There was a rain out on Friday, preventing the Yankees from clinching the series against the Angels, but as of today, we know the delay could not prevent the obvious outcome. This did not deter the wine drinking family of Tempranillo, Inc., the Jorge Ordonez company that have placed more 90+ point wines on Parker and Wine Spectator’s radar than any other Spanish wine importer.
This was the annual staff party, winemakers invited and included, selected clients chosen, for an evening of wining and dining, Tempranillo style. My good friend Ramon del Monte invited me, and despite a busy evening at Pata Negra, I could not resist a driveby. The event was hosted at Solera, and with the seasoned chef Danilo Paulino putting out arroz negro and sliced aged beef, there was plenty of Spanish grape juice to match.
A lot of suits and Spanish testosterone for the bi-level restaurant, and only the gracious maitre d’hotel and wine savant Ron Miller can handle so many egos with such ease and care. There were lovely ladies present as well, wielding an intoxicating combination of beauty and wine savvy, such as the darlings from Tinto Fino, and my accompaniment for the evening, one of my managers, Chris, the fashionable Brooklynite whose thirst for knowledge about wine reminds me of my youthful discovery days. If only I could have been exposed to such extravaganzas in my early twenties.
Everyone was in great spirits, buoyed by the glistening selection of oysters and clams not three feet from the entrance. This paired gloriously with a cava from the house of Muga, Conde de Haro. The jovial Juan Muga was present, ambassador for his family winery which need no introduction. The Prado Enea 2000 was singing that night, having had the benefit of air, and mixed in with a line-up of heavier hitters than the middle of the Yankee batting order. Aro, Malleolus, El Bosque, El Nido, and the list goes on and on, a battery of wines that have paved the way for New World style soon to be classics that can be laid down for the next generation.
A quick chat with Jorge Ordonez himself, wearing a detective hat indoors, perhaps shielding himself from the hordes of fans and clients, who took time out to tell me he knew nothing of my beloved Yanks, our conversation feeling like two old men playing dominoes on a street corner with Mahou beers, enjoying the pleasantry of differences and a shared love for life, as impressive a first meeting as any for me, a real character.
I was informed that the Moro brothers were missed, not only for their guitar and singing acumen, but also for their boisterous spirit. The air about the evening was a bit subdued. This did not suit Juan Muga, and so off we were to the Dream Hotel nearby (we might as well have been in Cleveland), for dancing and mischief. In this respect New York should be like Madrid or Barcelona, with select bars and clubs open until mid-day. Four in the morning just doesn’t give anyone enough time to get your groove on, especially if you work in the industry.
This made for a tough 7:30 am wake up, but I just look at it as pre-celebratory Yankees toast, as well as kudos for a bright future of Spanish wine at every table.