Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Wine, Tradition & Conversation

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Wine plays an important role in my life, and I’m not alone. For thousands of years it’s been a central part of religious ceremonies: Catholic communions, Passover Seders, ancient rituals to Dionysus. As someone who studies religion and cares deeply about food, wine means a lot of things to me. A glass paired with a home cooked meal is a lovely treat to myself and friends, it makes a good housewarming gift, it goes well with late night reading, and it can tell us a lot about the place it comes from: the land that grew the grapes, the religion of the makers, the culinary traditions of its homeland. But what I love most about wine is that it can bring people together and create lively debates, conversations, and connections. Living, eating, and cooking around the world has taught me a lot about what wine can and should do for us.

From a wine festival at Sacré Cœur in Paris. We celebrated with wine, cheese, live music, and art!

In the French tradition of the salon, drinking is combined with intellectual debate. Thinkers, writers, and artists gather at a cafe and discuss: what do we value? What should we value? What are we reading, what art is in fashion, how might we make our world more just? What does it mean to be just? In my world, I’m inspired to bring this inquisitive spirit into book clubs, dinner parties, and study groups. I pour everyone a glass of deep red wine and we start talking. Ask at least as many questions as you answer. Put out a charcuterie plate or a baked wheel of brie, and let the ideas-and wine-flow.

Discussing our favorite reads: Dani is telling us about The Romance of American Communism

In Israel I learned about how important wine is in the Jewish tradition. On each holiday my professors would teach us about what we were celebrating, accompanied often by a history lesson and related treat: apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah, challah on Shabbat, latkes around Hanukkah. The Hebrew word for the blessing of wine is Kiddush, whose root means holy or sacred. In your own life try connecting to your religious or cultural heritage. Do you or your family pair wine with certain foods or ideas? Or, ask your Jewish friends if they celebrate Shabbat and-if you’re lucky-maybe you’ll get to celebrate with them. Enjoy a little kosher wine and learn about what makes wine so important in Judaism. Share your oenological practices. Ask yourself why wine is or isn’t important to you, and in what context.

A little Shabbat charcuterie with a friend from Tel Aviv at Amelie Wine Bar near campus

In my personal tradition wine is best paired with a cozy night spent reading or talking with friends. There’s nothing I love more than spending time with people I love over a bottle of wine, catching up and discussing and laughing. I’ve learned a lot about wine and what it can do from living around the world, and in my home I try to incorporate my favorite parts of different traditions. We celebrate Shabbat with a good glass of wine, gather to discuss around a bottle, and share recipes and pairings with people we love. Try incorporating nice wine into your culinary, intellectual, and religious/cultural traditions.

From a poetry reading in the park on my friend’s birthday. Celebrating her with wine, literature, candles, and cupcakes.

Please drink legally and safely. If you don’t know your limit, drink in little bits with people you trust. Wine should be something you intake in moderation, and it’s safest when we approach it with goals of cultural learning and understanding rather than to get drunk. Stay safe, stay smart, and enjoy your wine!

Cora Enterline is a senior at NYU studying law, ethics, and religion. She’s studied and worked in Paris and Tel Aviv, where she loved biking, traveling, dancing, and teaching English. She has a love for foreign languages, sad novels, themed dinner parties, and red wine by candlelight. This summer, follow her blog to learn easy, student-friendly recipes and find inspiration from around the world for your own dinners, picnics, and culinary adventures at home!

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Reserve: Unforgettable Thai Experience

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Walking into Reserve, on 3rd Ave between 28th and 29th, I felt all the chaos and exhaustion of my day melt into the warm, red walls. A low light hovered over each table, with wine bottles stacked in every which direction. Even the bottoms of bottles protruded from the walls around the bar in the back, somehow without cluttering the small restaurant, but tinting the ambiance with the theme: a Thai inspired wine bar. While Thai restaurants are known for spicy foods in cozy nooks, Reserve adds an unexpected twist to the Thai experience: wine. I’m sure you’ve been to a number of Thai restaurants and been remiss about the quality of beverages, well, partner Luck Watanasuparp felt the same way. Luck’s family owns a number of Thai restaurants throughout New York, including All Luck and Thai Select, but this is her own venture in the restaurant business, at which she is doing amazingly well and loving it. Luck wanted to pair the four flavors of Thai food: Spicy, sweet, sour and salty with fine wines that would enhance each other when combined. The restaurant serves over fifty different wines, all within affordable ranges with a few higher priced bottles tossed in.

Reserve has been open for less than a year now in the Gramercy neck of the proverbial woods. Tucked among hot clubs and loud joints with drunks bouncing and stumbling out the doors or shouting from in between the cracks in the walls, Reserve is an oasis. It’s small, quiet, and personal. This is the perfect place to bring a date, or close friends when you want to sit down with a little background music and a lot of great food.

If you’re looking for something exciting and loud, why not head to Reserve for dinner as a calm before the storm?

The service is four star, with the shock of street cart prices. Before glancing at the menu, I assumed that it would be a stressor on my limited funds, but was pleasantly delighted to find that it’s cheap. I don’t mean New York City cheap, which is irrelevant to the rest of the world, but Kansas cheap, Mississippi cheap. I once ate a large, amazing meal at the Ajax Diner in Oxford, Mississippi for eight dollars, and this brought me back to the economy of the south, inducing a school girl giggle at the prices. I’ve spent more money on dirt, have I made my point?        

I brought two close friends of mine with me for dinner, and we lived like kings. We started with a Losen Bockstanz Resiling, a sweet wine, and paired it with spicy beef, duck wraps, and crab cake tapas. Everything was tender and cooked to perfection. The duck wraps, rich, fatty duck wrapped with fresh veggies in a flour tortilla roll, sushi style, was paired with a thick, sweet sauce. The large crab cake, enough for the three of us, was surrounded by three elegant sauces. The spicy beef was mixed with equally spicy and salty sautéed veggies. We indulged in a mango salad, larb pizza (with chicken and melted Mozzarella) and a curry green pizza. We ate slowly, discussing the flavor combinations and our awe at the portions. For very little money, the three of us left full, but not overstuffed, and feeling like we ate a healthy meal that tickled our tastes. Our cheeks blushed from the sweet wine as we walked out in a euphoric daze.

If you’re feeling bogged down by the sometimes treacherous city, tired of the rain and cold, and never having enough money to go out, Reserve is the place to go. It will pick up your spirits without draining your bank account. Long Island or Jersey commuters can even walk from Penn Station on their way home from work or class. Keep Reserve on your list, because you simply can’t miss out on all it has to offer for the economically challenged taste buds that require more refinement.

Written by Ashley Teal, Campus Clipper Blogger

See my Blog, Still Life With Teal

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