Learning From Kids and Vintners

March 28, 2014
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Juliana Harary sports a pair of trendy glasses she convinced her father, Nicholas, to buy for her. Courtesy Nicholas Harary

Juliana Harary sports a pair of trendy glasses she convinced her father, Nicholas, to buy for her.
Courtesy Nicholas Harary


By Nicholas Harary

I consider myself to be a relatively sharp parent. As my 6-year-old son, Nicholas, discovers almost weekly, it’s hard to pull the wool over my eyes.

What he doesn’t know is it’s because I pulled every trick in the book to get my way with my parents and teachers (BTW, he doesn’t need to know that for a very long time). But my 4-year-old daughter, Juliana, she’s different. Her approach is a bit softer, more subtle, definitely more effective. She definitely keeps me on my best parenting toes. This week, in the process of duping us, she taught me another important lesson.

We noticed her squinting a lot recently and she’s been complaining that everything looks blurry. We weren’t surprised because Nicholas wears glasses. Naturally, we brought her to the eye doc expecting him to say she also needed to wear glasses. To our surprise, he said she had perfect eyesight. We were excited for Juliana and so engrossed in our conversation with the doctor that it took a little while to notice Juliana crying. I asked her, “What’s the matter, Princess?” She sobbed in reply, “I wanted red Hello Kitty glasses like my friend, Sami.” I said to her, “Juliana, trust me, you don’t want to wear glasses.” Then she crushed me as she remembers every darn thing I say to the kids, “But, you told Nicholas all the cool kids wear glasses.” Ugh.

She reminded me – not for the first time – that I have to watch what I say to the kids. My rationale for little white lies is not the easiest thing to explain to a 4-year-old. For the thousandth time, I’m learning it’s a lot easier to run a restaurant than it is to be a great parent. I’ll keeping working at it.

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There was no pulling the wool over the eyes of young Anne Sery when she saw the pristine, almost perfect pinot noir fruit come through her winery in the fall of 2012. It was very apparent that if there was ever a vintage in which to make a big, debut splash on the Oregon wine scene, it was 2012. Sugar and acidities were ideal, the product of a long, warm growing season and a dry fall all the way through harvest. She took the plunge, making four incredible Pinots.

We offered her brilliant Eola-Amity Hills in December. Her base cuvée, the Willamette Valley offering is a marvel, wildly aromatic and bursting with an intense, berried up fruitiness. When people compare Oregon as the closest thing to Burgundy in America, it’s these kinds of vintages that they are talking about. Juicy, vibrant pinot noir, delicious tonight, even better in a few years. And because we are all in on the ground floor with Anne’s Trousse-Chemise project, the price per quality ratio is awesome. It’s not so hard to taste this wine blind in a group of $35ers and have it come out on top, at $20; this is a no-brainer. The catch is the quantity; there’s not a ton to go around. Don’t miss it.





Trousse-Chemise Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Anne Sery grew up on an island off Madagascar. The daughter of a serious collector of Burgundy, she decided to make wine her life’s work and went back to France to study enology. After graduating, she decided to move to Oregon to continue her education under the wing of Laurent Montalieu, winemaker for Domaine Solena. After a few years of seasoning, she chose one of the best Oregon vintages in the past 20 years to make her debut wines and brand, Trousse-Chemise.

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The Willamette Valley cuvée is the product of several single vineyards, smack-dab in the middle of the Van Duzer Corridor, the only gap in Oregon’s Coastal Range. This gap allows the cold air of the Pacific to flow eastward into the Willamette Valley, greatly moderating summer heat. These vineyards were in the very best position to take advantage of 2012’s warm, dry days because at night, the high elevation of Van Duzer breezes kept things cool.

Anne’s 2012 pinot is bright with a terrific, freshly crushed fruit quality. The finish is long and mineral, making me think this is a wine that will do well in a proper cellar. If you can’t resist the fruit, and it is hard, believe me, pair with roasted salmon or poultry, it’s a great choice for a house pinot. Not many wines around at $22 that deliver this level of quality.

To order, log onto www.restaurantnicholas.com.

Owner and Executive Chef Nicholas Harary’s no-nonsense approach to food and wine has made him a celebrated presence in local and nationwide culinary circles. Restaurant Nicholas, located in Red Bank, is New Jersey’s highest Zagat-rated restaurant (2006-present) and Nicholas Wines is an online retail wine store that commits to storing wine at 56 degrees and ships nationwide. 

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