There is no doubt that autumn is beginning to creep up on us here in New York City. With the cooler temperatures and shorter days comes the urge for heartier fare and wines to go along with comforting food. I had been dying to try Vinegar Hill House restaurant in the tiny Vinegar Hill area of Brooklyn.
Vinegar Hill House
Vinegar Hill House is known for fresh local ingredients prepared in a very simple manner, and the entire vibe of the restaurant reflects that. The food doesn’t try too hard and neither does the ambiance or the wait staff you can take that any way you like. We had an autumn spiced corn dish similar to Mexican spicy corn on the cob. The corn was paired with another appetizer of fresh grilled octopus. Both were very well done. We paired our appetizers with a light bodied red Trousseau from the Jura region in France. Trousseau is one of the classic grapes of the Jura, and is similar to a Pinot Noir, if even a bit lighter, but full of delicate sour cherry and earth flavors.
How FOXY is the label on this bottle of red from France’s Jura region?
For our main course we went with a grilled steak served with roasted shallots and bone marrow, still in the bone. The steak was a bit tough and the bone marrow in the bone was a bit caveman. We also had short ribs served over a fresh tomato salad with crispy fried cheese. We paired this course with a fantastic old school Rioja. The classic full bodied yet balanced nature of the 2001 Heredad de Baroja Gran Reserva was a great match with two hearty meat dishes.
In the spirit of a delicious cool evening meal, find ten affordable red and white wines that work really well with hearty fall dishes in the slide show above.
Greg Sorensen is a New York-based photographer and wine blogger at Anchor Wines.
A great Northern Italian red that matches bright acidity with great cherry fruit, and plenty of finesse. Pairs very well with anything from pizza to pasta to grilled sausages. Oddero Barbera d'Alba 2007, $20.99, at Le Du Wines
Channing Daughters winery in Long Island's wine country produces some very adventurous wines. Their chardonnay represents a great local example of an alternative to California chardonnay. Channing Daughters Chardonnay Scuttlehole 2008, $14.99, at Union Square Wines
This aged white could be substituted for a red wine with hearty cuisine or spicy Asian fare. It has a great palate of almonds, pears, and great minerality. A wine geek wine that is waiting to be discovered. Gravonia Rioja Blanco Lopez de Heredia 2000, $23.99, at Astor Wines
This is the ultimate (bargain) Chardonnay. Don't let the price fool you, this bottle delivers a crisp, yet lightly citrus fruit Chardonnay, with a hint of oak for an astonishing price. Not the best bottle of Chardonnay you've ever had, but certainly the best under ten bucks. South Africa. Watch it! Indaba Chardonnay 2009, $6.99, at Union Square Wines
This is one for the Pinot Noir lover that wants to venture off the beaten path a bit. An interesting wine, from an interesting producer, in an interesting region of France. Jacques Puffeney Pinot Noir 2007, $29.99, at Sussex Wine & Spirits
From South Africa, this smoky, meaty blend of Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is consistently good from year to year. Kanonkop Kadette 2008, $12.99, at Union Square Wines
This classic Spanish red is widely distributed and can be found in most wine shops. Always a classic go-to red. Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2004, $15.99, at Astor Wines
This is a very exotic and full bodied traditional wine from Spain. Its aromatics enchant people, and it pairs well with hard cheeses and Charcuterie. Primitivo Quiles, Raspay Reserva 2003, $27.99, at Union Square Wines
From one of the most respected wineries in California, this Zinfandel delivers a lot of dark fruit and spice for a reasonable price. Ridge Vineyards, Three Valleys Zinfandel 2008, $19.99, at K&L
New York state produces world class Rieslings. Some are dry, sweet, and in-between, so ask your wine merchant which style a particular bottle might be. This one is dry and Riesling is a great pair with Thai food and spicy Asian dishes. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2008, $17.99 at Le Du Wines