I love the notion of thinking out of the box...changing things up...straying from the norm.
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But when it comes to wine, Ive, thus far, been taught that you have to enjoy wine in its natural, unadulterated state.You must let wine breathe, take in its smell, roll it around your tongue and appreciate its taste.
The last thing youd want to do is alter the essence of it...
..by adding vodka?
Both are offenses that could be blasphemous to some wine connoisseurs.
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But thats exactly what Beate Kiser is doing at Beauty & Essex, a recently-opened hot spot in downtown Manhattan.
As the bar manager and resident mixologist, Kiser is getting creative with drinks by combining liquor with wine to create truly innovative cocktails.
Mixing vodka with red wine might not seem so nutty since that tends to be the base of sangria, but how about vodka with Elderflower Liqueur and white wine?
Or better yet, try Beauty & Essexs signature cocktail: the Essex Sour Blush, which is bourbon with sour mix and a Rioja wine!
Sounds nutty, right?
The drinks arent the only thing unconventional at Beauty & Essex. You have to walk through a pawn shop&yes, a pawn shop&to get into the enormous 10,000-square foot, three level, avenue-long space.
But if you cant get there, try it at home and let me know what you think. Would you add vodka or bourbon to your wine? Or are you a purist and only drink wine in its unaltered, natural state?
Keep in mind, if someone didnt drop chocolate in peanut butter, wed never have the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.
Questions for Our Wine Pro
1. What is your death row wine?
I have to admit that I'm really a Tequila Don Julio fan at heart. However, when it comes to wine, my favorite right now is Tablas Creek Cote de Tablas, which is a white Rhone style wine made in California.
2. What region produces the best wine?
It's so hard to say, I love wines from all over the world, such as Spanish Riojas, Argentinian Torrentes, French Bordeauxs, and Italian Vermintino. Even South Africa is making amazing wines.
3. What is the best wine and food pairing youve ever had?
I would have to say champagne with oysters, but that might be because it's summer and the season is inspiring my answer!
4. What will the U.S. wine industry look like in 10 years?
I think the United States is on the right track to becoming a power house in wine. Currently, America is still considered to be a newcomer in the wine-making process, especially in the eyes of wine-making countries that are considered "old world," such as Italy and France.
However, I think that we have a lot of great experimentation ahead of us which will help us develop into a robust and well-respected wine-making industry.
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