Follow thewinehub on Twitter

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

'France In A Bottle' Selection Pas Mal has it all by Philip S.Kampe & Maria Reveley

Michael Fuerstein, founder and owner of Selection Pas Mall deserves 'double credit' (see the two photos?) for having the palate and ingenuity to bring a selection of rare and exciting French wines to the forefront of the New York area elite sommeliers, beverage managers and retail store owners whose customers simply demand the foremost wine selection for their businesses and homes.

Mr. Fuerstein is an elegant man-he even tries to kiss women's hands when he meets then, but, invariably kisses his own hand in jest. He is wise, quick witted and has been in the eyes of many because of his array of glasses (like the Europeans) and full grown mustache.

Beyond the looks, wise cracks and reality based speech, Michael shows a true talent in herding the finer wines from France. Champagne, white and red burgundies and various surprises make his portfolio tasting a true challenge for the palate. When you believe you have found the ultimate wine, the next one you taste is even better.

I have been educating my wife about wine for the past 15 years-but in her words-'today, I discovered what you have been talking about for years.'

The proof is in the pudding.

                                                  The Tasting Manual contents

Champagne houses Demiere-Ansiot, Jose Dhondt, Vazart-Coquart, Gerard Loriot, Salmon, Elodie D., Hubert Paulet, Baron Dauvergne, Camille Saves, Hure Freres and Pierre Gerbais were represented.

There were too many standouts at the 'White Burgundy and Red Burgundy' tables. Some of my favorite producers included: Domaine Nicolas Rossignol, Domaine Dublere, Domaine Dominique Mugneret, Domaine Digioia-Royer and Domaine Rossignol Trapet.

If you don't know about Selection Pas Mal, it is time to learn.


Philip S. Kampe

Maria Reveley

Monday, August 28, 2017

Armagnac-the Secret, Hip Ingredient in Cocktails by Philip S. Kampe

                                                  ARMAGNAC, the New Ingredient in Cocktails

As mixologists, we all know that creativity and innovation set the bar for the industry. Great ideas come from new sources, new products and the discovery of products in the industry that are often under the radar.

One of the tools for the evolution in the industry is the emergence of Armagnac as an ingredient for cocktails, a substitute for whisky, scotch, vodka and various other traditionally used mixers.

Armagnac is not Cognac and is distilled in Gascony, south of Bordeaux.

Armagnac is a brandy, distilled once in a continuous alembic still and left at cask strength (48%) in French oak barrels with no water added. Flavors of orange, plum, prune and apricot dominate the palate, while aromas of smoke and spice create the bouquet, much like that of a Scotch whisky.

Ten grapes are allowed for the production of Armagnac, but, only four are generally used. The most commonly used grape is the Ugni Blanc, followed by Folle Blanc, Baco Blanc and Colombard. Each grape varietal is distilled and aged in French oak separately, because they impart distinctive qualities.

Blanche Armagnac is a traditional young eau-de-vie that has been destined as the compulsory Armagnac that is used as the ‘special ingredient’ for mixologists. It is a clear spirit full of fruit and freshness, a perfect accompaniment for a cocktail. VS and VSOP are aged brown hued Armagnacs used in cocktails.

The cocktail rule: replace white spirits with Blanche Armagnac and brown spirits with Armagnac.

Classic Armagnac Cocktail Recipes

Armagnac Sour
Juice ½ lemon
2 oz Armagnac VS or VSOP
1 cube of sugar
Add one ice cube and shake


Blanche Mojito
2 oz Blanche Armagnac
½ lime
7 mint leaves
1 oz sparkling water
2 tsp brown sugar
Muddle the lime, brown sugar and  mint leaves in a glass, add the Armagnac, lightly shake and top with sparkling water and a mint sprig.

Blanche Sunrise
2 oz Blanche Armagnac
1 oz Curacao
1 oz orange juice
3 oz pineapple juice
Fill shaker with ice, add Blanche Armagnac, Curacao, orange and pineapple juice, shake and strain into a martini glass.
Philip S. Kampe