Food and Wine Pairing: A Match Made in Heaven

Famous author Clifton Fadiman once said, “If food is the body of good living, then wine is its soul.” And we at Manhattan Fruitier couldn’t agree more. We all have grown up hearing the basics “white wine with fish, and red wine with meat.” But there is so much more when you delve into what goes into pairing a meal with the perfect glass of wine. Over the next few posts, we hope to help you understand how to pair wine with food, and replace some of those worn out ideas about pairings.

Factor #1:  Texture

There are two main factors to consider when pairing food and wine. First, is the texture of the food, and by extension the texture of the wine. The four main categories we look at when breaking down texture is density, smoothness, heat, and effervescence (think when you eat popping candy). When deciding on a wine based on food texture, you want to have them complement one another. A useful guide is “light with light, and heavy with heavy.” A dense meal will often overpower and mute a lighter wine, and vice versa.  Champagne and sparkling wines bring the fizzy texture we all love, adding another dimension to the pairing. The bubbles and higher acidity can help clean the palate from oily foods. A unique pairing is a glass of champagne with a hot dog! The sharpness and bubbles cut down the fatness associated with the hot dog texture. At your next summer barbeque try a bottle of Veuve Clicquot brut NV.


Factor #2:  Taste

The second factor you want to consider when pairing food and wine is the interaction between tastes.

Sweetness: When thinking about sweetness, we’re talking about the residual sugar in both the food and wine. A sweet wine can moderate the acidity as well as the salt in food. When describing this combination, it’s best to look at examples like salted caramel popcorn and maple bacon. The saltiness binds with the sugar and they tend to balance each other out creating a harmonious blend of sweet and savory or acid. Further, the residual sugar in wine coats the tongue and protects it from some of the acidity in a dish, cutting down on a food’s sharpness. One of our favorite pairings is a sweet Riesling with Asian dishes.

Acidity: Acidity, present in both food and wine, brings freshness by cutting through oily and creamy textures. This tends to increase the perception of body or fullness in both the food and wine. This is why Beurre Blanc Sauces are so famous: the acidity in the white wine cuts through the fatness of the butter. Next time you are serving a creamy or fatty dish, we recommend pairing it with a more acidic wine to bring some freshness to the meal. The acidity in Maris Old School Blanc is high enough to cut through fattier dishes, and has enough citrus notes to complement rich dishes.


Saltiness:  Saltiness is most often present in the food where it acts to decrease the perception of astringency, bitterness, and acidity in a glass of wine. A bottle of wine with a high malic acid can mask some of the saltiness. Our Galil Mountain Kosher Sauvignon Blanc pairs fabulously with salty dishes. The salt makes the wine appear less acidic, fuller bodied and less tart.


Bitter:  Bitter or tart wines are a challenge for pairing. A wine such as a Sangiovese  may often have tart cherry like flavors. To complement this tartness, we recommend pairing it with a fatty food. This is what makes the red wine and steak pairing work so well together. The bitter tannins bind with the fatty protein in the meats to make the wine softer. Our Candialle Chianti Classico, with its tart cherry and raspberry notes, pairs wonderfully with a steak dinner.


Umami:  Umami is heralded as the “fifth flavor”. The term was coined in the 20th century by a Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda, who identified the distinct flavor of dashi, a popular Japanese broth. Ikeda discovered the elusive chemical, glutamic acid, or as we now know it today MSG, and named the taste umami, from the Japanese word for delicious. Umami is described as brothy or meaty, but that doesn’t quite capture the full experience. You can taste umami in foods like Parmesan cheese, seaweed, miso, and mushrooms. When it comes to umami, the Japanese know it best. They pair umami foods with sake because sake possesses umami characteristics. Our Chiyonosono Sake has subtle earthy and sweet notes that won’t overpower the dish.


The wine mentioned in this article may be purchased on our website. Our wine & wine gifts can be delivered anywhere in New York State.


