Man-Can-Wine | Winter Reds

The middle of winter is a fantastic time for enjoying wine especially for those  normally to big, heady and sort of all-around-too-ballsy to be easily digestible any other time of the year.

The Pairing

WHEN, in winespeak, we say “big” we mean a wine, usually red (although there are arguably some whites that will qualify as big[1]) with a thick coating mouth feel and a kick of tannin (mouth-drying astringency) and a whole lot of bramble and fruit to keep it interesting. Now, assy and horseshit laced reds are not everyone’s thing but some can be right down delicious and perfect for winter; hunt down a ten year old Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Red, FR) and you’ll see what we mean. The trick here is in the match—these ain’t exactly sipping reds, but if you’d like to drink your jerky you certainly can. Winter reds, and we’re for the most part leaving big flashy California Cab who’s often gobsmacking fruit makes it more apt to drink on its own, are meant to be enjoyed with something to eat;

 

A Gentlemen’s Directory of Food and Wine Pairing: Winter Reds

 

  • Big Steak: Old Bordeaux- St. Julien (Leoville-Barton) or St. Estephe (Haut-Marbuzet… if you can find it)
  • Lamb, roasted or otherwise: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Hermitage (both from the beloved Rhone, home of big rugged bacony reds that are delicious and perfect with anything lamb) – not to mention Barolo (Piedmont, IT), Pesquera (Ribera del Duero, SP), and anything Cabernet from… Washington (l’Ecole 45, Matthew’s, or Andrew Will to name a few).
  • Roast or Stew: Porteguese Reds- they are wonderful (often a blend of Touriga Nacional and Cabernet).
  • Short Ribs: Aglianico, old Barolo
  • Ox-Tail: Rioja (we love Vina Tondonia)

 

[1] Clos Coulee de la Serrant by Nicolas Joly; Vina Tondonia Blanco 1998; and Belle Cote Chardonnay by Peter-Michael just to name a few that roll off the tongue. 

Guide to Man’s Drinks: Hirsch Selection “Small Batch Reserve”

Guide to Men’s Drinks brings you our newest feature : “What We’re Drinking Now” (WDN)…

FROM the folks at Anchor Distilling this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a mellow and beautiful rendition of America’s quintessential spirit.

 

The critics, ever so quick to want notoriety for their cleverness seem non-plussed but we here at TGG happen to love it.  According to their own assessment this little whiskey is chock-full of “bakery shop tastes (prune Danish, raspberry-filled cookie, strawberry)…” and while all that may seem precious they couldn’t be, well, righter. Sweet and mellow this is a good Bourbon to leisurely sip before the sunset…

The Drink

 

What to drink it with? Big ole chunk of ice and our favorite glasses here

http://www.anchordistilling.com/spirits/hirsch-small-batch-reserve-kentucky-straight-bourbon-whiskey

5 Things of the Moment: February 2013

In less than a month we rejoice at the arrival of Spring, warmer weather and  slightly longer days which melt into the balmy nights and sunny days of summer.

WITH temperatures shyly rising, in-between seasons are tricky times and although we will be releasing our Spring 2011 Manual (this Friday) for now these are our five favorite things of the moment…

The Venerable Home Shirt

The man at rest...

A gentleman’s home is his castle, not his cave and one can neither parade around in a smoking jacket all day nor can one walk around shirtless. This is why we believe that in a man’s wardrobe there is the need for the venerable, comfy, home shirt.

The Henley is the perfect shirt for this; long-sleeve for the cooler mornings (which can be rolled up as the temperature climbs, and, should you need to run a quick errand, a button short can be thrown on top of it at a moment’s notice. Look for a Henley that’s, made of soft cotton and comfortable. Fit is important, you shouldn’t be swimming in it, but neither should it look like you spray-painted it on (it’s not a muscle shirt).

The Safety Razor

The comfortable shave

Even the most ardent gentleman is tempted to go ‘grizzly’ during the cold winter months but Spring is time to welcome a new year, clean-shaven and properly groomed. Paying $24USD for four-pack of triple razors for a $3 razor that looks reversed engineered from a Transformer can be fun, but overall an unnecessary waste of money.

The truth is while three blades may give you a closer shave- they also irritate the skin much more causing razor bumps and ingrown hairs. The solution: an old-fashioned safety razor (the above is from German stalwart Merkur available at http://www.Amazon.com or here): “I swear by it,” says Alejandro Ortiz our Editor-at-Large “first off their incredibly economical and a single razor can easily sustain two weeks of regular shaving and they give a great shave without irritating my skin…”

The razor head itself may cost more than the drug-store plastic wonder, but pays for itselves in razor-savings within a few weeks.

A Boat Club

The life…

If you live by water and you don’t have a boat, then move somewhere else! We know why you don’t of course- the Young Gentlemean has many things to take care of and financial prudence is one of them which is why a Boat club is the best option.

Owning a boat is expensive, nevermoind the cost of buying the boat, but then you have to keep it in a marina, maintain it, insure it and the list (and costs) go on and on. With a boat club all those worries are gone! You only pay a monthly fee ($150-$300 depending on your club) and there will always be a boat waiting for you! No maintenance fees, no docking fees nothing= no headaches= pure pleasure. Enjoy

We like www.freedomboatclub.com but there are many boat clubs out there- shop around!

The iPad

The ultimate past-time…

Sure it’s been around but there is no better gadget on the planet (Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle are good, but cannot do everything an iPad can!). As the spring draws near and the nights slightly warm, it’s a good time to squeeze in a couple more books before it’s too late. www.store.apple.com

Cotton Chinos (by Brooks Brother’s)

The standards of Spring…

Chino season is coming, but it’s not too early to begin dusting the mothballs off them. A soft pair of chinos with a comfy Henley is the ideal stay-at-home get-up one which can, with a simply button-down shirt, be immediately dressed up. Live a little though, experiment with colors far beyond khaki and grey. We like Brooks Brother’s new line of soft cotton twill chinos which can be both casual-cool and with a roll or two of the cuff and a polo or a spruced up with a sports coat and an oxford..

-TGG

Benevolent Cigar Guide: The La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Obelisco

            
 

I first stumbled upon this hidden gem of a cigar last year. It was a warm spring day, much like the ones we have been blessed with lately. I wandered into my local cigar club intending to enjoy a fine Davidoff.

BROWSING the humidors, a unique half circle box caught my eye. A fellow club member quickly explained to me that this was one of his favorite figuarados and the club rarely stocked them. Intrigued by the extravagant box holding the cigars and their fine oily wrapper, I changed my mind and picked one up.

The Smoke

The Smoke

Admittedly the La Gloria Cubana brand is a name well known to many cigar smokers. This cigar, however, represented the first selection that I chose to smoke from the brand. I was impressed by its firmness as I prepared to smoke it. A slight chop from my cutter sent the end falling to the ground without damaging the cigar in a clean cut. Box-pressed cigars have long been among my favorite type , perhaps it is their rareness that has always intrigued me, bot visually and experientially, incidentally most retailers attest that they’re hard to sell. This has always confused me as many box pressed cigars represent some of the best deals among premium cigars.

 
Glancing at the familiar, and safe, Davidoffs and Fuentes cigars staring at me from the nearby shelf I suddenly became skeptical since I’m unfamiliar with La Gloria, but I was immidately impressed with the rich aroma of the cigar, even before being lit.  After just a few puffs on this oddly shaped stogie I realized that I had made a very fine choice indeed. The chocolate and coffee flavors in the cigar were a perfect foil to the cup of espresso I was sipping. I always find a cup of fine espresso to be the perfect accompaniment to almost any cigar. Indeed, the aromas of a freshly-pulled cup of espresso has become an integral part of  my cigar ritual. For this particular cigar I found that a medium ground espresso (Caffe Vergnano and Caffe Sant’ Eustachio are my favorites) compliment the notes in the Obelisco perfectly.            
 
In addition to the flavor of coffee, the first third of the cigar provided intriguing hints of spices while the second third gave off some notes of cedar mixed with some nuances of caramel. For its third act that pronounced note of cocoa returned and was joined, in near perfect unison, to a wonderful earthy flavor. I must say that I was instantly impressed with the flavors of the cigar. In general, I usually smoke two or three examples of a cigar before adding it to my go to list. The Obelisco, however, was instantly added to my list of favorites.            
 
Overall, the cigar was a much quicker smoke than expected and lasted a little over a half an hour. I have been known to exuberantly puff away on cigars when in good company and often finish them quickly, still I was surprised by the short time required to smoke the Obelisco. The only drawback to the cigar, which may be due to my smoking style, was that the smoke tended to waft back into my nose. Several times I was forced to lower the cigar to prevent my nostrils from being flooded with smoke. Despite these minor drawbacks, I would recommend this cigar to any smoker.             
 
La Gloria Cubana has clearly done something remarkable with the Artesanos de Obelisco. While easily matching such classics as Ashton and Davidoff, the Obelisco retains a very affordable price. On average these delightful cigars sell for about $8.00 a stick. This makes these cigars the perfect smoke for a gathering of friends. 
 
