Our Partners

It is with the unparalleled support of the Julia Child Foundation and the fine dedication of Red Hook Winery that our wine making sessions are possible.

The Julia Child Foundation offers Grants to worthy recipients looking to pursue opportunities in hospitality Julia Child Foundation Grant Opportunities. We appreciate all that the Foundation has provided us. To learn more about their overall goals please visit their website here: Julia Child Foundation.

Red Hook Winery provides wine-making opportunities in an urban setting. Bringing the region’s grapes to the Brooklyn Waterfront allows for great learning opportunities for City Tech Students. The Red Hook Winery

One of the wine maker’s, Robert Foley, generously led the wine making session on October 6, 2014. Being one of Napa Valley’s prominent winemakers, his lead of our educational site visit and tasting was an unparalleled treat. http://www.robertfoleyvineyards.com/about.html

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Shelf Talker

This winning red blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot has a medium body with a rewarding amount of tannins and acidity. The blend offers notes of black cherries, vanilla and baking spices. 50/50 starts with cornucopia of juicy dark fruit and leaves you with a dry finish that has you wanting more. Enjoy with gamey meats like lamb and quail served with rich red sauce.
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Shelf Talker


The 2018 Velvet is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah. This blend on the palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity with just the right amount of silky lingering finish.

With expressive flavors of blackberries and cherries, subtle nuances of black pepper and spices, it’s a perfect wine to pair with grilled steaks and chops, Portobello mushrooms and so much more!


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Shelf Talk

Classic Red

70% Cabernet Franc, Sereca Lake

30% Riesling, Finger Lake

Tasting notes: A light ruby red, medium bodied wine with balanced acidity and a short finish, hint of spice, plums, and dark cherry

Food Pairing: Braised Beef Jardiniere and Duchess Potatoes

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Student Blend Final

Upon arrival to Red Hook Winery on the morning of October 1st, Joshua and I had discussed how we imagined our blend would turn out.  We had certain ideas and expectations as to how the three base wines would work together in varying amounts, but it wasn’t until we actually starting measuring and blending that we were able to understand how these three wines played together.

Before we started blending, we set up a chart to keep track of our blends and their tasting notes.  For our very first blend, we started off with 70% Chardonnay, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Riesling.  We had predicted this was the perfect formula to create the wine we were looking for.  Upon tasting this blend, we looked at each other in agreement that it wasn’t what we wanted.  We were very pleased with our second blend, but we still had plenty of time and wanted to keep going to try new blends.  We made six blends altogether, but only two  really stood out to us.  With another quick tasting and the clock ticking, we decided to move forward with our second blend.

We never would have thought we would end up with the blend we did: 50% Chardonnay, 30% Riesling, and 20% Sauvignon Blanc.  We had imagined the Riesling would give too much sweetness to the final product, and that we needed more of a sharp acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc. However, we ended up using more Riesling that Sauvignon Blanc. It was really interesting to see slight variations in each of our blends created six very different wines.

While our initial expectations for the blend were not met, our expectations for the experience were exceeded.  We worked well together during the blending process, we listened to each other’s input and ideas, and we encouraged each other to create new blends.

Posted in Team 1 Joshua B. and Alison M. | Leave a comment

Sommelier Speak

Braised Beef Jardiniere and Duchess Potatoes is a very hearty dish. With so many ingredients such as tomatoes puree, onion, garlic which contain acidity. Other ingredients such as carrots, celery, bay leaves, potatoes, heavy cream, nutmeg and brown sauce bring out different flavor. With these flavors I believe that we to choose a wine that will enhance the flavor. Therefore, my choice for this menu are
• Ridge Lytton Spring 2015 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
• Rocca di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia and other Blend 2015, Tuscany, Italy
• Michele Chiallo Barolo Tortoniano 2011, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
After researching I believe that the Rocca di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia 2015 would pair well with this menu. This project took two years to conceived with partnership of Les Domanies Baron de Rothschild -Lafite and the Castellare di Castellina winery, working with five small farms. The birth of Rocco di Frassinello winery was established after this venture. This vineyard came from the region of Maremma area between Bolghieri and Scansano in Italy  which has a geological foot extense toward the sea. It has 500 hectares, of which 80 has already cultivated due to the high temperature in this area. Because of this characteristic these grapes can ripen three to four weeks earlier. This venture is considered as the meeting of the best of Italy and France. The deep ruby red wine  vinification come from 50%Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Sangioveto, with Sangioveto being the main grape, this is according to statement made on wine folly web pages, also included are  other grapes varieties such as Petit Verdot and Shiraz to enhance the wine. The character tics of Sangioveto range from sour cherry, balsamic, dried herb, leather, dried herbs anise and tobacco, Merlot wine from this region when added to any blend can soften and add roundness to the wine. Cabernet Sauvignon with its oak and spicy aroma and high in tannin bring another flavor to the wine. Each grape variety bring something different and complex, with the final intense aroma is of dark plum, chocolate, spices, and grilled herbs. With it clean mineral notes and freshness makes this wine very unique is ideal for roast beef and mid-age cheese according to winemaker notes.