Imbibing in Manhattan: A Guide to Popular Drinks by Neighborhood

Last month we looked at three iconic drinks that best represent each of New York City’s five boroughs. Now it’s time to dive into Manhattan and find out what drinks best exemplify a few select neighborhoods. Grab a glass (have your Lyft app loaded) and let’s explore what each neighborhood has to offer.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is the embodiment of haute Manhattan culture. With lavish townhouses and mansions overlooking Central Park, this is the epitome of luxury. Whether its window shopping down Madison Avenue or spending a day strolling museum mile, the USE has something for native New Yorkers and visitors from around the world!

Classic Dry Martini:  Whether you like it shaken or stirred, a Classic Dry Martini is the perfect embodiment of the lavish lifestyle of the Upper East Side. From movies to literature, this cocktail has become synonymous with swanky dinner parties and elegant bars. If you’ve never ordered a martini at a bar before, we recommend you try a gin martini and just tell the bartender you want a dry martini straight up with olives! That should do the job.


  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ½ ounces London dry gin, such as Beefeaters of Hendricks
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat
  • Green olive for garnish


In mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin and vermouth. Stir well, about 20 seconds, then strain into martini glass. Garnish with olive and serve.

Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne:  Moet is by far one of the most recognized luxury champagne brands around; and for a good reason! Founded in 1743 Moet & Chandon has become a staple drink in high society. From exhibition openings at the Guggenheim to exclusive penthouse parties, Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne is elegant enough to launch any party the UES can throw!

Upper West Side

The earthier, more ethnically diverse and artsy sister to UES, the Upper West Side is home to such cultural venues as Lincoln Center (ballet, opera, classical music and jazz, theatre), Beacon Theatre, and Symphony Space. People come to the UWS to be entertained. During the day you can see families strolling about or grabbing a bite at the UWS’ famous Jewish eateries, Zabar’s or Barney Greengrass. This area is the perfect mix of boogie and family life.

Galil Mountain Alon Red Kosher 2011:  With the UWS being home to a large Jewish community, what better way to celebrate their rich heritage than a glass of kosher red or white wine from Galil Mountain Winery, using grapes grown in Galil Mountain range in Israel. We sell bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon that can be delivered anywhere in New York City or New York State.

Tom Collins: First made famous in London in the 1800’s, the Tom Collins became a classic cocktail for a night out. Made with gin and lemon, this refreshing cocktail is well suited for a night of opera or ballet.


  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 2 parts gin (we recommend Queens Courage Gin made in Queens, NY)
  • 2/3 part simple syrup
  • Soda water to taste
  • 1 Wedge Lemon
  • 1 Cherry


  1. Stir lemon juice, gin and simple syrup in a highball glass.
  2. Fill with ice cubes.
  3. Top up with soda water.
  4.  Garnish with lemon and a cherry.

Tribeca & Soho

Known for its hip industrial vibe, Soho and Tribeca have something for everyone: great shopping, diverse food, music … it’s the place to be.

Mojito: One of the most versatile cocktails around, with so many flavor options it’s the perfect drink for a night out on the town! Why not add passion fruit or coconut for an exotic twist to the night out!


  • 1-ounce lime juice (for different flavors, try a different juice)
  • 1-ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ½ ounce white rum
  • 1 ½ club soda
  • Mint leafs


  1. In a shaker, lightly muddle the mint with wooden spoon.
  2. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, and rum, and fill with ice.
  3. Shake well and pour (unstrained) into a highball glass.
  4. Top with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

“Launch Over It” IPA:  This boutique brew is made by Birreria in Manhattan. It is cask-conditioned in bourbon barrels, and has notes of bourbon, citrus, and tropical fruit. It pairs well with a variety of foods, or perfect for drinking on its own.

Wall Street

With billions traded each day, Wall Street is very much the financial capital of NYC and the world. With the extreme volatility of the stock market, you need a drink that can handle even the bear market.

