Eric Arnold, editor of The Daily Sip, a free, wine-centric e-newsletter from the folks at Bottlenotes.com, is guest-blogging about the Bottlenotes.com 80 Sips Challenge.
Restaurant Week is always a welcome time in New York dining: It’s a stretch during which just about anyone can get a taste of the sometimes-otherwise unaffordable. But what’s usually missing from the three-course lunches and dinners is an appreciation for wine pairing.
That changes starting Monday with the 80 Sips Challenge by Bottlenotes.com. For the next two weeks, several great NYC restaurants are offering pre-fixe lunches ($25ish) and dinners ($35ish) paired with wines from Brancott Estate in New Zealand, Conway Family Wines in California, and several red and white selections from France’s Roussillon region. The wine pairings cost extra, but these are all very wallet-friendly, high-quality wines that you’ll be able to find in your local wine shop, later on. And beyond enjoying the good food and wine, there’s some added incentive for dining out over the next couple weeks:
Over the course of the Challenge, if you taste six wines at the participating restaurants and rate them on Bottlenotes.com, a free peer-review site, you’ll get a $25 coupon for the third annual Around the World in 80 Sips tasting that Bottlenotes is holding in New York City on November 4, 2011. There, you can taste dozens of wines from some of the world’s top regions and wineries, from France to Italy to Spain to Australia, New Zealand, and several other countries. The 80 Sips tastings, held in several cities across the U.S. each year, always present a fun, casual way to learn a lot about wine along with a cool–and often very good-looking–crowd. Nothing wrong with a little eye candy while you knock back some wine, right? Please all the senses….
No matter what, through the 80 Sips Challenge you can cross some amazing NYC restaurants off your wish list without breaking the bank–and get a sense for how some tasty, widely available, affordable wines pair well with food. Make your reservation at a participating restaurant here. Go ahead, challenge yourself — and sip the benefits!
— Eric Arnold