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All I want for Christmas is…

Posted by admin | Posted in Culture, currentVintage, Events, Food, Nantucket, travel, Wine | Posted on 17-12-2009

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The Pearl 10th Anniversary Party, 12/06/09

Wendy, Elisabeth of currentVintage & Alison enjoying Laurnet-Perrier rosé champagne at The Pearl 10th Anniversary Party, 12/06/09. photo Gene Mahon

To Every wine I’ve loved before…

I remember that 1990 Nuits St George at Jean George so long ago.  And there was the Corton Charlemagne in the 18th century caves of Latour. Aged and amber white burgundies at Jadot.  A thimbleful of 1964 Lafite-Rothschild (it was a half bottle shared among 8).

While these were great vintages, it’s the circumstance I remember so vividly, because what makes a wine truly memorable is usually the setting in which it’s enjoyed…the pleasure of the table.  While I’m a little spoiled in the fine wine department, it doesn’t have to be all pomp–a backyard BBQ makes me so happy in summer.  Friends and food—they can make a good wine unforgettable.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt when the wines are from Burgundy, but the point is that wines do not always need a white tablecloth to shine.

On a wine trip last year, I had an impromptu 2004 Dierberg chardonnay with Jim Dierberg in his majestic home in Happy Canyon, outside Santa Barbara.  We thought that we would be guided around the spectacular Neverland-scale property by a winery rep, but Jim showed up, himself, and after a tour over hill and dale in his Range Rover, he invited us in to share a glass–such an unexpected treat!  We learned so much about the man, the wine, the land;  a brief, but lovely visit and memory.

Wine and food.  The exponential pleasure derived from the combo still leaves me giddy.  Just last spring, a bottle of the unusual, distinctive (and inexpensive) 07 Conti di Buscareto Lacrima di Morro d’Alba at the Little Owl in the West Village made a phenomenal meal even more so.  I bought it for the store and when I opened a bottle, it was so…different.  The wine had been but one part of the perfect tsunami that was a super-memorable evening.  It’s still interesting and intriguing, but at the Little Owl, it was sublime.  A 2003 Sea Smoke “Southing” had the same effect at Blackeyed Susan’s:  good food became outrageously so.  I’m still dreaming of the Guy Charlemagne cuvee our hosts popped for us just last month in Ireland–a perfectly lavish wine that reflected the warmth and generosity of our friends.

A 1969 Remoriquet, a Kistler chardonnay, some Puligny-Montrachet…the wines of 2009 could be the start of a great musical, or at least a nice haiku.

Top 5 Wines I’d like to find under the tree:

07 Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, $60 (sale $48 at currentVintage)

Lush, round and mouthfilling decadence.  They sell this by the ($24) glass at the Waverly Inn in NYC, a restaurant known for it’s extravagances, ie $55 truffle mac-n-cheese, no telephone reservations, larger-than-life clientele, that mural of who’s whos…The food is good, but not great, and the attitude borders on Theatre of the Absurd, but somehow the experience always exceeds the sum of its parts–and a glass of this wine plays a big part!

07 Radio-Coteau “Savoy” Chardonnay, $56 (sale $45)

This wine stood out in a line-up of standouts at my birthday dinner.   Even after magnums of Pax rosé and Bouchard Batard-Montrachet and others were served, this elegant Sonoma Coast chardonnay, with hint of pear and lots of finesse, provoked head-turning, label studying reactions from most.  This also reminds me of the Radio-Coteau “Las Colinas” syrah we had at American Seasons, which reminds me of another night at AS with a Loring pinot noir…

02 Bouchard Pere et Fils “Clos St Marc”, Nuits St Georges, $90 (sale $72)

What we love about Burgundy—nuance.  Lip-smacking, yet layered with a long and lovely finish. A  savory and sophisticated pinot that is ready to drink.  A favorite of my Mark—we savored it with burgers on a warm summer night.

05 Larkin Cabernet Franc, $72 (sale $58)

Sexy & voluptuous.  It was love at first sip with this one.  Reminds me of the old Secret commercial:  Strong enough for a man, yet made for a woman!  I don’t know if this is intentional, but I can just imagine charismatic Sean Larkin crafting wines with women in mind.  A Nantucket Wine Festival favorite, check out the cute photo of Sean in our previous post on him in the May 2009 archive (above right).

98 Billecart Salmon “Cuvee Elisabeth”, $175 (sale $140)

Another birthday treat, this champagne is pure beauty:  Stunning bottle, gorgeous pink-amber color, lovely to savor.

While most NV champagnes are carefully calibrated to maintain a consistent “House style”, a vintage champagne offers a snapshot of a particular vineyard in a spectacular year.  The house of Billecart-Salmon, established in 1818, is known for their rosés, with the “Cuveé Elisabeth” being the pinnacle.  This sophisticated, velvety and complex champagne fascinates.  I am thrilled that a champagne of this beauty and style has my name on it:  Elisabeth!

All I want for Christmas is…any of these wines that remind me of some really wonderful times in 2009.

High Praise…so lovely to receive

Posted by admin | Posted in Culture, currentVintage, Fashion, Nantucket, travel, Vintage, Wine | Posted on 09-12-2009

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currentVintage Holiday Style

currentVintage Holiday Style

High praise–so lovely to receive!

As one who recently gushed over a number of boutiques and restaurants throughout  Ireland, it was fun to be on the receiving end recently when currentVintage was mentioned in several other web blogs.  It’s certainly grand to get national press, ahem, ( Lucky, Food & Wine) and recognition on high volume websites (Concierge, Indagare, Frommer’s, Self), but it’s particularly gratifying when freelance writers or individuals just like what you do and shout it to the world.  It’s also fine if they just mention you in passing—they were here and they took note.
Anyway, we just got the nicest write up on a very cool blog called “Corks + Caftans”.  The blog is written by a couple, Rob & Carey, and captioned “He loves wine; she loves fashion.”  They each post fun and interesting pieces, a lifestyle mix of useful wine & travel notes, fashion references and intimate anecdotes.  I have been reading their blog off and on for sometime and concluded that I would definitely like to hang out with them.  Thus,  I was especially delighted for Carey to write a little piece on currentVintage.

“If Corks + Caftans were an actual store, I think it’d be reminiscent of this lovely shop tucked away on a cobblestone street near the harbor at 4 Easy Street. The vintage selection is so insane… I almost bought a baby blue sequined tunic with a scalloped hem and am still kicking myself for this lapse in judgment. Walk among carefully selected accessories, dresses, racks of wine, fur-collared coats… it’s like being at Willy frackin’ Wonka’s.”

Corks + Caftans blog

Back in the summer, we were featured in the Food & Wine magazine blog by editor Jen Murphy.  She asked me to come up with some wine and summer fashion pairings and opened her post with this:

“It takes talent to match just the right wine with a dish. Some would also argue that it takes talent to match the perfect handbag or heels with a dress. That makes Elisabeth English, the owner of Nantucket’s Current Vintage, super-talented.”—Jen Murphy

Elisabeth English on Food & Wine

Girls playing dress up at currentVintage

Girls playing dress up at currentVintage

Another fun 2009 post featuring currentVintage was this one from The Fashion Examiner Blog Spot.  I was amused by their take on cV and the profile provided…

THE VIBE: Part Palm Beach vintage with some luxe items thrown in partnered with some select wine offering such as Sofia Coppola’s wine spritzers.

HIGHLIGHTS: the vintage Lilly Pulitzer cocktail and patio
dresses and the pink bug eyed sunglasses.

ON SALE: An adorable sail/architectural print sheath dress for under $100

WE BOUGHT: a cute brown pull on skirt with an embroidered mushroom cap for $35. The owner joked, “You just bought the cheapest thing on the Island”.

BROWNIE POINTS: The relaxed vibe and friendly owner who let us linger for close to an hour trying dresses on.

I also got a huge kick out of the title of this blog post from travel writer, Cathy Che, entitled “Preppy Nantucket: Alienated by Lilly Pulitzer without Irony”.  Che appreciated the natural beauty of Nantucket, but lamented the lack of originality in style and diversity on island. As I much as I revere the real Lilly Pulitzer, we could hardly be called preppy here at currentVintage, and fortunately, Che seemed to get our brand of cool:

“There are a few edgy shops like Current Vintage (refurbished Lilly Pulitzer and other chic vintage dresses plus fine wines) and Posh (fine handcrafted jewelry)”

“Preppy Nantucket: Alienated by Lilly Pulitzer without Irony”

tm-logoThe last blog post I’ll mention had particular significance for me, because it turned out I knew the author, although she did not know that she was writing about me!  Rebecca Chapa, an accomplished sommelier and wine educator, has a wine consulting company called “Tannin Management…Taking the Bitterness Out of Wine”.  She has an extensive restaurant wine background, working at Montrachet, Nobu and Tribeca Grill in New York, and as the first sommelier at Jardiniere in San Francisco, earning a “Best of Award of Excellence” from the Wine Spectator for their list.

Scholium tagAlthough a wine professional, Rebecca understands that wine can be enjoyed without fanfare.  Her blog, www.rebeccachapa.com, explores wine, spirits, travel and culture.  It was through the blog on “Nantucket: Off-Season” that I found her post mentioning currentVintage and realized that we used to work together at the Brotherhood in the early 90s!

“They have an amazing selection of lesser known cult wines including Scholium Project!  Pretty cool to see that someone here
knows what they’re doing.”—Rebecca Chapa on currentVintage

As one who loves to champion the elements of the currentVintage lifestyle, from winemakers to designers to destinations to bloggers, it’s nice to give and to receive.