Hipped Up to HobNob, Tarry Lodge Rooftop Wine, Sinister Smiles at Trader Joe’s, and Westchester’s First Bahn Mi


Okay, I admit it—I have the sense of humor of a 14-year-old boy. I read HobNob Wines and all I think is, “knob.” They named their wine “knob”—Heh, heh, heh.

But it turns out that HobNob offers a very nice French Chardonnay— crisp yet nutty, and not unpleasantly oaked. It’s drinkable and well priced at about $10.99 per bottle, features that are understandable, given that HobNob targets drinkers 21 to 31 years old. I like to think of HobNob wine as what to drink when you’re having more than one, then (obviously) hooking up on Foursquare http://foursquare.com/ while simultaneously tweeting.

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HobNob is the youthquake label from White Plains-based importers W.J. Deutsch & Sons, whose roster includes the immensely popular Yellowtail and Georges Duboeuf. But, unlike those broad-based labels, HobNob promises a hipster identity: check out its website to participate in its nobby branded lifestyle. Fans are the HobMob (and not the gimme, knobheads?!), while its social media nexus is the Nobberhood (and I can only imagine its streetscape). HobNob Wines offers dating Dos and Don’t’s (“Don’t forget to trim the hedges”), all geared to the “style-conscious millennial consumer” pounding that Chard.

Think it’s all about booze? Oh, no, see, that’s where you’re wrong. The Nobberhood features “Brooklyn Indie Bands,” a phrase that connotes all sorts of street cred. In fact, HobMobsters can hit the site’s blog, Creative Juices, to access free music downloads and music events. Currently, the site features “Brooklyn-based indie rock band, the Antlers [whose] alternately hopeful and disenchanted pop is perfect with a glass of HobNob Pinot Noir.”

Did I say “indie” and “Brooklyn” enough?

Okay, I mock—but, in this case, it’s because I love: I love that that HobNob is trying to pry America’s youth off those dreadful “alcopops.” Kids! Put down that PBR—kitsch is always better visual than potable—and lose those parti-colored martinis unless you’re a nice, 50-year-old Midwestern lady. HobNob is offering tasty wine that won’t wreck your stomach; you won’t be belching beer all night and, tomorrow, your tongue won’t taste of road kill + Jolly Rancher.

But, hey, don’t take my word for it: Wine Spectator awarded HobNob’s Chardonnay 88 points—which is way more than they’d give one of those trendy scorpion bowls; can you say “backwash?” I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking for an alternately hopeful and disenchanted wine, I’m gonna skip my Pro Keds over to some HobNob.

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Get Classy!

These local food and wine classes will help you impress at your next cocktail party—drop phrases that you’ve learned here to look smarter than you actually are.


Tarry Terrazzo Wine Class: Spicy Reds (October 16, 2pm, $35, plus tax and tip)
This afternoon class taught by Joseph Bastianich’s crack team promises to illuminate the finer points of Italian wine while on a rooftop in downtown Port Chester. The once-monthly summer series winds up in October with spicy reds, which sounds like the perfect end to an exceptionally long, brutally hot summer. 


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Paul H. Freedman, PhD, at Bistro Rollin: “High End Dining in 19th-Century America” (October 13h , 7pm, $75 per person, including dinner, wine, tax, and tip)
Pelham resident Paul H. Freedman, PhD. acting chair of Yale’s history department (and editor of the James Beard Award-nominated book, Food: The History of Taste), will be on hand to discuss the dining habits of America’s founding robber barons. Pull up a chair and be shocked by the excesses found on Delmonico’s menus from 1830 to 1880: after about 15 minutes of this lard-o-thon, you’ll be pining for a Master Cleanse


Book and the Cook at Plates: Dinner Strategies for Busy Moms (October 8, 7pm, $25 per person, includes light-bites buffet and wine)
Larchmont resident and author Jeanne Muchnick shares her experience in feeding her family without fuss, while “Integrative Nutritionist Stephanie Gardner will be on hand to field questions about healthy eating for you and your family.” Nuke up some chicken fingers and slap the kids in front of the tube– you won’t want to miss this timely talk offered barside at Plates. (Moms: did I mention that it comes with wine?)


Vietnamese Food Hits Westchester!

Sorry, guys, it’s just a Vietnamese sandwich.  Actually, it’s a French/Vietnamese sandwich—see, there was this whole big thing with France and colonialism and somehow Catherine Deneuve was there. It was like a whole big deal. Anyway, the main part for us is that there was food—great food—generated by the clash of cultures. Its most famous export is the banh mi sandwich, a pileup wedge that combines zingy Vietnamese flavors with luxurious French cuisine. At Bistro Rollin, you can get Westchester’s first banh mi,  loaded with house-made pâté and garlicky Vietnamese sausage, whose palate-coating richness is relieved by pickled carrots, daikon, chili, and cilantro.  Bright, tart, herbal (and lush, too), Bistro Rollin’s banh mi is challenging Ambar’s Cuban for Westchester’s best sandwich.


Why the Sinister Friendliness at Trader Joe’s?



Ever notice how nice people are at Trader Joe’s, and isn’t it kinda creepy? Like they’re all bunking in the back room, living on prayer, Kool Aid, and hallucinogens? Who was Trader Joe, and what’s the deal with the bad shirts? These questions and more are answered in this fascinating piece in Fortune Magazine.  Here’s a hint: those chipper workers are making excellent $$$$. 




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