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Uncovering the “Terroir” of Westchester: Wine-centric Locales and Events Flavor the Social Scene

My use of the word “terroir” may at first sound like an intimidating buzz wine-word thrown around as to indicate superior wine knowledge, and yet I use this the French term for its reflection to genuinely describe the land where grapes are grown to produce wines of a particular area, offering the drinker to truly experience a “sense of place”.

Vines in barcelona2 I began uncovering the “terroir” of Westchester when I first moved here, and then more intensely in the beginning of November. One night I wasn’t in the mood for the social offerings of Purchase Street or to battle for a seat at the new and bustling Tarry Lodge. Instead, I opted to attend a wine tasting event being held at Whitby Castle of the Rye Golf Club hosted by Rye Brook Wine & Spirits Shop.

The event, which was held on November 6th, (my apologies for being the social correspondent reflecting on an outdated event, but like so many aspects of understanding wine, so much depends on timing) marked the 2nd annual tasting event hosted by the retail store and attracted roughly 130 people interested to taste the 100+ wines offered. The energy buzzed between tasting tables and the mingling wine enthusiasts, of varying ages, styles and professions, enjoyed a spread of appetizers and passed amuse-bouche

Since the tasting event, I’m now on wine tour of Westchester and surrounding areas for wine-centric restaurants, tasting bars and events. So far, here are some places where the grapes are gooood!!!:

  • Aurora: Grazie per Wine Tuesdays!!! 25%- 50% off wines by the bottle, Mike will happily help you make a selection! (60 Purchase Street, Tel: 921-2333).
  • Solaia Ristorante & Enoteca: With 500 bottles available from their wine list and over 45 wines by the glass selections, this below-street level spot exclusively serves Italian wines complimented by the delicious dishes crafted by Chef Mark Mantione (363 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, Tel: 203-622-6400).
  • The Gnarly Vine: This is my latest find and so far most rewarding. Simple and delicious food, diverse music, great service and serendipitously offered a few wines tasted from the Whitby Castle tasting event and available at Rye Brook Wine & spirits! (501 Main Street New Rochelle, Tel: 355-2541).
  • Millbrook Vineyards & Winery: A winery close to my heart as a former employee, Millbrook, a wonderful winery 1 hour and 30 minutes from Rye, offering well made wines of the Hudson Valley. Millbrook is owned by former NYS Commissioner of Agriculture Mr. John Dyson, the man also the man responsible for developing the “I LOVE NY" campaign. IloveNY2When you visit ask for Manager Scott Koster–he is a wonderful host and has a wealth of wine knowledge!

Artisans of the vine Wine offers numerous pleasures, flavors and even health benefits. A Latin proverb reminds us “there are four reasons for drinking wine:

  1. the arrival of a friend
  2. one's present or future thirst
  3. the excellence of the wine
  4. …or any other reason.

Of course sharing wine while on a date or upon any social occasion is always increasingly interesting since the ultimate truth about wine always reveals itself, which is:

“In vino, veritas”
(in wine there is truth).

Enjoy tasting your way through the terroir of the area and join me in appreciating and the “sense of place” our Westchester wine scene has to offer. Live and drink well!

Vino!2 Pamela Baur has enjoyed living in Rye since 2007. She works as a project manager with a local entrepreneurial business development firm.


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