Friday, March 30, 2007

The Next tastings at 10 Degrees

The April series is called All About Chevre. If I felt more secure in my branding, I'd have called it The Joy of Chevre, but hey. maybe next year.

12 (probably 14 or15 really) interesting goat's milk cheeses of varying textures and nationalities, will be sampled and discussed. As always there will be dark chocolate, fruit and the mystery cheeses (though you know what animal the milk comes from)

The tastings are presently slated for April 17, 24, and 26. If all goes well, there will be several others within this theme too.


Green Veggie of the moment

I like big, leafy green veggies and as best I can tell they like me too. Which is why I've been loving the recent overabundance of Swiss Chard. Seems like every retailer, not just the usual suspects is rocking the straight out of a good food porn shot, chard, red, green, whatever.

I could live off the stuff especially sauteed with shallots or sweet onions.


Friday, March 9, 2007

Pairing back the Martini Madness sked

Blame it on the weather, or blame it on a certain local glossy, either way, the tasting sked is getting pared back. We'll do the Martini Madness tasting on the 13th and 27th.
Unless persuaded otherwise, the 15th, 20th, and 29th are cancelled.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Only the NY Times could...

...suggest wine with barbecue and keep a straight face.

I dig Blue Smoke, but their house ale, brewed by the Brooklyn brewery, is the only way to go.


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The best reason to shop at Murray's

Ottomanelli's is right down the steeet. Black Angus Ribeye, $13.99 a pound, cut to order. Black pig pork chops, $7.99/lb.

Second best reason is the selection.


Now, it's set in stone

The Spring Tasting Sked

All About Chevre: April 17, 24 and 26

Viva Italia (first anniversary celebration of The Joy of Cheese @ 10 Degrees with many extra cheeses and delights)
May 8,15, 17 and 22

The Young Americans (artisanally made cheeses from new American creameries)
June 12, 19 and 21

The tastings take place at 10 Degrees, 121 St. Mark's Place, 212-358-8600

A Joy of Cheese tasting consists of 10 cheeses within a theme, two mystery cheeses, dark chocolate and fruit.

For reservations contact me at


the website is wrong

No, not this blog, but my own, website.

The prices for level one tastings are now $300. Level 2 cost $425. Level 3 no longer exists.



Just remember this: if you have to ask if the bread is fresh, then either a. you shouldn't be buying bread from this particular establishement or b. you shouldn't be buying bread.
Fresh baked bread, even that from a great local bakery like Amy's, Sullivan Street or Balthazar, has a slightly wilted sad look on the second day. No shop in their right mind will sell it.

Yes, I get asked a lot if the bread at Bedford Cheese is fresh from that day, my back winces as it's no fun to lug 15 bags of bread in every Sunday and Monday morning.



Cheese can be many things. For instance, it can be grassy, dense, sweet, salty, nutty, light, vegetal (in many variations), fruity (in many variations), funky, barnyard-ey, concise, and well you get the idea.
Cheese isn't the following: strong or mild. There's too much to a cheese's personality to sum it up so simply.
If you're shopping at a place where the cheesefolk routinely describe cheese in such a reductionist manner, then either A. they don't know cheese, or B. they don't know english. Neither is a good situation.
There are at least 300 great cheeses available to New Yorkers and they should be purchased from folks who can tell you whether they're grassy, nutty, etc. and whether they pair better with a Pinot Noir or a Riesling.
People with a binary undestanding of cheese flavor probably aren't cheese lovers and they certainly aren't doing their cheeses justice.


Friday, March 2, 2007

Best cheap wine of the moment

When Union Square Wines and Spirits moved from their Union Square West location to 13th St. and 4th Avenue, they knew that competition was coming from Trader Joe's wines and their renowned Two Buck Chuck.
Well leaving aside the fact that I've yet to have a wine from TJ's that wasn't either cooked or simply a vast disappointment (even at the price), USQ has the answer, a Malbec from Astica that retails for a meager $4.99. It's very drinkable with a enough distinct dark fruit to be a bargain at twice, maybe even three times the price.

Just for the record, I'm pairing it tonight with Ascutney Mount.