While perusing the selection at Giannone’s, I came across some familiar labels. I was first introduced to these producers’ wines while working at a restaurant in Manhattan. Seeing them again made me smile as memories of a place that I miss, and people who became family filled my mind. The wines are a liquid representation of them all, unpretentious and fun.
2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard, Vin Gris De Cigare, Santa Cruz, California $15.99
55% Grenache, 23.5% Mourvèdre, 10% Roussanne, 2.5% Carignane, 2% Grenache Blanc, and 7% Cinsaut
Randall Grahm, the winemaker at Bonny Doon, has been instrumental in promoting Rhône grape viticulture in the United States. He appeared on the cover of Wine Spectator in 1989 as “The Rhone Ranger.” The Rhone Rangers are now a not-for-profit organization based out of California continuing to embrace, and spread their enthusiasm and knowledge of these grape varietals. Randall also has quite the sense of humor. The bottling names of his wines, graphics on the label, and aliens gracing the screw caps, poke fun at an old law in Chateauneuf-du-Pape dating back to 1954. The law states that UFOs were banned from landing in vineyards for fear that they would damage the crop. Le Cigare Volant (The Flying Cigar) is Grahm’s flagship wine paying homage to that “out there” piece of French history.
A mix of both red and white Rhône grape varietals, the coral hued rosé is as unique as its maker. Packed with mouthwatering tangerine and grapefruit notes, a good amount of plump strawberry comes through on the finish. There is also a distinct savory quality and a creaminess that is reminiscent of a matcha latte. With the label describing it as “Pink Wine of the Earth,” and an extraterrestrial stamped on the cap, the only thing serious about this bottle is how delicious it is.
Illuzion on Washington Street has some of the best sushi in Hoboken. One of their salmon heavy specialty rolls and this bottle would be, dare I say, out of this world.
Autumn of New York: spicy salmon, avocado inside topped with slices of salmon & caviar
Spicy Bad Girl: spicy salmon, spicy tuna, spicy yellowtail, obe inside, topped with shrimp, avocado, jalapeno & tobiko
Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Roll
I love drinking bubbles with my sushi. Bright, crisp and refreshing are what I am looking for to cleanse my palate and not overpower the seafood-centered rolls. The fine mousse of something sparkling will compliment the delicate meal.
Mas de Daumas Gassac, Rosé Frizant, Pays d’Hérault, France $21.99
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Manseng
The predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon gives this wine a pretty berry character. It is light, lively, and fresh. The bubbles are more of froth, making it an easy drinking sparkler (perfect if you are enjoying the outdoor seating!).
Texturally, tempura would be an awesome combination:
Helter Skelter: soft shell crab tempura, spicy white tuna, cucumber, avocado & caviar, wrapped with soy bean seaweed
The Good Earth: soft shell crab tempura, spicy salmon, spicy yellowtail, avocado roll wrapped with soy bean paper
The Fallen Angel: spicy tuna & spicy white tuna inside, topped with yellowtail, salmon, tuna, white tuna & avocado
Giannone Wine and Liquor Co. is offering 10% off on the bottles mentioned above and 20% off on a case if you mention “Little Hoboken Blog” at checkout until April 20th!
As always, if you want to see a particular restaurant featured or have wine questions, email Deanna at email@example.com
Deanna moved to Hoboken in 2013 to pursue a career in food and wine. She has worked at 5 star and Michelin starred properties in New York City as a sommelier. Moonlighting as a private chef in town, she is excited to bring her passion for wine to the Mile Square City.