Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hip Hip $25 a bottle, The Gander (18 West 25th) takes Manhattan by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

                                               The Bar Room at The Gander
                                                Scallops from Chef Jesse Scheneker

YES, you read it right.

There are still bargains in wine at restaurants in Manhattan.
The Gander (15 West 18th NYC) is a hip, upscale hangout, that is even Hip Hip Hipper this summer by focusing on summers wine success story, Rose.

Aptly titled for their summer Rose campaign, 'Hip Hip Rose!', bottles of Rose from around the world are featured daily, beginning at 2:30pm, in the Bar Room.

My most recent Rose article (June 24th) gained the attention of a staffer at The Gander, who sent an e-mail to me explaining their love for Rose and their summer consumer special of charging a reasonable $25 per bottle for a group of selected  Roses.

The list includes roses from France, Italy, America, Greece and the Republic of Georgia.

I decided to visit The Gander and and see for myself what the hoopla was about. A Bar Room staff member met me, opened several Rose bottles and began to explain, in depth, about each wine.

 I was then given  a sample of a Greek (are they in economic problems?) Rose, a 2014 Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina (that's a mouthful). The wine was amazing, candied red fruits, lime, medium-bodied and a bit fizzy. It is a vibrant wine with a mix of indigenous white and red grapes.

The following wines that had my interest were: 2014 Billsboro Pinot Noir, Finger Lakes (NY); 2013 Pheasent's Tears, Tavkeri from the Republic of Georgia; 2014 Chateau de Roquefort, Cotes de Provence 'Corail' (France) and La Kiuva de Vallee d'Aosta NV (Italy)..

Fortunately, food is essential, so, Chef Jesse Scheneker, sent over a large plate filled with small bites of Gnocchi with sofrito, peas, ramps and Pecorino cheese, Frito Misto with calamari, clams and snap peas covered with a pickled egg dressing and a Beluga lentil risotto with mushrooms, snap peas and parmesan cheese.

My overall experience was excellent. The price was right, for both the wines and the food. Remember, this is only a summer special, so, to take advantage of this great experience.
The time is NOW!!!

                 To learn more, visit Th Gander online at 

Philip S. Kampe
Maria Reveley

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Summer of 2015 in Wine Photos....color it ROSE by Philip S. Kampe

There are many articles that focus on summer wines--many lead you to a variety of choices.
My choice for this and every summer is to enjoy the 'seasonal appeal of Rose'.
I am not alone.

Rose sales have skyrocketed during the past several years.  Quality, fair prices, a large variety of grapes and infinite bubbles steal the show.

Rather than focus on a bottle a day for a month, I have limited my selections to a bottle every other day.
This is what I like for the Summer of 2015.

                                                      2014 Rieure Tavel (France)
                                                       Valdo Rose Brut NV (Italy)
                              2014 Chateau Notre Dame du Quatourze (France)
                                    2014 Chateau Ribaute Senhal d' Aric (France)

                                                    2014 LeVal Grenache (France)


                                                    Lucien Albrecht Brut NV (France)

                                             2014  Beso deVino Garnacha  (Spain)

                                          Bodvar of Sweden No.7 Rose (France)

                                               Paul Cheneau Brut Rose NV (Spain)

                                             2014 Honoro Vera Jumilla (Spain)

                                             2014 Chateau de Jonquieres (France)

                                                 2014 La Petite Perriere (France)

                             2014 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon (South Africa)

Philip S. Kampe

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My white wine for the Summer of 2015 is Santorini's Superstar, "Assyrtiko" by Philip S. Kampe

                                                       Wines from Santorini

Maybe its the summer breezes…maybe it’s the sun…maybe its the beauty of nature…but, whatever it is, the crisp, salty, acidic white wines of Santorini lure me in, hook, bait and sinker.

Maybe I have a love affair with Santorini, where I spent ten glorious weeks during summer recess  from college. Maybe it was the donkey that I rode up the hill upon arrival to Santorini. Maybe it was the daily Mediterranean food…or maybe it was the just the local wine I consumed day and night.

Granted, Greek wines have an identity problem regarding varietals. Hard names to say and so many indigenous varieties. Santorini wines are less phobic for the amateur. There are only a handful of different grapes grown on the volcanic island.

A quick grape lesson for wines from  Santorini:
All varietals are influenced by the volcanic soil, strong winds and sun-drenched vineyards. The favored white varietal is Assyrtiko. Seventy per cent of Santorini’s white wines are made with this grape. The reason why Assyrtiko is the ‘chosen grape’ is because this grape has aging potential and can handle both acidity and high alcohol levels at the same time. The wines are easily recognizable, dry, mineral laden,briny and  full-bodied on the palate. The aromas are tropical, specifically lemon and lime with a hint of kiwi. Does the word, 'summer wine' ring a bell?

