Archive for Wine
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and by that I mean “not following us on twitter”) you’ve probably seen this video.
This creepy, mustachioed gent is not just a dancer of incredible grace and dexterity, he is also a messenger for a bold new regime here at Secco. As part of our ongoing effort to get Richmond to Drink Something Different, we are changing the way we do wine. For starters, we’ve scrapped our drink menus. Filling the void is a chalkboard wine list and our friendly and knowledgeable servers.
You see, our staff kinda rocks, and we’re not the only ones saying that. Our happiest customers tend to be those who put themselves in our hands. And now, we’re writing that experience into the Secco DNA.
Furthermore, ditching the lists grants greater freedom and fluidity with what we stock. Translation: more new stuff, more weird stuff, more changes, more fun!
Wine can be a intimidating topic: “Should I get a Sauvignon Blanc or a Sauvignon Noir to pair with this chili? Wait, is Sauvignon Noir even a thing? I just made that up, didn’t I? Is this even chili? Who am I?”
See what I mean?
Well on Tuesday, January 29, Secco will teach you to navigate the BS and find wines you like, all while deepening your appreciation for the alchemy and artisanship that make great wine possible. With Wine 101 our fearless leader, Julia, will guide novices and anyone needing a refresher course through the main wine varieties, regions and basic vocabulary of this magical subject. Expect plenty of vino, light snacks, maps, handouts and probably a few off-color jokes.
Wine 101 takes place on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 from 6-8pm at The Room at Secco (2931 W. Cary St). Tickets are $45 and include wine, light snacks and loads of information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and reserve your spot today!
Often, when seeking wisdom in the face of one of life’s many difficult questions, we at Secco ask ourselves, “What would JC do?”
And, more often then not, the answer is: “deglaze with a dry vermouth and finish with a hearty pat of butter.”
Had she not passed away eight years ago, Julia Child would have turned 100 years-old on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Secco, along with many of our colleagues in the restaurant industry, are doing our part to pay homage to this incredible chef, teacher and human being.
In an era when the mark of a “renaissance woman” was the ability to starch a collar, pour a gimlet and keep your mouth shut all at the same time, Julia Child was like something from another planet. She played basketball in college, wrote copy for a high-profile ad agency (a real life Peggy Olsen!), oversaw top-secret communications during WWII for the OSS (a precursor to the CIA), and invented a military-grade shark repellent (!), all before shattering the glacé ceiling of French gastronomy and single-handedly teaching America how to cook real food. Unlike many of today’s celebrity (and celebrity-hungry) chefs, who try to cultivate an air of toughness by parading their tattoos, berating their subordinates, and never allowing themselves to be photographed without crossing their arms, Julia was the real deal (did I mention she invented shark repellent?!?) — a quiet badass who exuded genuine grace and joy in everything she did.
In celebration of Julia Child’s 100th birthday week, Secco will feature a trio of a la carte dishes taken directly from her beloved 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Each can be accompanied by an optional wine pairing hand-selected by our Julia, working from suggestions left by THE Julia. We’ll also be paying homage to the Grande Dame of good taste with our wine flight of the week, entitled WWJD? (What Would Julia Drink?).
Julia Child’s Centenary Celebration Menu
(available Monday, 8/13 through Sunday, 8/19, 5pm – 10pm)
chilled potato & leek soup
Bifteck sauté Bèarnaise $15
pan-broiled steak with bernaise sauce, served with pan-fried potatoes & fresh watercress (as recommended by JC)
Caramel Renversée au Caramel $5
unmolded caramel custard
Heightening the sense of nostalgia, Chef Tim will be working from his grandfather’s 1966 edition of The Art of French Cooking. See the recipes he’ll be using, stains and all, in the images below.
THE SUMMER OF RIESLING AT SECCO WINE BAR
daily flights // “Acid Hour” every weekday // secret stash Rieslings galore
In case you didn’t notice when half your family melted, Summer has arrived. For us at Secco, that means two things: pants-optional Fridays and the Summer of Riesling. Masterminded by our friends at Terroir in New York City, the Summer of Riesling is a three-month long pep-rally in support of the world’s most versatile grape.
But let’s start by addressing the 800lb gorilla that follows Riesling everywhere it goes (which I can only assume is Grape Ape).
Here’s the frustrating irony about Riesling in our country: The reason so many American’s have the skewed impression that “all Rieslings are sweet” is because, well, that’s what we’ve been demanding. For decades, savvy importers made it their M.O. to hunt down the most freakishly sweet incarnations of the grape to sell to an American populace eager to get drunk on something that tasted like Mellow Yellow. Blame Pepsi-co, blame your parents, just don’t blame Riesling.
