Monday, August 10, 2015

An Angelic Time

With so little time to spend and so many things to see, we scheduled today for a bit of wandering - for just making like a native Manhattanite on a sunny Sunday. You know, like having a bit of lunch in Central Park and taking in a museum. Finding a place to buy some take-out or to grab a bottle of wine on the Upper East Side before noon turned out to be a lot more difficult than I'd have expected. We never did find wine and our sandwiches would hardly have been written up in any food writer's homage to Big Apple cuisine, but I'll take lunch on a Central Park bench any day.

We figured we'd only have enough time to do justice to one museum and, accordingly, we chose the Guggenheim (since we'd done the Metropolitan, the Natural Museum of History and The Cloisters on our last trip to town).

Gotta say that I'm certainly more familiar with wine than I am with modern art. While there were some intriguing pieces, there were more oeuvres that just had me scratching my head. Can't say that there were many pieces that I might be able to find a place for in our home. Colour me surprised.

Following our circuit of the whimsical, surreal and perplexing, the Upper East Side, thankfully, revealed a bit of herself to us and we found a small wine shop that was open on Sunday. Knowing that we were heading back to Central Park - and to one of my absolute favourite locales in all of NYC - to rest our weary tootsies, I spied what promised to be a splendid pairing for our destination.

The crowds and perpetual parade of folks at the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace isn't the most treasured facet of my attachment to this landmark. That would be more of its easy atmosphere for contemplation when you find yourself virtually alone in the space. But, lying down on the adjacent grass, with a glass of wine, as you watch the world go by is pretty ideal all the same.

1969.  2014 Caves D'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé (Côtes de Provence AOC - France)

A bottle of chilled Rosé on a hot, sunny afternoon, while lounging in a much-loved haunt is about as good as it gets in my book. And how great is it that we happened onto a bottle of Whispering Angel for our visit to the Angel of the Waters? I wouldn't call it a whisper that the label cried out to me back at the bottle shop; it was more of a scream. Like, "Angel wine, Angel fountain. Don't you see the symmetry?"

I understand that this is a rather well-known and well-received Rosé among many critics and in a number of markets. I don't recall having seen it in the Vancouver market at home but, then, our market is more awash in the more economic, commercial Rosés - unless they're locally produced in the Okanagan. This Provençal version - as to be expected - is primarily Grenache, Rolle (local name for Vermentino) and Cinsault. Dry with hearty minerality, it didn't take long to finish off the bottle.

Naturally, just after we'd finished our last sips and were packed up and ready to head out, the floor show - or should I say "terrace" show started up. We'd been perfectly seated for the show to come but the Afro-Bats arrived about 15 minutes too late. We stuck around to watch the comedy/acrobatic show for awhile - and Boo was even plucked from the crowd to "participate" in a stunt - but, ultimately, there was a lot more banter and solicitation than there were tricks performed.

Sunday in the park is one thing, but cocktail hour was calling our name back at the hotel.

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