By Susan Gluck
New York Vintners, a five-year-old wine shop on Warren Street in low-key, high-net-worth Tribeca, understands Manhattan’s love affair with wine and cuisine and makes learning about the two lots of fun year-round.
Besides selling exclusive wines from boutique vineyards and family owned wineries around the world, the shop hosts creative cooking classes, wine-and-food pairing dinners, and tasting seminars on numerous grape varieties. There are even blind tastings where guests can test their connoisseurial palates like true oenologists.
Dylan York and Chef Ryan Smith helm New York Vintners’ “school” and leave no questions unanswered. Dylan, a southern transplant, is the company’s Director of Education and a certified sommelier. He’ll soon complete his training towards the Master of Wine, but to hear him teach, he already is a master. Once you’ve listened to his lesson on a specific varietal, you won’t forget it. Prior to this, Dylan served as a restaurant consultant in the West Indies and then worked the 2009 harvest for a vintner in Washington State. Ryan has been a personal chef since 2005 and came aboard in early 2011 with an undeniable gift for creative culinary instruction and a passion for Pu-erh tea and Vietnamese sandwiches. Originally from Saratoga Springs, he honed his skills in D.C. under award-winning mentors at The Reef, an organic restaurant, then Corduroy Restaurant, and finally, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, before coming to Manhattan in 2008.
An April seafood cooking class and wine pairing, taught by Chef Ryan, blew students away with its exotic ingredients. Earthy fiddleheads were paired with bacon-wrapped monkfish, and a dish of curried mussels was succulent. Classes usually last two hours, and attendees are given wine discounts as a parting gift. Winery details are printed up with room for taking notes. The comfortable dinner tables face a large monitor displaying regional maps, tasting instructions and estate names on one side, and on the other, an ample kitchen area is decked out with Sub-Zero appliances. Just standing over the big stove will make any apartment dweller feel like a top chef.
This spring and summer, wine enthusiasts have much to choose from. The events calendar includes several delectable selections such as “Farm to Table Organic Food & Wine” and “Pizza and the Wines that Love It.”
On June 2nd, “Open Cellar: Summer Wines,” will offer “50 wines from around the world.” For more information, log on to http://www.newyorkvintners.com.
New York Vintners
21 Warren Street
New York, NY 10007