September 24, 2010

Tangled Vine Happy Hour

There's nothing like a good happy hour to brighten up our day.  We had been meaning to try out The Tangled Vine, a new wine bar featuring biodynamic, organic, and sustainable wine.  And their weekday 50% off happy hour deal was perfect for our first try.

Truthfully, we're not very familiar with organic wines.  According to Evan Spingarn, The Tangled Vine's sommelier, "If a distributor tells me that a wine was made without pesticides and herbicides in the vineyards, without laboratory yeast, or enzymes to speed the fermentation -- basically they're not manipulating the wine -- I'm willing to call it organic. So few producers want to certify because it's expensive. And a pain." (source: Fork in the Road)  
Red, white, and rose!  Organic or not, we're into good affordable wine and here, we got some very generous pours.  So we tried all three happy hour offerings which featured Spanish wines. 

Rose:  Muga Rose ($5.50 HH, $11 reg):  We liked the clean, crisp, not sweet taste of this blush wine.  Muga is a great producer and we found the wine to be dry yet fruity with faint tannins and balanced well with our tapas.

 White:  Rueda "Ermita de Nieve" Vinedos de Nieva 2009 ($4.50 HH, $9 reg):  Made with 100% Verdejo grapes, this wine was simple, straightforward, floral, fruity, yet still crisp and light.  It was a good Happy Hour wine, though my husband was not sure he'd pay full price for it.

Red:  Monastrell "Cono 4" Primitivo Quiles 2008 ($5 HH, $10 reg):  We found the red to be too warm, which brought out the heat (too bad they didn't have the Ravi wine chiller!).  This Monastrell (mourvedre in France) from Spain seemed too fruity and not really balanced.
Eggplant Caponata crostini ($4 happy hour special, $6 regular price):  All of the dishes on the menu have a Mediterranean bent to pair with the Old World wines.  We liked the rich flavor of these crostini - and like the caponata we had at Otto, my husband devoured this cold, hearty appetizer.
Like most wine and tapas bars, it can get quite pricey with the shared plates and wines by the glass.  The menu did look interesting though and we will probably be back to split a bottle with others or to check out their new brunch menu.

The Tangled Vine is located at 434 Amsterdam Ave (at W 81st St) in NYC.

Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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