Because that would be akin to a German complaining that all American music sounds like David Hasselhoff. You’d be like “Excuse me Günther, but America is home to THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD! It’s not our fault you chose to champion one embarrassing footnote of our cultural output as the be-all-end-all!” And then Günther would be like “Calm down, mein freund! Let’s just chill out with a refreshing glass of Riesling.” To which you’d respond, “No, thanks, I don’t like sweet wine,” and then World War III would start. Ignorance kills, people.
Meanwhile, many enlightened wine drinkers herald Riesling as the single most versatile grape on the planet, yielding wines that range from shivers-up-the-spine dry to liquid dessert. Most of the best Rieslings fall between these extremes, contrasting fruit-forward notes of peaches, apples or melon with a juicy acidity and/or a crisp minerality.
All Summer long, Secco will celebrate this grape among grapes with daily flight specials and a rotating array of “secret stash” items. We’ll also roll out a special “Acid Hour,” with $2 off all by-the-glass Rieslings from 4-6PM, every Monday – Friday, starting July 16. Finally, all customers to openly dismiss Riesling as “sweet wine” will enjoy a complimentary 20-minute lecture!
For a complete list of Summer of Riesling participants throughout VA and the other 49 states, go HERE. We also urge you to the check out THIS DROOL-WORTHY NPR PIECE featuring sommelier and S.O.R. ringleader Paul Grieco.
It’s that time of year again. Time to say goodbye to the gentle embrace of our fair maiden Spring, and prepare to be smothered in the hot, heaving bosom of our fat auntie Summer (and that is how I failed out of meteorology school). The time when we at Secco begin to stock up on our best defense against the sweat and swelter: ICE. COLD. ROSÉ.
Last year we organized what was, as far as we can tell, the first rosé crawl EVER. And you, dear Richmond, responded like champs, with an enthusiasm undeterred by torrential downpours, flash flooding and massive power outages. This year we’re expecting an even better turnout, as more folks have become hip to fact a good dry rosé is THE PERFECT warm-weather wine, and bears only the most superficial resemblance to the sugary “blush” that haunts our collective memory.
The 2ND ANNUAL RICHMOND ROSÉ CRAWL takes place on Tuesday, June 19th, and will include stops at C-Street, and Amour Wine Bistro before landing at Secco Wine Bar. There is no sign up and no cover charge; simply show up and pay for what you drink. The wearing of pink is highly encouraged! Times (except for the 5:30PM start) are approximations. Feel free to RSVP on our FACEBOOK EVITE.
THE 2ND ANNUAL RICHMOND ROSÉ CRAWL
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012, 5:30PM — 7:00PM
5:30pm C-Street – 3325 West Cary Street
6:15pm Amour Wine Bistro – 3129 West Cary Street
7:00pm Secco Wine Bar – 2933 West Cary Street
Updates (including specific wine info) coming soon. For any further questions, email us at email@example.com.
If you asked your average American for their opinion on Portuguese wines, the most common response would likely be “Ooh, I love Spanish wine!” (The average American is pretty dumb.) Then again, even the more worldly and wine-savvy among us would probably counter with something like “Well, there’s Vino Verde…then of course you have Port, aaaand….man, how ’bout them Spanish wines, huh?”
Shocking when you consider that Portugal is home to THE OLDEST WINE REGION IN THE WORLD (the Douro valley). A region that this guy calls home.
This is Miguel Roquette. As owner of the Douro region’s acclaimed Quinta do Crasto winery, Miguel oversees vineyards that date back to the early 1600s. You can enjoy his flagship wine every day at Secco AND, on Tuesday, March 27th, you can meet the man in person! We’ll be pouring a slew of wines from the Quinta do Crasto portfolio and offering special snacks to pair with them. Miguel will be hanging out from 7-9PM, happy to chat about the history, process and inspiration behind his wines. No reservations, no set schedule — just your average chill Tuesday night with a handsome Portuguese winemaker.
Have you heard the news? Secco Wine Bar is expanding!
Now, we’re not exactly talking about a Secco in every city; no Secco Express at Short Pump; no line of frozen small plate dinners complete with dehydrated wine pairings (just add wine). What I refer to is a more internal expansion.
Secco’s lounge now houses this nifty new communal table! Not only does it look cool and boast panoramic views of Carytown, but it allows us, quite simply, to provide more seats for more butts…and we’d love your butt to be one of them (that was weird). This extra seating will help alleviate the wait on busy nights and, most importantly, finally allow us to accommodate large parties for group dining.
For inquiries and more information on group dining at Secco, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804.353.0670.
See you soon!