Many thanks to all of you who wrote to me after reading last week’s column about the show I hosted with Sir Cliff Richard in New York two weeks ago, and for also sharing it on social media.
I’m not a great fan of the Manhattan hubbub and have never enjoyed large noisy NYC hotels, so I thought I would just mention The Marcel at Gramercy, which was the best hotel experience I have enjoyed in more than 30 years of Big Apple sleepovers. It is located at 24th Street and Third Avenue — hidden within the calm oasis of the historic Gramercy District, in an area which reminds me of Kensington and Chelsea in London with lovely tree-lined streets and small parks (some private). It’s a small contemporary hotel, with a staff who obviously enjoy working there, and very well-appointed guest rooms. New York University and Baruch College are just down the street and I assume the students have amazing culinary tastes because some of the finest wine stores and gourmet food stores are found in the neighborhood. Forget about paying for expensive restaurants, just nip into a few of those stores and take a sumptuous affordable meal back to your hotel room. More information at www.themarcelatgramercy.com.
And, I have some great suggestions for the wines to include on your shopping list, whether for the in-room self-catering or for a picnic on the beach this summer:
Cupcake Vineyards has become a buzzword among the young, cool set over the past couple of years and unlike many wines which tend to be trending (as opposed to trendy) I have to admit that for everyday quaffers Cupcake is doing a brilliant job. Not only do they produce wines in California but they also produce wines on other continents and so their selection is nicely diversified and brings a wonderful education to the new wine drinkers, which stretches beyond our own shores. The wines are also very affordable and you’ll get plenty of change out of a $10 bill for a bottle. Here are three Cupcake wines I enjoyed this past weekend.
Their Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the best region on the planet for this grape variety: Marlborough, New Zealand (how many times have you heard me say that?) and for the price, it’s a steal. Everything you expect is in this wine. Citrus and grapefruit predominate and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The wine is fresh, zingy and easily enjoyed on long, humid summer nights.
The Pinot Noir is grown in Santa Barbara County, in California. If you enjoy Pinot for those luscious red berry flavors, you won’t be disappointed. The wine has nice complex characters with some dark depths to the flavor from the nine months of aging in American and French oak. And, as always I highly recommend 10 minutes in the fridge for this wine for extra deliciousness.
And last, but by no means least, Prosecco. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I could easily be marooned on a desert island with an endless supply of this wine and I’d be a very happy man indeed — if Charlize Theron was also stranded on the island I’d be even happier … but I digress. Again, there’s citrus along with the fresh baked bread one expects in this particular bubbly wine. Cupcake produces the wine from Glera grapes (you can impress your chums with that nugget of information) from vineyards in Italy. It is an effervescent, spritzy wine and well-chilled, it will see you through the summer months with a huge smile and a limited budget. Cheers!
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on TuneIn at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining