My first night in New York City was primarily focused around just trying to finish up getting there which was fraught with no end of delays that apparently focused around Obama visiting the city and tossing the airport in to disarray because of it. I was mostly thankful to get to bed that night because the next day, I had a tasting for the update to Vinologue with this Croat fellow named Krešo who works for Vinum, an importer of Balkan wines here in the US.
The tasting went fine and it was nice to see that most all of these wines coming in to the US from Croatia have increased in their level of quality and consistency. As we got to talking, Krešo let me know that he was part of a release party for a wine he’s helping to market for Van Diemens. The wine itself is from a Slovenian winemaker and imported only for this store. This is a quite genius wine on many levels. For starters, it’s mighty affordable with a red made from Pinot Noir and a white made from Welschriesling/Sauvignon Blanc selling for $12. That’s not bad, but it gets better.
Unbeknown to me, there is a section of NYC called Murray Hill which is seemingly comprised of 75% women who all sound like they’re from the San Fernando Valley, talking through their noses and saying things such as, “Like, you know.”, “Oh. My. God.”, and “Duh”. Coming from California where, in addition to statewide arrogance, I thought we had created this manner of talking, so it was quite a shock.
Playing upon this, the gang behind this wine did a smart move and created, “Murray Hill Girl Wine” in both a red and a white. The genius of it is that they’re both immediately approachable wines so the “like, you know” crowd will immediately approach them. Secondly, they’re quite affordable. Thirdly they are only being sold in Murray Hill, which is a stunt you can pull in a place as dense as New York.
Krešo tells me that they’ve been selling without any problem. I enjoyed the white a good deal and found it to be well-balanced. The red is much the same way, although probably a touch much fruit for my palate which drifts more towards the bold California manner of making wine as that is what I grew up on. The red is also exceptionally light in color. For the untrained eye, one might even think it to be a “pink” wine, although in reality, it’s actually the color that Pinot Noir is supposed to be when it’s not darkened up by Syrah or something else to make it look more like how red wine is supposed to look.
However it all plays out, it’s a pretty clever stunt that they’ve pulled off and I would wish them well in the endeavor, but they seems to have little need for that given how well it’s going.
(As a side note, after pumping me full of wine, we headed down to Kafana in Alphabet City which is some of the best Serbian food I’ve ever had. If you’re in NYC and want to try this type of food, I highly recommend it as the place is also very cute and you hear a lot of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian spoken there.)