 
Richard Urban has been smoking fine cigars since he turned 18 and at any given night can be found in Union Cigar Club in Pennsylvania. Richard runs a rare book store and currently attends Gettysburg College.

Man-Can-Cook: The Steak

DUDE, I mean, c’mon. Man+cook= steak. It’s that simple. Nothing, except maybe sex and even that is a bit more ‘evolved’ is as primal as a man cooking a steak. Truth be told many a gentleman is dettered from cooking a steak- what do I put on it, how long di I cook it etc etc etc. All good questions but they fly in the face of the simplicity and wonder that is this dish.

What encompasses a good steak, and what needs to go into it? Almost nothing. Men have a bad habit of approaching cooking like a mad-dash science experiment wherein they empty the contents of their spice-cabinets on unsuspecting food in the hopes that through that alchemy something amazing (that can never be replicated) comes out of it. But in truth, if you can make a great steak (with nearly nothing) and can make it the same every time it becomes your signature dish, your mark of distinction.

Real men cook…

The Tools:

  • Fire (gas, electric, grill, wood, charcoal)
  • A cast-iron skillet (for more on cast-iron skillets go here)
  • Tongues

The Stuff:

  • Good beef: grass-fed, sirloin-cut, 1.5” / 3.81cm (this is important, if you skimp on this then no matter what you do herein, it won’t be great).
  • Great salt (not iodizes Morton’s but great salt, expensive sea salt, trust us, pays off- fleur de sel is the best)
  • Cracked black peppercorns
  • Determination

The process:

  • If you’re making the steak on the grill- get the grill HOT. If it’s on a Iron-skillet the best thing to do is, once oiled, throw it in a 400F oven, and put your burner on Med-High.
  • Take your steak out of the fridge some 15 minutes before you intend to cook it so it comes down to room temp; then dab it with a paper towel to get any excess moisture off its surface.
  • Let it snow salt and pepper all over it.
  • Take skillet out, put on med-high stove top and insert steak- hear the sizzle (or open grill- at this point you may need to open a window)
  • Leave untouched for 4-5 minutes. Turn.
  • 2-3 minutes additional on other side for rare, 4 med-rare, 5-med etc.
  • Serve hot with a simple green salad, baked potatoes, fries or on its own.- ENJOY

Myths

People think Tenderloin is better but while softer and more tender (hence the name, but in fact, as a muscle that gets almost no movement and use- it actually has very little flavor. The parts with the most flavor? Those used a lot, the shanks and, especially, the cheeks- but this requires slow cooking in order to break the toughness. TGG recommends; steak? Go Sirloin.

Match

Obviously  a beer always- but something more hearty- an amber ale or evena stout if the weather calls for it. I like with Red; depends what you’re in the mood for: Brunello di Montalcino (Italy), Cali or Aussie Syrah/Shiraz, A Cote Rotie (France) or a heady Argentine red. Knock yourself out.

Manual to Man’s Drinks: The Aperol Spritz

Originally published in 2012 the Aperol spritz is barely becoming cool with the Manhattan cognoscenti and still a few years away from hipster hell… get to know it and love it;

THE Young / Modern Gentleman proves his savvy by simple and cunning ways; an area that is most associated with a Gentleman’s ability is the wet-bar. Every Gentleman should have one or two things on his sleeve that make him standout from his peers.  We present the aperitif; a light and refreshing mid-afternoon drink meant to titillate the palate and make everyone… well, happy.

The Drink

The Equipment:

  • Rocks Glass
  • Ice
  • Orange Wedge/ Slice

The Stuff:

  • Aperol (website here)
  • Prosecco or other sparkling wine
  • Soda water

The Drink:

  • Fill rocks glass with ice pour about 2.5oz of Aperol, a splash of soda and top the rest with prosecco or other sparkling wine (Cava works well too).
  • Garnish with orange slice.
  • Lay back and enjoy.

The Stuff

Where’s my favorite blog?!

And we’re back… excuse us for the absence but we’ve taken a break, recalibrated and back with much more content and a wider reach than ever before!

WE’VE got great bourbon recommendations, dreat digs for man shoes, easy recipes in “Man Can Cook”, more silly seasonal colognes that matter and a slew of other great content. We’re reaching into the archives bringing some of our best hits, emptying our mail with some great reader questions and are signing up a slew of contributors to round out our pieces. “

Where have you guys
gone!?” was a question we got… fret not, you’re favorite men’s blog is back. Spread the world—let the world know. This is The Young Gentlemen’s Guide.