Review: Revolving Dansk Danish Pølse Dog Championship Sun Feb 21 @ Jimmy’s 43

Event: Revolving Dansk’s Danish street dog championship promotion and beer at Jimmy’s 43.

I'm not sure how one might interpret these T-shirts in Denmark.

I’m not sure how one might interpret these T-shirts in Denmark.

Bottom Line: “Hot dogs & beers” just screams Sunday afternoon comfort food, but the addition of a Danish twist with an eccletic inspiration of Latin and Southeast Asian garnishes makes something ordinary truly special.  It’s no surprise that this event sold out.

Bringing people together in street dog and beer harmony.

Bringing people together in street dog and beer harmony.

Review: Jimmy’s 43 is one of East Village’s many unassuming but special, charming neighborhood bars that serve local brews.

Craft taps are the trophies here

Beer taps are the trophies here

Located just down the street from the ever-famous, but in my opinion overrated, McSorely’s, Revolving Dansk held their annual Danish dog or pølse championship.

The event completely sold out

The event completely sold out

Though a mere promotion of its product, Revolving Dansk makes some seriously delicious hot dogs or pølse, garnished with  some unorthodox condiments.

To the more jaded who would dismiss it as only a hot-dog-eating meetup , Revolving Dansk has created a kind of social community with its events, where people get together and enjoy beer and good food with a little Scandanivian flair. And their product is successful, simply because it is delicious.

The perfect prescription

The perfect prescription

Last Sunday was so popular, in fact, that they held two sessions: The first from 1-4pm and the second from 5-8pm, and only those who had purchased tickets in advance could enter.

Whose round is this?

Whose round is this?

For this event, Revolving Dansk showcased three new special pølse and asked the guests to vote on their favorites. Quirkily titled, they included:

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“She’s Got Nuts”,  – a peanut lover’s delight and for me, the best, but I would have preferred a bit more chili and a dash of nambla. That would be my 2am recharge after a legless pubcrawl.

Come to papa!

Come to papa!

The Dominican Dane with pickled cucumbers. This was a seriously delicious combo. Perfect with the IPA I was drinking.

Crack on Ian!

Crack on ! Ian tackles World Fusion

The World Fusion Dog, according to my mate, Ian, was really fantastic. The crazy garnishes included bonito flakes ginger, pineapple, and oh yes, wasabi. Perhaps a cure for a hangover.

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The raffle I forgot to enter. Shit.

After the contest, RD served up the classic Danish pølse, garnished with grilled & sautéed onions, licorice powder, chili, ketchup and mustard.

Danish Pølse street dogs

Pølse Street Dog fest, LES, summer 2015

It sounds like a car crash, but it really works. In fact so well, I made my own pølse at home using the similar toppings.

Spirikal's take on the Danish pølse

Spirikal’s take on the Danish pølse

Revolving Dansk's Pølse essential travel kit

Revolving Dansk’s Pølse essential travel kit

In between hotdog breaks, Floede Bolle Inc. treated the event-goers to the Danish take on a delicious and suprisingly light, chocolate coated marshmellow bonbon.

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Helen Munck serving up Danish Floede Bolle– Yummy!

If you missed this event, you can taste Revolving Dansk’s pølse at the annual hot sauce festival in Brooklyn this spring.

More to come

More to come

 

Review: Baron François “La vie en Rose” rosé wine tasting Mon Feb 8, 2016

Event: Baron François Ltd. presents La Vie en Rose, in-store rosé wine tasting and pre-sale.

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“Looks pink!” Spirikal ponders the essence of rosé.

Spirikal’s bottom line:  It’s incredible to think how many kinds of rosé you can sample in the span of an hour or two.

One of the few that I recognized. Provence just sort of screams "Drink me!"

One of the few that I recognized. Provence just sort of screams “Drink me!”

I really admire the passion and knowledge of the staff at Baron François on all things wine. They guided me though the selection and offered ideas of pairings and how to serve.

Le pays d'Oc has got some ridiculously delicious wines. This gets my vote for the most-unusual-but-really -works wine on the table.

Le pays d’Oc has got some ridiculously delicious wines. This gets my vote for the most-unusual-but-really -works wine on the table.

And although I’m not a restauranteur nor a wine merchant, I learned a lot more about the complexities of rosé wine than I had anticipated. After this tasting, I think these wines have their place amongst the best reds and whites.

Review:  This was new terrain for me.  First because I knew little of rosé except for a couple that I liked and second I’d never been to BF Ltd who generally caters to those in the industry.

Sancerre: Slightly tart with clean finish. I really loved this

Sancerre: Slightly tart with clean finish. I really loved this.

If you’re a wine distributor or work the restaurant business, Baron François is probably already on your wine-dar,  which explains their slight bewilderment when Spirikal, Metronaut extraordinaire turned up, armed with a wine glass.

