal chandeliers that previously added a sense of tradition to the space have been revived with an edgy silver finish, casting a warm glow on the contemporary artwork, commissioned by Chef Brennan.

Picholine’s fine linen, crystal glassware, Christofle silver, and custom-designed Bernardaud china remains unchanged as does the intimate eight-seat, private dining wine room and service that challenges the finest in New York. The wine list is awesome and the cheese service legendary.

Picholine’s menu is organized into sections titled “Preludes,” “Pastas,” “Day Boats” and “The Land,” the menu gives guests the option of building their own tasting. With a two-course minimum, diners can select any number of plates—ranging from Pheasant Boudin Blanc with Apple, Celery and Truffle Salad to a Squid Ink Linguini with Calamari, Chorizo Aïoli and “Paella” Broth — in which the portion size will vary according to the number of courses selected. Though Chef Brennan’s signature Picholine dishes like Olive-Crusted Saddle of Lamb with Basquaise Chutney, Romesco Mousse and Garlic Chips and Sea Urchin Panna Cotta with Chilled Ocean Consommé and Osetra Caviar still remain, details like tableside finishing service (performed by a server clad in a charcoal grey suit and custom-designed lavender Turnbull & Asser tie) revives even the most time-honored items. Chef Brennan has also introduced market-driven tasting menus.

Served in sets of three, a tasting flights menu is available in the wine and cheese bar along with a newly-introduced charcuterie – the product of a collaboration with famed Italian salumi-maker, Paul Bertolli, part of Chef Brennan’s ongoing support of artisan food producers. His celebrated cheese service will continue to hold court,picholine-cheese showcasing a selection of artisanal cheese on Picholine’s custom olivewood boards, but updated with condiments like savory yet sweet walnut chutney.

Picholine’s dramatic new look and modern approach illustrate Chef Brennan’s versatility as an enlightened chef and talented restaurateur, responsive to the changing trends of his industry. Certainly one of New York’s most civilized restaurants, Picholine offers a world-class dining experience.



Sea Urchin Panna Cotta  with Chilled Ocean Consommé and Caviar, f o i e g r a s “shabu shabu, Crisp Sweetbreads with Raisin-Mustard Emulsion; signature entrées like luscious Diver Sea Scallops; the best Daube of beef this side of the Atlantic; and  remarkable Heirloom Chicken "Kiev"  with Liquid Foie Gras. picholine-des

All desserts, including Passion Fruit "Cannoli"  with Coconut Tapioca, the amazing Liquid Chocolate Tart, and Picholine’s renowned cheese cart, displaying more than 60 of the world’s finest artisanal cheeses.On our visit, we received superb Almond Financiers, which were divine the next day for breakfast.



Recipe for the remarkable Daube of Beef Short Ribs with Carrots Vichy and Puree Horseradish “Pillow follows. (Below)picholine-daube

Continue reading

Thalassa Holiday Dinners Take You To Greece

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Thalassa is offering a special Greek Christmas Eve 4-course dinner menu ($65 without paired wines, $90 with paired wines).  See both menus.   Reservations: 212-941-7661

Also New Years

Christmas Eve menu

First course family style
Dolmas- ground veal wrapped in grape leaves with avgolemono sauce.
Calamari stuffed with Dodonis Feta, parsley and pine nuts
Grilled octopodi with santorini capers and micro greens
Second course
Horiatiki- Authentic Greek peasant salad with vine ripened tomatoes  
and feta.
Main course
Grilled herb sword fish with asparagus and Trahana.
Grilled lamb chops with French beans and lemon potatoes.
Lavraki -grilled ladolemono with steamed wild greens.
Fourth Course
Molten chocolate cake with baklava ice cream.


Continue reading

5 Napkin Burger Presents The Genius of the Burger for Two


5 Napkin Burger

630 9th Avenue at 45th Street, NYC


Chef Andy D’Amico creates new tradition from old with the “Burger for Two”

Fine dining restaurants have a rich tradition of serving celebratory entrees meant for sharing, like perfectly roasted Cote Du Boeuf, tender Chateaubriand or a whole roasted fish.  The great American steakhouses pride themselves on their prime aged steak for two.  Servers carve up the bounty tableside and diners watch with awe as the juices flow and the just rewards are plated. No matter what you’re eating, sharing a meal is a most memorable experience. Now, here we are at a time when the almighty burger is in the forefront of the public consciousness and star Chef Andy D’Amico (a man who knows a thing or two about the burger) has seized the moment, bringing a fine dining philosophy to the utmost icon of American foods as he introduces his Burger for Two ($22.50), now on the menu at Five Napkin Burger – the serious restaurant for serious burger lovers.

The genius of the Burger for Two fits perfectly into the ethos of Five Napkin Burger, the city’s only true fine dining restaurant devoted to the art of the hamburger. Here is a dish meant to evoke those grand platters of restaurants’ past, conveniently updated to suit today’s more casual dining public. Andy D’Amico and his Five Napkin Burger concept are at the forefront of the burger renaissance in America, at once in line with the trend and yet ahead of the pack with this gorgeously carnivorous offer. All hail the burger and all hail Chef Andy!

Two hungry mouths can bite into this sizeable burger consisting of a full 16oz of beef made from a lauded mix of La Frieda short rib, brisket and chuck, topped with cheddar, pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion and the restaurant’s signature Five Napkin Sauce, all betwixt a six inch bun. This juicy, meat-filled mound comes served with a choice of any two sides, like crispy, herb-inflected tater tots or buttermilk onion rings. The result is a sandwich that although large enough to feed two, can certainly be tackled by the type of eater who refuses to share his porterhouse at Peter Luger’s. With the Burger for Two, Five Napkin Burger has created the burger pinnacle.  It is truly something to behold!