Macallan 18 year Single Malt Scotch: Some of us conjure up an image of leather-backed chairs, cigar in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other when we think of Wall Street. It may be a cliché today, but that doesn’t mean Scotch isn’t a go to drink for traders and bankers. That’s why we’ve decided on a Macallan 18-year-old single malt Scotch, aged in a mix of sherry and bourbon casks. It’s a rich and complex scotch, not for the faint-hearted. Whether it is in the boardroom or sipping at home, one thing is for sure, this scotch will make a statement.

Habit Red Bordeaux: The investors and bankers of wall-street are famous for their extravagant dining habits, from business lunches to wining and dining clients. The one thing a meal always needs is a powerful wine that makes a statement. Habit Red Bordeaux is an esteemed bottle of organic red wine from Santa Barbara, CA. It’s full-bodied with notes of blackberry, dark cherry, chocolate, and earthy undertones that are sure to impress!


Since prohibition, Harlem has been a cultural center of Manhattan, from jazz to soul food to gospel churches, this neighborhood has something for everyone. Walk along 125th Street starting at the historic Apollo Theatre and explore the rich culture and history Harlem has to offer.

Harlem Cocktail: While it bears the name of such an iconic neighborhood, much like the Manhattan cocktail, little is known about its origins. Its roots can be traced back to the prohibition era. The unique combination of pineapple juice and gin makes for a delicious cocktail.


  • 1 ounce Gin
  • 1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
  • Pineapple chunks (for garnish)



  1. Combine all, shake with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with pineapple chunks.


Gin Ricky: The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s brought in a new age of music and a new popular drink. Singers such as Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday popularized blues and jazz vocals, during this period. To honor the deep jazz roots of Harlem, no drink is more synonymous than the Gin Ricky. It was said to be the preferred drink of F. Scott Fitzgerald.


1 ½ Ounce Gin

1 lime cut in half

Club soda


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice and add the gin.
  2. Juice the lime halves into the glass and drop in the juiced lime shells.
  3. Fill with club soda.

This ends of our Manhattan neighborhood alcohol beverage tour. More neighborhoods in other boroughs are just around the corner. Until then, visit the Manhattan Fruitier website to learn more about the wines featured in this blog post, as well as other natural wines. Manhattan Fruitier delivers wine and Champagne in New York.

Booze by the Borough: Guide to Imbibing in Your Favorite NYC Borough!

New York City is truly a melting pot. People come from around the world to the great city of New York, bringing with them their culture and heritage. And, not surprisingly, each of borough —  Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island – has taken on its own identity. Thus, our unique guide to imbibing in each of New York’s five boroughs. We’ve decided on three alcohol drinks per NYC borough that express the personality and character of each borough.



With its glistening skyline, nothing is more recognizable or more “New York” than Manhattan — from Harlem, to Central Park, Times Square, to Greenwich Village and Tribeca, and Wall Street. Here’s what to drink in the city that never sleeps.

The Manhattan: While it’s true history is shrouded in mystery, it is thought to made around 150 years ago at Manhattan Club, supposedly for Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill’s mother. Thank you, Lady Churchill for insisting on this special drink! This cocktail is one of the first to call for vermouth in the recipe (predating even the Martini). How cannot we not include the Manhattan on our list for its namesake borough!


manhattan drink


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 5 drops Angostura bitters


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  3. Garnish with a cherry

Champagne: This is about elegance and celebration! Whether it be the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s eve, closing a deal on Wall Street, or celebrating opening of a Broadway show, champagne has become synonymous with the Ritz and glamour of Manhattan. Nothing quite expresses the buzz and excitement of the NYC better than a flute of champagne. We recommend the Paul Clouet, Champagne Brut Grand Cru. Since 1900 Paul Clouet has produced some of the finest small batch champagnes available, with succulent apple and floral aromas, and a pleasant toasty finish. This Champagne can handle anything Manhattan can throw at it. And what’s more, Manhattan Fruitier delivers wine and Champagne in New York (including Paul Clouet as pictured below).