My first encounter with a Malbec rosé.

BFF My first encounter with a Malbec rosé.

When confronting something new and out of my comfort zone, I always think of my favorite line in Casablanca,  ‘we know very little and understand little even less’.

Score one for the Italians!

Score one for the Italians!

I only thought rosé could only be dry, slightly spicy or sweet, either from Italy or Provence, but I never new how many regions in France and Western Europe who produce the stuff. Each one unique and offered something new.

Take two of these and call me in the morning.

Take two of these and call me in the morning.

My favorites by far were from Provence and Loire (the Sancerre), but I discovered a Malbec rosé and one from the Languedoc (one of the most underrated wine-producing regions in France).

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A bowlful of love. Promotion on some unknown wines

 Both challeged my palate in ways I didn’t expect but finished with a clean pure flavor of rosé before disappearing completely from the taste buds. Glamourizing ? Perhaps, but you would too after this tasting. Be sure to sample some of these when they’re available in the spring.

Review: DJ Spinna & Rich Medina @ One Step Beyond Dance Party @ the Natural History Museum

Event: One Step Beyond dance party with DJ Spinna and Rich Medina at the American Museum of Natural History

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Spirikal’s bottom line: If you haven’t been to one of these after hours shows, then you’re missing out on one of the best dance parties in the city.

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Great DJs, incredible light shows, asteroids and booze, this monthly show gives it all in beautiful surroundings. It’s no surprise that this show always sells out.

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Review: Already suffering from lack of sleep, I turned up anyway with my friend Ian to check out Rich Medina and DJ Spinna.

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In comparison to last month’s show, this one was by far better with tons more house, disco, funk, reggae and R&B – you know, the good stuff.

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Throughout the night, Spinna and Media kept trading places in a beautifully balanced dual-DJ set. The lighting was also spot on. Whether on the ceiling or behind the turntables, it really complimented everything.

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Mad scientist? One of light show team. Yes, that’s a camera on his head!

Honestly, it was as good as that, and I’d go far enough to say that this was one of the best DJ concerts I had been to in a long time.

Packed house. The event sold out

Packed house. The event sold out

What I also like about One Step Beyond is the fact that you can tour the planetarium, especially when you get there early. The accoustics are phenomenal, and maybe one day, they’ll have a live band perform here.

If you want to check out the fun next month, look for my preview, and don’t forget to buy your tickets asap.

Review: Fantasia Veneziana “Winter Fantasy” Fashion Show @ Sky Lounge Thurs. Feb 4, 2016

Event: Fantasia Veneziana‘s Winter Fashion Show at the Sky Lounge, Times Square

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Spirikal’s bottom line:  A decent time with loads of beautiful models and a chance to meet some new faces; however, there’s a slightly seedy element that added to clausterphobically cramped venue.

Spirikal meets some new friends

Spirikal meets some new friends

Review:  After a bite to eat and a couple glasses of wine, my mate Ian and I headed over to the Sky Lounge, which was easy to find, thanks to its location.

Beautiful Estelle Yang

Beautiful Estelle Yang

The lounge on the rooftop was fairly large, holding three bars with several events and meet ups going on.

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We ended up at the bar on the top floor of the lounge, grabbed a glass of sauvignon blanc and waited for the show to begin.

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By the time, the show started, it was well after 10pm, which kind of annoyed me because I had an early start at work the next day.

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The space was also narrow, and the pillars made taking pictures an absolute nightmare.

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I recognized some of the cameramen from previous shows, but I ran into one who was very aggressive and tried to push me.

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I decided to stay away, but in all fairness, he wasn’t taking many pictures to begin with. So why the attitude?

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The fashion wasn’t my cup of tea. I prefer to see models sporting stuff that you could imagine anyone wearing outside a burlesque club.

That damn pillar!

That damn pillar!

I get that this is more of a carnival spectacle, but it seemed slightly sleazy and not at all haute couture.

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You lookin’ at my mustache?

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The models really did their best for the audience, but it also attracted a shadier element.

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I really need to hit the gym more often.

Some of the crowd got out of hand, and one guy was even thrown out after grabbing a couple of the models.

Although I had a great time and chatted with loads of people, I’m ready to see something else, perhaps a little less flamboyant and kitchy.

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Time to move on.

 

Review Slow Wine Magazine Wine Trade Show @ the High Line Ballroom

Event: Slow Wine Magazine‘s Annual Italian Wine Trade Show at the Highline Ballroom.

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Slow Wine Mag Wine Expo 2016 @Highline Ballroom

Spirikal’s bottom line: It never ceases to amaze me the amount of passion wine producers radiate when discussing their wines.  For wine enthusiasts everywhere, this passion transcends language barriers between Italian merchants and the American visitors. Visitors get the chance to taste some delicious wines that aren’t yet available in the US.

