I love wines from strange places -- I've had domestic wines from Idaho, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and you've heard about my experience with Chinese and Japanese wines. But one thing I had never had was a wine from a major metropolitan area. Grapes are sensitive little things that do not respond very well to pollution, and in a place where a studio apartment can run ya $2,000 a month, a vineyard might not be what you'd call 'economically viable.' Thus was my interest piqued when I saw the Brooklyn Oenology Social Club White 2007 at a local wine shop; could this wine really be from one of NYC's five boroughs?
Umm, not so much... but the BOE (as in Brooklyn OEnology) is still a damned fine wine! Though based in the Williamsburg area and featuring labels by local artists of local landmarks, BOE is made at a host winery on Long Island's north fork by winemaker Alie Sharper. The winery produces a series of wines, including a couple high-end Merlots and Chardonnays, in addition to the modestly priced Social Club series. The 2007 White is a stainless steel fermented, lightly oaked Chardonnay. The wine pours a pretty pale lemon color and has a full, fruity nose, featuring apricot, orange and lemon. On the attack the wine is slightly fizzy, with more orange and pear flavors, and a flinty, stony edge. Dried fruit and a smoky, earthy quality emerge on the mid-palate, leading to a dry, stony, pleasantly acidic banana and lemon flavored finish.
The Social Club White has that quintessential NY State rocky profile, backed up with ample acidity, a great full body and abundant fruit. Certainly a great pair with creamy cheese (we enjoyed is with St. Andre), this wine would also compliment shellfish, lighter chicken dishes, and most mildly spicy fare. I picked this one up at Screwtop in Arlington (more on them in the future), for a very reasonable $13.99. Though not yet widely available, I know the wine is also available at Planet Wine in Del Ray and The Wine Cabinet in Reston. If this sounds like a wine you would like, or know a friend who would get a kick out of it, ask your neighborhood shop to order you some from distributor Siema Wines.