A Wine-Based Celebration at a New Brooklyn Restaurant
With the setting, yet lingering sun, and a back patio characteristic of Brooklyn, Wine Wipes and Deep Sea Wines congregated at new Williamsburg restaurant, Extra Fancy, to celebrate summer. Not only was this the mere third week of Extra Fancy’s existence, and only the second night that their patio was open to the public, but it was also the sneak preview for Wine Wipes' complete packaging redesign (available for the general public in October) and Deep Sea Wine’s entrance into the New York social scene.
The setting for the intimate gathering of about 20 people was perfect: quaint summer garden, big-bulb white lights, light yet robust bites, and some equally zingy wine to go with them. The scene was set for mingling, learning, and most of all, tasting.
Extra Fancy’s cooking team, hosting a range of old and young, some coming from the kitchen of Le Bernadin, were bursting with talent, and foods oh-so seasonally appropriate.
On the menu was an assortment of freshly fried sea creatures and grilled kielbasa, paired with delicate, clean, and lively sips from the youthful and ever-growing Deep Sea Wines. Some of my favorites were the sea salt and vinegar whole belly clams with a cabbage slaw, nestled in mini toasted hot dog buns and paired with the exclusive and very tasty viognier, of which only 125 cases have been made to date; grilled kielbasa with watermelon radish and beet sauerkraut, caraway, and mustard butter, likewise nestled in the buttery bun and paired with the surprisingly light and summer-friendly pinot noir or the startlingly yummy chardonnay (devoid of those overly oaky flavors and opaque yellowy color); not to mention what was termed their "oyster crackers," pan-fried oysters with Winesap apples and fresh horseradish, re-nestled in their original (yet polished clean) half shell on top of a bacon crème fraîche, also pairing seamlessly with the viognier or chardonnay.
My favorite part about Deep Sea Wine (other than the wine, of course), is that it’s run by two brothers and a sister. The Conways, based out of Santa Barbara, Calif., where their vineyards (and scathingly enviable tasting room) reside, have grown up in and around wine, and with their knowledge and supporting family, coupled with their youth, understand how to make wine better.
Gillian Conway, who runs sales and is now based in New York, commented on their wines’ surprising flavors: "Because we are young, we understand what people are looking for," she said, harping specifically on the difference between their chardonnay and most Californian others. The usual strong influences of oak make the wine too much of a tainted flavor, one that most young people aren’t a fan of, she said. Their Deep Sea chardonnay, however, like their pinot noir, offers a cleaner, more clear body to the wines, making them not only more versatile, but more apt to be enjoyed alone, with food, with friends, or really, at any time of day. "As young people, we want to get what we pay for wine, and know we’re getting our money’s worth," she continued.
While Teona Ostrov, account supervisor for Michael Rogers Public Relations, spilled some white wine in the haste of accommodating her guests (with an accompanying, "Thank god I’m drinking white!"), the rest of us paired our end-of-evening reds with a convenient wipe (in the new and exclusive packaging), eliminating any chance of red’s lingering residue or defining teeth stain.
All in all, it was a beautiful night, and a warm, friendly, and positive welcome to summer.
Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal’s assistant editor.