This year’s trade show didn’t disappoint, and unlike last year, I-Gourmet offered guests tasty samplings of cheese, charcuterie and breads from Italy.  Totally worth the rain.

Turn out was huge despite the rain. Only pre-registered guests were allowed in.

Turn out was huge despite the rain. Only pre-registered guests were allowed in.

Review:  It was my second time to visit this expo. After a quick check in at the front desk, I got my press pass and set off to taste some wines. The place was crowded, and I didn’t have much time because the expo would finish in a couple of hours.

Fill 'er up!

Fill ‘er up!

In some ways, I think this year’s show at the Highline Ballroom was better than last year’s at the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown. First, there was no blizzard, but this year featured delicious Italian treats from I-Gourmet, which came as a blessing because I had little to eat before hand. My only gripe was the tight space of the venue. It was difficult to navigate and to be honest, I didn’t even make it to the wine tables on the top floor.

My new chum Brad from I-Gourmet serving up delicious Italian cheeses.

My new chum Brad from I-Gourmet serving up delicious Italian cheeses.

Armed with a wine glass and expo map, I chatted with the producers and distributors as well as many of the guests, many of whom were restauranteurs and wine merchants from the East Coast and Chicago.

Coated with pistachios and honey, it is the best cheese I have tasted in a long time.

Coated with pistachios and honey, it is the best cheese I have tasted in a long time.

Unsurprisingly, there were some casualities. Mainly beginners who mistakenly drank the wine. And when you mix red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, it will almost always spell disaster. One woman sat passed out while drooling a steady stream of saliva on her I-Phone. Ewww.

Happily, I played my cards right and didn’t fall into that trap. Proper schmoozing with the producers and merchants also got me three bottles of wine, a block of sheep’s milk cheese and breadsticks. Yummy.

Best dressed character slicing ham for the famished visitors.

Best dressed character slicing ham for the famished visitors.

This guy from I-Gourmet definitely wins the best dressed vendor of the entire exhibit. A cheerful man with curly Tom Baker’s hair, I swear I could watch him for hours.

Sorry, my scarf ain't for sale, mate.

Sorry, my scarf ain’t for sale, mate.

Enjoy the photos and be sure to check out the links I included on the wine merchants.

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Mauro Giardina with his stunning associate  from  Villa Venti Estate displaying the goods.

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Delicious, fruity, and a great treat from Villa Venti.

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My new friend Renata from the Cà ed Balos Estate showing off the signature Dolcetto d’Alba

I know very little about Piedmont reds, except that they’re delicious with a slight fruity note. The Dolcetto d’Alba from Cà ed Balos in Castiglione Tinella turned that upside down with this bold, robust little number.

Casale Della Ioria had the most amazing dark, sparkling wine that I sampled

Casale Della Ioria had the most amazing dark, sparkling wine that I sampled

Casale Della Ioria‘s Cesanese got my vote for the best sparkling wine. The first sip set my my mouth fizzing and burst of dry, deep flavor but a completely clean finish. It’s not Prosecco, but done in the champagne style. If this wine is available here, I’ll definitely acquire a bottle. Other wines included a couple deep red wines that left me a loss for words. Impressive, but challenging. Enjoyable but incomparable to anything I had tasted before.

Zidarch Vineyard from Venezia

Zidarch Vineyard from Trieste

Family owned and run, Zidarich’s red wine from Trieste had an unusual flavor from the grapes mascerated and fermented on their skins that made me really think. I loved the fact that it challenged me to go out of my usual comfort zone.

On the second table selection, I ran into the Tenuta Montemagno team. Some of the best red wines I have tasted in a long time. The Estate has also a luxurious inn that offers accomodation to visiting guests. Sounds like my kind of holiday.

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Contratto sparkling wines

Sparkling wine in the Champagne classic method style from Contratto. I particularly liked the dryer, clean finish which according to Laura, the rep, was developed for the English taste-buds. Nice!

Zago prosecco wines

Zago Prosecco wines

Although I like a decent prosecco every now and then, I’m afraid Zago’s sparkling did not quite meet the mark of the others at the expo. I found it a bit too sweet for my liking and lacking in fizz.

Tenuta Terraviva serving delicious, acidic white wine

Pietro Topi from  the Tenuta Terraviva Estate serving delicious, acidic white wine

I especially like the white wines from Tenuta Terraviva. Slightly acidic with a light finish would make the perfect accompaniment for a summer picnic.

As the show dwindled down, it was time to go. I grabbed my samples, cards and umbrella and headed out into the rain. It was the best afternoon I spent in a long time learning about Italian wines. If you’re interested in joining these expos and/ or are in the industry, you must check out Slow Wine Magazine.