I was fortunate enough to celebrate the opening of Back Label Wine Merchants and gourmet market Stinky Bklyn (directly next door) by attending their New York City splash in the Chelsea 'hood. Husband and wife team Patrick Watson and Michele Pravda are gleefully offering hand-picked foods and a library of well-curated wines stocking the shelves along with small batch spirits--and boy, do they have a lot of wine stocking those considerable shelves! Food Matters was so generous to donate the food and I sampled superb Salami Felino from New Jersey, smoky Larchmont bresaola, La Tur cheese (which I have heard aptly dubbed as "the ice cream of cheeses") and rich, fruity green olives. I was particularly enamored with the delicious Domaine de Valensac chardonnay that came from the Pays Doc region of Southern France. The bluesy-prohibition jazzy acoustic trio The MilkMan & Sons set the great score for a wonderful evening.
Further lowdown on these exciting new joints:
Back Label Wine Merchants houses a custom-made bar along the back wall of the soaring space to create an "educational space" where a number of classes will take place with subjects ranging from wine and spirit tastings to events and seminars. A 20-foot centerpiece reserved for wines $20 and under anchors the whole thing.
Stinky Bklyn features a list of meats and cheeses that delivers delights from across the globe and it also pays homage to Stinky's home base in Brooklyn with a special section featuring a selection of roasted coffee, donuts, pickles, breads, chocolates and condiments as well as craft beer growlers on tap. We'll drink (and eat) to that! Cheers then to Patrick Watson and Michele Pravda!
Back Label Wine Merchants is located at 111 W 20th St, NY, NY, 212-229-WINE (9463), BackLabelWine.com; Stinky Bklyn is located at 107 W 20th St, NY, NY, 212-243-CURD (2873), StinkyBklyn.com.
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox