Ever think you’d read those two words together: Gramercy Tavern and Grape Juice?
I certainly didn’t until I was at a dinner at Gramercy Tavern a few Saturdays back and my teetotaled English Uni. chums who had overdone the night before were looking for a non-vino alternative. Gramercy Tavern came to the rescue with fancy grape juices.
Yes, fancy grape juices.
Navarro Wines (the geniuses behind this) has been bringing varietal juices to the market for 25 years:
“Twenty five years ago we made our first Gewürztraminer grape juice planning to serve it to children visiting the tasting room with their families. It was such a big hit with adults that within a few years we added Pinot Noir so that we could serve both a white and a red.”
But when and how did they get here to NYC and Gramercy Tavern? Enter Juliette Pope, Beverage Director, Gramercy Tavern. Here's what she had to say.
How long has Gramercy Tavern offered these special grape juices?
At least 5-6 years
What makes Navarro Wines grape juices unique?
Anderson Valley winery Navarro’s gentle handling of their stellar hand-picked estate-grown fruit yields non-alcoholic grape juice that reflects the character of the two grapes--Gewurztraminer & Pinot Noir—as clearly as the vinous versions of them would, just through a prism of sweetness rather than dryness. Most grape juice production on a commercial level is based on garden-variety table grapes that have little to offer but sweetness & vague fruit flavors and that are machine-harvested without a second thought; Navarro’s commitment to using superior-quality, more expensive and more finicky European grape varieties (vitis vinifera) for juice and even harvesting them manually makes them unique in both the wine and juice worlds.
What was the criteria for Gramercy Tavern to pick non-alcohol "wines"?
Honestly, there is no other winery doing what Navarro is doing, at least that I have been able to dig up. I have asked around various winemaking friends and Navarro is the one and only that any of them know of putting its resources into juice as well as wine.
I love how mocktails and mock wines are making their way in the food & bev market. Can't wait to drop by Gramercy Tavern again for a non-alcoholic tipple.
Thanks Juliette and Gramercy Tavern!
42 E. 20th St
New York, NY 10003