champagne drink

Moonshine: From the days of prohibition, hidden in back alley speak-easies, moonshine has played an integral role in Manhattans grittier side. Even now, tucked away in basements, you can still find establishments serving prohibition-style moonshine. We highly recommend “Manhattan Moonshine Prohibition-style whiskey” which is hand-crafted in New York. This is one of the first distilleries to produce a “luxury, northern-style moonshine” made from the finest New York State grain. This unique moonshine is available for purchase at JackNo Wine & Spirits, located in Jackson Heights (30-57 90th street).



Brooklyn, quite wrongly, is often put off as the little sister of Manhattan. We don’t agree. Brooklyn has a character all on its own. Often described as the true heart and life of New York City, it has population of 2.6 million, almost as large as Chicago!

The Brooklyn: Created in 1908 in Hoboken, NJ (our hats off to create bar keeps in our sister state),  the drink call the Brooklyn is very similar to the Manhattan. Both are made with rye and vermouth. What sets the Brooklyn apart is the addition of Amer Picon, a French orange bitters that, while not technically permitted to be imported into the United States, has found its way to the hands of many savvy Brooklyn bartenders. We recommend trying this cocktail out at either Jake Walk (282 Smith St.) or The Narrows ( 1037 Flushing Ave).


  • 2 ounces rye or other whiskey
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Amer Picon (or a few dashes orange bitters)


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Defender IPA: In the 1800s, Brooklyn was home to over 45 breweries making it one of the largest brewing centers in America. What better way to honour the long-held tradition of brewing in Brooklyn than to sip on a craft brew made right in Williamsburg by Brooklyn Brewery. With notes of tropical fruit and a hoppy bitterness, this is perfect for drinking on a warm summers day!  This unique beer is also the official beer of NYC comic.con! 

defender ipa

Prosecco: A is the perfect quaff for a picnic in Prospect Park, a Sunday brunch in Williamsburg, or late night roof party in Bushwick. We highly recommend Zanotto, Col Fondo Prosecco (NV), the citrus and floral notes of this prosecco accompany anything Brooklyn has to offer!



Queens is NYC’s most diverse (with over 800 languages are spoken) and largest borough. From watching the Mets play at Citi Field to getting some sun at Rockaway beach, there is always something to do in Queens!

Long Island Ice Tea: Is there a drink more iconic than the Long Island Ice Tea? Who would have thought that vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and Triple Sec could be combined to make such a delicious, and headache-inducing drink?


  • ½ ounce Vodka
  • ½ ounce Rum
  • ½ ounce Gin
  • ½ Ounce Tequila
  • ½ Triple Sec
  • 1 Ounce Sour mix (recipe Below)
  • 1-ounce coke, added to taste
  • lemon slice

Sour mix recipe

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup lime

How to make Sour mix:

  1. mix water and sugar and heat until dissolved, add lemon and lime juice and let cool


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, rum, gin, tequila, Triple Sec, and sour mix over ice. Cover and shake.
  2. Pour into glass and top with Coca Cola to taste. Garnish with Lemon

Queens Courage Qin: Produced by the Astoria Distilling Company, this is a beautiful example of Old Tom Gin. Old Tom Gin is a sweeter, less-botanical version of most gins found on the market today. Due to prohibition it was almost completely lost to time, but now a select few distilleries are bringing back this gin!  Queens Courage has ranked 96 points at the 2015 ultimate spirits challenge, making it the highest rated Old Tom Gin in the competition. What better way to celebrate everything Queens has to offer, than by sipping on a gin made in Astoria, Queen. This Unique Old Tom Gin is available for purchase at JackNo Wine & Spirits, located in Jackson Heights (30-57 90th street).


Queens Courage Qin

Astoria Martini: Initially made famous by the Waldorf Astoria bar, this cocktail has been described as “stiff, durable, and affordable,” by Richard Boccato, bartender at  Dutch Kills located on Long Island. He goes on to describe it as the personification of the working class community within Queens, with its subtle nuances.


