Latest Article|September 3, 2020|Free::
Making Grown Men Cry Since 1992
Breathing some fresh air into the tannic Albuquerque wine scene, the Slate Street Café’s wine loft dazzles from its understated modern décor to its masterfully minimal wine selection. Envisioned by the proprietor, sommelier Myra Ghattas, and brilliantly executed by manager Damon Scott, the loft is the place to go to relax and enjoy a wonderfully unique glass of wine in a comfortable yet chic environment. I had the honor of being Damon’s personal guest for one of their wildly successful wine tastings. Held the last Thursday of every month and then repeated the first Tuesday of the month, you’ll have the chance to sample and learn about a fine selection of wines side-by-side. Like a politician working a room for votes, Myra will not only shake your hand but hold it while teaching you about the finer points of her selections. And let’s not forget that chef Albert Bilotti, of former Kanome fame, cooks up some phenomenal food for you to enjoy while sipping your wine. To my delight, last month’s tasting was a generous three-ounce sampling of three dramatically different cabernets, which I have classified by their personalities, served with a plate of beautifully presented aged Gouda, English cheddar, Guinness porter cheese and a marvelous New Zealand lollipop lamb chop.
When you finish your wine tasting, let me pick a few choices through Slate Street’s visually confusing and non-intuitive wine menu, which is, thankfully, chock full of unique wines. 2004 BenMarco, Malbec ($11 per glass) One of the staff’s favorite reds, this smooth, decadent–if not slightly jammy–Malbec from Argentina will not disappoint and pairs brilliantly with many of Chef Bilotti’s marvelous creations. 2003 Cosentino, "The Franc” ($12 per glass) Cabernet Franc has always played third fiddle to its big brothers–Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot–in Bordeaux blends, but that’s beginning to change. Cab Franc is coming out swinging as a very successful single grape wine. Cosentino knows how to bring this baby out of the closet with a gorgeous tobacco nose and earthy fruit flavors that rise above the powerful structure. 2004 Michael-David, “Incognito” ($8.50 per glass) This incognito blend of Rhone-style wines greets you with a pleasant and approachable spicy palate that is immediately likable and, most importantly, wonderfully delicious.
Slate Street Café will hold their next wine tasting on Nov. 30, and again on Dec. 5, from 5-7 p.m.The featured wines will be Argentine Malbecs. Cost is $15 for three 3-ounce tastes of each wine and a complimentary appetizer designed by Chef Albert Bilotti to pair with the featured wines. Slate Street Café is located at 515 Slate NW (one block north of Lomas, between Fifth and Sixth Streets). Reservations are not accepted for the wine tastings, but you may call 243-2210 to reserve a table downstairs for dinner following the tasting.