There are two other widely used white grapes in the production of wines from Santorini. Like Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani are grapes that can stand on their own or can be used in blending, specially the sweet wine of Santorini, Vinsanto.

The red varieties are mainly used to make sweet wines, as mentioned earlier.  The two red grapes of the island are Mavrotragano, a dark red grape with infinite tannins and Mandelari, a true blending grape.
                                               Estate Argyros wines
               Assyrtiko pairs beautifully with Mediterranean food, especially seafood

As you can see, the grapes are easily memorized. Once you learn about the grape, Assyrtiko, the rest is easy.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sample 42 wines from Santorini and found that the whites showed an island minerality that was pure, crisp and refreshing, much like Chablis.  On the other spectrum, the dessert wines of Santorini,Vinsanto, were all well made with just enough residual sugar to make them interesting. My favorite Vinsanto  was from Estate Argyros, a 1990, made with a blend of Assyrtiko, Athiti and Aidani.  Othr Vinsantos that were commendable were from Gaia, Gavalas winery, Hatzidakas, Artemis Karamolegos, Koutsoyannopoulos Winery, Canava Roussos, Santo Wines and Domaine Sigalas.

The whites, all made with Assyrtiko, were all pleasant and a reminder that there are other choices for summer wine favorites. Maybe its time to forget New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs this summer and move the Assyrtiko grape of Santorini. These wines are affordable ($13-$20) and convincing.

My favorites include Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko, Athiri 2014, Gaia Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2014, Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2014 and Santo Wines Sparkling 2014.

The tag line for the tasting was “Volcanic Terroiristas UNITE!
And we did….

To learn more about the Wines from Santorini, visit:

Philip S. Kampe 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Martha Stewart loves "The Wine & Food Festival of New Paltz" by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

It sure seemed like Martha Stewart loves the Wine & Food Festival of New Paltz". She took time out of her busy schedule, (meaning a flight later in the day to France) to visit Mohonk Mountain House and the festival. She was kind enough to be interviewed to a packed-house by Kevin Zraly, author of the 'Windows On The World' wine book (3 million sold) fame.

Afterwards, Martha mingled with the audience and strolled the lovely Victorian grounds of the estate, before doing an impromptu book signing. Ms. Stewart has authored 84 books during the span of her 32 year food related career. 

Festival founders Dushka and Sam Ramic were publicly happy for the large crowd that attended the three day event, highlighted by hundreds of wines, star chefs including Sara Moulton of PBS fame, Marcus Guiliano of the Hudson Valley and Rose Beranbaum, author of the 'Cake Bible'.

Wine and food products from New York state were represented.

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) wine professor, Steven Kolpan, presented an interesting lecture highlighting the vast array of Wines from New York state. Professor Michael Weiss, also a wine professor at the CIA, spoke about several wine subjects, highlighting 'Wine and Food of the Global Village'. Specific wines were paired with various foods.

The Wine & Food Festival of New Paltz is more than just a festival. It is an event that unites the consumer, the winemaker, the importer, the distributor, the chef, the professor, the fashion gurus, the vendors and the organizers into one family. We ate together, drank together, were educated together, danced together and laughed together, all in a mere 72 hours.
The Festival was magical, unlike any other wine and food festival in the world.

Thank you to the International Wine Masters and Dushka and Sam Ramic for changing my life...

Images of 'The Wine & Food Festival 2015 of New Paltz"
Photos by Maria Reveley

                              Chef Sara Moulton with the authors, Maria (l), Philip (r)

                                            Martha Stewart with Kevin Zraly
                                             Cheese seminar led by Lou DiPaolo
                              Wine and food pairing seminar with Professor Michael Weiss
              "A Journey Through Italy's Prized Vineyards' was given by author Kevin Zraly

                                       The arbor at Mohonk Mountain House
                                        The Taste New York wine and food parlor
                                            An image of the lake at Mohonk
                                                              A wine tasting
                                                         New York state wines
                                          The fan club of festival founder, Sam Ramic
                       Pastry chef and cookbook author Rose Beranbaum cooking class
                                        The Grand Tasting at the open-air Pavillion
                                                       Wines from around the world
                       Culinary Institute of America, wine Professor Steven Kolpan
                                     Italian Cheese experts, Margaret and Maria

Philip S. Kampe
Maria Reveley

How Hungarian Cabernet Franc Changed My Life by Philip S. Kampe

My Dad was known to his friends as ‘Cab Franc.’ You see, his name was really Joseph and all of his social time with visiting frien...