  • 1 shot of gin
  • 2 shots of French dry vermouth
  • Couple of dashes of orange bitters
  • Lemon zest or peel to garnish


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the vermouth and gin and stir
  2. Add bitters and shake
  3. Pour into chilled martini glass
  4. Garnish with lemon peel



Home of the New York Yankees and the iconic Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden, this borough is a must see on your next visit to the Big Apple. Not to mention, the Bronx is the birthplace of Hip-hop.

Guinness: With the neighbourhood of Woodlands Heights often being called Little Ireland, what better way to celebrate the Bronx’s deep Irish heritage than a pint of Guinness? “An Beal Bocht Café” is a quaint Irish pub where you can sit back with friends over a pint after a long day or work or play.

The Bronx: This cocktail gains its name not from the borough itself, but from the zoo! The story goes that the creator of the cocktail Solon, after a night of heavy drinking, stumbled into the zoo and saw many strange beasts. He decided to name a beverage after his bizarre night. This cocktail has been ranked #3 in “The Most Famous Cocktails in 1934”.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¼ ounce dry vermouth
  • ¼ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 dash orange bitters


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice
  2. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

 Pitorro Conquito: With a large Puerto Rican community within the Bronx, nothing better personifies this community than Pitorro, a Puerto Rican moonshine made from cane, apple and honey produced by Port Norris Distillery, located in the Bronx. Their Conquito (a holiday cocktail similar to eggnog) is a stunning example of what a small distillery can offer. This is a perfect substitute to traditional eggnog this holiday season. Pitorro is available for purchase at JackNo Wine & Spirits, located in Jackson Heights (30-57 90th street).


Pitorro Conquito


Staten Island

The southernmost borough, why not take the free ferry there and explore the many museums the island has to offer. Or explore Greenbelt, the city’s largest nature forest preserve! This is a great place to relax and have a drink. Just make sure not to miss the last ferry back to Manhattan!

The Staten Island Ferry: Named after the Iconic ferry which services the Island.


  • 1 ounce Malibu rum
  • 1-ounce pineapple juice


  1. Mix and serve over ice

Victory Blvd American Pale Ale: Brewed by the Staten Island Beer Company, this beer is a perfect accompaniment to a wide selection of food! Perfect for the warm Staten Island days.

Cava: Whether it be on the ferry taking in the sights or soaking up some sun on Midland Beach, a glass of cava is a great accompaniment for your next journey to Staten Island! We recommend Eudald Massana Noya, Brut Familia Cava. This cava is filled to the brim with notes of citrus, and a soft creamy texture. Perfect for your next trip to Staten Island.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Employees

It’s that time of year again when the lights are strung across the office cubicles and Christmas carols are the background music when customers call. Everyone is buzzing with excitement for the annual holiday party. After a year of hard work, there is no better way to show appreciation than by giving a gift during the holiday season. We understand how stressful it is trying to find great holiday gifts for employees so that is why we’ve created a simple Do’s and Don’ts guide for Christmas gift ideas for employees.


The Do’s

1. Capture the spirit of the season

Giving a gift of a gourmet food basket is always appropriate no matter what the occasion! But when it’s the holiday time, you’ll want to look for something that really captures the spirit of the season. At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed several new gifts with the 2017 holidays in mind. A lovely holiday gift to your employees would be our “Buone Feste da Milano”, pictured below. The focus of this gift is a panettone — a traditional holiday cake in Italy. Our panettone is a moist, rich cake filled with whole Amarena cherries made fresh by Cova Pasticceria, a Milan bakery founded in 1817. We pair this gift with six pieces of seasonal fruit for color and health.

employee gifting dos and donts

Panettone: traditional Italian holiday cake in our Buone Feste da Milano holiday gift

