Act Quickly: There Are a Few Choice Sub-$100 NYCWFF Tickets Left

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Lauren Mowery

Even though the annual New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF) and its hoard of groupies don't storm the city for another month, tickets have already been pillaged for a number of events. How typical! (Writes the jaded New Yorker.) Don't despair though -- we've sifted through the remainder of the wine and booze focused seminars under $100 to help you navigate what's still available, and trust us, the best ones haven't sold out -- yet.

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What It's Like to Be Part of the All-Female Wine Team at a Manhattan Steakhouse

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Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House

Washington state transplant and sommelier Jessica Certo, now a decade deep into her NYC residency, knows how to work the floor of a steakhouse. She's so good at her job, she can sell a glass of Chardonnay to a lawyer ordering a filet. And Certo doesn't work at any old steakhouse, but the impressively designed Del Frisco's Double Eagle (1221 Avenue of the Americas, 212-575-5129) in Midtown. How did this aspiring -- and female -- opera singer become a sommelier at an unabashed temple of meat and red wine, its parishioners composed primarily of the local, suit-clad, male workforce?


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Corkbuzz Expands to Chelsea Market

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Lauren Mowery

Chelsea Market continues to evolve into a one-stop shop for artisanal food and drink with its expanded list of night time venues that fit neatly into the market's concept. The most recent addition delivers a much needed wine bar to the area courtesy of master sommelier Laura Maniec. Hitting home with her first venture Corkbuzz Wine Studio near Union Square, the second incarnation, Corkbuzz Wine Bar (75 Tenth Avenue, 646-237-4847), opened its doors just four weeks ago, and it has already been overrun with market shoppers and tourists in need of a crowd-coping buzz.

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Simultaneous Four-City Wine Dinner Comes to NYC

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Paul Johnson

Will this be the wine dinner of the year? New York City hosts a lot of cool, inventive, and often complicated sit-down events, many of them inclusive of wine, but few are actually the brainchild of a winery that hopes to coordinate the dining equivalent of a four-ring circus from its base in Sonoma, California.


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Greek Wines Rule the List at Molyvos

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Paul Johnson
Molyvos general manager and wine director Kamal Kouiri
Most visitors to Santorini at some point sip a crisp glass of lemon and sea-salt imbued assyrtiko while sitting hypnotized by the blue of the romantic isle's caldera; few have gone home and dedicated their lives to it (the wine; plenty of folks pursue bliss). Kamal Kouiri, wine director and general manager of Molyvos (871 Seventh Avenue, 212-582-7500), however, has quietly spent 14 years making the case for Greek wines. He's a native of Morocco; his Greek wife helped convert him to the charms of her country's wines, but he required little convincing of the country's vinous potential.

I sat down with Kouiri at Molyvos to discuss his wine list (the largest Greek-focused collection in the country) and the state of Greece's modern wine industry.

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The Austrian Cure for Vinous Discontent

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Lauren Mowery

It's mid-summer, we're steeping in city heat, and thus reaching for a bottle of chilled wine when evening refreshment hour rolls around (which seems to creep up earlier in the day as the season stretches on). By now, you've probably guzzled the last of your Wölffer rosé allotment, dumped out enough wretched Pinot Grigio to fill a kiddie pool, or developed the Sauvignon Blanc overdose blues. The antidote for such vinous malaise: Austrian wines.

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Meet Long Island Winemaker Russell Hearn (He Admits to Not Drinking Chardonnay)

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Iñaki Vinaixa
New Yorkers live in one of the greatest winemaking states of our nation, yet we lack the close bond to our local wine market that, say, San Franciscans have with Sonoma or Napa. In an effort to start a dialogue with the winemakers of our backyard and spotlight the delicious juice being made only a few hours' drive away, we are pursuing a series of interviews with fellow resident vintners.

Every summer, I carve out a weekend or two to spend in the North Fork of Long Island. The once homegrown wine community has transformed into a world class region over the last fifteen years. Where former potato farms have been converted into vineyards, and barns into tasting rooms, this slender, picturesque extension of the island into the sea now boasts 56 producers. Recognition of Long Island's success extends far beyond New York or the East Coast; just last week, a notable California winemaker confessed to coveting the North Fork's climate, ripening window, and water resources, illustrating that our grass may actually be greener.

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Why You Should Expand Your Sparkling Wine Horizons With Pet Nat

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Lauren Mowery
No time is a bad time for a glass full of bubbly wine (OK, maybe when operating heavy machinery), so you should consider drinking more of it. You can expand your horizons in the category this week at Williamsburg wine shop Vine Wine (616 Lorimer Street, 718-349-1718): The retailer -- which is known for its carefully selected natural, organic, and biodynamic wines -- is dedicating five days to celebrating Pet Nat, a niche category of fizz owner Talitha Whidbee believes deserves more consumer recognition.

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Seven Years on, Paul Grieco Is Still Trying to Eradicate Your Riesling Sins

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Lauren Mowery
Terraced Riesling vineyards of Wachau, Austria
This season brings the seventh iteration of Summer of Riesling, a vinous campaign founded and led by Riesling's greatest advocate, Paul Grieco of Terroir Wine Bars, to educate consumers on the grape's breadth of styles (e.g., most aren't sweet, many of the best are dry) and celebrate the grape's general greatness with like- and open-minded imbibers.

Opportunities to sample Rieslings abound at the various Terroir bars, but for a boat ride that includes a bottomless glass of "God's favorite nectar," consider joining the fourth annual shindig "31 Days of German Riesling Concert Cruise" this Tuesday, July 8. A boat named Jewel will coast around the waterways of Manhattan from 7:30 until 10:30 p.m.; the party features live music by Black Taxi and an appearance by the German wine Queen, and you'll be able to purchase Terroir food. Tickets are $45 (plus a small ticketing fee).

In advance of the event, we asked Grieco a few questions about his allegiance to Riesling, to use Nietzsche and Riesling in the same sentence, and to confirm rumors of an all-David Hasselhoff jukebox.

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Skip Caipirinhas, Drink Brazilian Wine During the World Cup Quarter Finals

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Lauren Mowery
Brazilian wines sweating with the rest of us during a World Cup match

Brazil. Quick: what springs to mind first?

FIFA World Cup, Rio Carnival, postcard-pretty beaches, oversized rainforest insects, and unlimited amounts of sizzling skewered meat served tableside? Or perhaps caipirinhas and cachaça, Capoeira, or the upcoming 2016 Olympics?

Of the hundreds of thought permutations possible, few likely included Brazilian wines. That is slated to change.

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