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Shelf Talker

Mellow Yellow

50% Chardonnay, North Fork, Long Island

30% Riesling, Finger Lakes

20% Sauvignon Blanc, North Fork, Long Island

Tasting Notes: A medium-bodied wine with balanced acidity and a lingering mouthfeel, with slight hints of oak, peach, apricot and citrus.

Food Pairing: Baked Filet of White Fish,

served with sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes over a rice pilaf.

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Student Wine Blend Maker Journal

Our expectation of the wine blending process is to end with a final product that would be well fit to pair with Grilled skirt steak with Chimichurri sauce. Considering that this entree has intense flavors such as garlic and lemon, we want a wine that would be smooth in order to stabilize the palette. Having a great wine will ensure that the guest will enjoy his/her meal. Our initial blend was 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. The blend we end up with was quite a surprise. We knew we wanted the majority of the wine to be Cabernet Franc for stability and the rest would be Merlot for its robust, fruity flavors. However, after several trials we decided to give Syrah a second attempt to see if we wanted to change our mind from the previous week. Our final blend ended up being 80% Cabernet Franc 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah. We decided to add a little bit of Syrah to the mix because we liked the way it perfumed the wine. Before, it smelled a bit musty almost like overripe (close to spoiled) fruit. The addition of Syrah provided an aroma of baking spices such as vanilla, cinnamon and clove.


We found it very interesting to agree that Syrah was our least favorite out of the three especially by itself. However, after making several observations, we realized that it compliments the other two really well. A couple attempts later, we had become nauseous from smelling the wines. It has become more of a change as our taste and smell sense have become numb. Despite the challenge of deciding on the best blend for our dish, it was a fun way to study wine. We believe that having students do this experiment forces them to pull out characteristics of the wines they do and don’t like.

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Student blend

Blending the wine was great experience and Interesting process. It was definitely a tedious  process because you want to make sure that you get the right blend of wine that taste wonderful together.  Before going to Red Hook Winery, Christine and I talked about different blends that would go well with the dish we are pairing it with. We were making a red wine blend, we had three different wine. They were  Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. The red wine blend is going to be paired with braised beef jardiniere and duchess potatoes. We made five blends. The first blend was 75% cabernet franc with 25% merlot. The second blend was 50% syrah with 50% merlot. The third blend was 50% syrah with 50% cabernet franc. The fourth blend 50% syrah, 50% merlot and 10% cabernet franc. And the fifth blend was the wild card which was 70% cabernet franc and 30% riesling.

The final blend that we submit was the wild card which is the 70% cabernet franc and 30% riesling.The reason why we came up with this blend because the cabernet franc is a medium-high acidity, medium body and medium tannin. The riesling is light in body, low to no tannin, and medium sweetness. With is information it made a great red wine. The reason this blend can be paired with our dish because braised beef jardiniere and duchess potatoes is a hearty meal and the blend that we made is a light, medium to low acidity, light sweetness for a red wine. It would make a great pairing for the dish and bring out the different flavors or ingredients that is in this dish. The sweetness in the wine balance the bold flavors that in this dish. We think that the guests that visit dining room would enjoy our blend of red wine.

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Shelf Talker

A classic White Blend

50% Riesling Finger Lakes AVA

50% Chardonnay North Fork Long Island AVA

Tasting notes: Crisp fresh feeling with notes of apples, peaches and and white flowers.

Pairing: Broiled Salmon pommes natures and sautéed Zucchini


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Student blend final

This Monday Jarnelle and I created a white blend of wine to go with the broiled salmon dish. We had many ideas of how we were going to start out our blend and what the main blend would be and we chose Riesling. We chose Riesling because of the dominate traits it would give out to balance the dish and not overpower it. We wanted a wine crisp and fresh as well as a little sweet. We knew we also wanted to do chardonnay from the choices we had because those two would work well together and have a good balance with the dish. The last choice we had was Sauvignon Blanc and that would have ben way too sweet for the dish to work with.

So once we got ready to blend we started out with Riesling and Chardonnay but a small amount of each it was bland for the dish. It wasn’t complex enough for the broiled Salmon. Then we just kept experimenting with each wine mixing them and trying to figure out if it was too sweet or crisp and fresh. We had a decision to make between 2 of our 5 blends and we realized the 50 50 of Riesling and Chardonnay was perfect. It was perfect and we knew it by our faces when we tried it. We even had to do it again just to make sure we got it right and we did. It was a really good experience and I was surprised with how it wasn’t hard to make your own blend and by making it pair perfectly with a dish. It turned out the way we expected we just weren’t sure about the amounts and that changed everything because we did try the same blend with smaller amounts not enough to distinguish the wine and anticipate the flavors. Good we tried that blend again if we didn’t we probably wouldn’t have found a pairing.

Posted in Team 3, Jarnelle F. and Maria P. | Leave a comment