Another great holiday gift idea for employees is cookies! Cookie baking this time of year is a time-honored custom in many kitchens across many cultures. Our set of 31 delicate tea cookies evoke that handmade feeling. With eight different varieties of cookies, it’s like a little tasting menu in a red and silver festive box!

employee gift ideas dos and donts

Tea Cookies in festive red box

We also offer a set of three handmade cookies with the words “Thank You”, “Grazie” and “Merci” hand-piped on the top. It’s a nice and simple way to express your gratitude to your employees, after a year of dedicated work for your company. In the month of December, we top our gifts with a sprig of evergreen — specifically juniper, noble fir and incense cedar — which make each and every gift look like a celebration of the holiday season!

2. Know your recipient

Alcohol is great Christmas gift idea for employees who like wine and spirits. It’s something special and different to accompany a holiday cocktail party or Christmas dinner. However, it behoves you to know whether your employees drink alcohol. If they don’t, then a gift of wine or spirits, no matter how expensive, will be inappropriate and make your employee feel less than acknowledged. This defeats the whole point of the holiday gift in the first place!

Similarly, you want to be careful when considering tickets to sporting events which are a popular gift to give to employees at the holiday time. While many employees might love to see their team play live, others may not follow sports and therefore have little interest. We recommend that if you want to give alcohol or tickets, be sure to choose for individual employees based on their preferences.

3. Cash gifts and gifts of time

While employers may think of a monetary gift as a “cop-out” due to it being impersonal in nature, we have found that it is often what employees want most. Research shows that many employees say that cash in the form of raise or a bonus is one of the best gifts their employer can give them. It is a very tangible way to recognize their work throughout the year. A gift of cash can be one of the best Christmas gift ideas for your employees because it gives them the freedom to purchase something they definitely want.

Aanother thoughtful holiday gift idea for employees is paid time off. Some companies close up shop for the week between Christmas and New Years and this is greatly appreciated by employees who don’t have to use up their vacation time. You might also consider a few extra paid days off during the year that your employees can use at their discretion. Time is as precious and appreciated as cash in hand!


The Don’ts 

1. Non-consumable gifts

The first thing to avoid when giving gifts this holiday season is items that can’t be consumed or otherwise used. While an item might be beautiful, if it serves no purpose other than to be admired, it’ll often be placed in a closet or on a shelf and forgotten. These days when people are focused on winnowing their non-consumable or non-functional possessions to things that one “loves to look at” or that “brings one joy”, it doesn’t make sense to give a gift that is just going to add more stuff to your employees home.

2. Company memorabilia

Don’t make the mistake of giving products with the company logo on them as a holiday gift for your employees. No matter how great the company, this often looks as though you’ve gone to the nearest supply closet and raided the items that would ordinarily be sent to customers! Who wants a gift that reminds them of work? It’s totally lame and last minute and that’s not going to make your staff feel appreciated. Take a little time and spend a little money to come up with a thoughtful Christmas gift idea for your employees.

3. Gift cards that miss the mark

Gift cards can be hit or miss as holiday gifts to employees. The first thing you want to avoid is giving a gift that requires the giftee to spend money in order to receive the gift. That’s no gift at all! Moreover, a $50 gift card to a fancy restaurant won’t cover the cost of the entire meal. While you don’t need to calculate in the cost of extras such as alcohol, be sure the amount of your gift card will cover a main course and either appetizer or dessert, at a minimum. Speak to the maitre d’ before you purchase a gift certificate. Another thing to look at when considering a gift card is whether the employee will actually use it. Many of us have a drawer full of gift cards to places we never go to, or to companies we do not shop with. We recommend gift cards to major online distributors such as Amazon. This allows them to pick their own gift and has the best chance of being used and then remembered.

In Conclusion

We hope this go-to guide will help you decide on some great holiday gift ideas for employees. Remember, if it’s thoughtful, even a small gesture can mean so much for the people who support you all the year through. Don’t forget to show them how much you appreciate their hard work for you and your company.