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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

A French Red for an Evening by the Fire

Ferraton Père & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns 2006

Thomas Matthews
Posted: January 22, 2010

Is Applewood the perfect restaurant? It’s certainly a terrific addition to the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, where I live. I ducked in for a quick dinner on my way home recently, and had a perfectly lovely time.

Chef David Shea and his wife, Laura, opened the restaurant in 2004, in a small building tucked on a quiet side street, to offer new American cuisine based on seasonal and local ingredients. The dining room, which seats about 30, feels like a comfortable farmhouse, and a roaring fire warms it with a rural charm.

I ordered grass-fed skirt steak served over steamed greens and a rutabaga puree. The beef was so tender I thought it had been cooked sous-vide, but David told me it was simply pan-roasted, testimony to the quality of the meat. Yet it still had the herby, sanguine tang I enjoy so much in grass-fed animals. Those flavors harmonized beautifully with a glass of Ferraton's Côtes du Rhône, which offered deep plum, licorice and garrigue flavors, firm but with a subtle opulence ($9 per glass; $43 for a bottle on the compact, well-chosen list). I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and reminded myself to return to Applewood soon.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Ferraton Père & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns 2006 (87, $11).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among reds from France's Rhône Valley.

Gary Fritzhand
Houston, Texas —  January 22, 2010 5:35pm ET
I'm a bit curious about the price of the wine. At $43 a bottle it's only slightly under four times the $11 release price. That's a 400% profit for the restaurant over a two or three year period.
Brian Seal
Bentonville, Arkansas, USA —  January 23, 2010 1:41pm ET
Probably a familiar occurance in New York restaurants..Im fairly sure its like that for restaurants in general.
Thomas Matthews
New York City —  January 24, 2010 8:30pm ET
It's true that the mark-up was a bit high. But I felt I got good value out of the dining experience, all things considered. If paying $9 for a glass of wine that "should" have cost me $6 will keep a good restaurant in business, I won't mind too much.
Andy Bard
Colchester Vermont —  January 25, 2010 5:48pm ET
I think you had a typo, the 9/43 pricing didn't make sense to me. I checked the Applewood website and the actual pricing is 9/34. Glass price times 4 minus a few bucks
Kathy Dipietro
Dallas —  January 26, 2010 8:27am ET
IMHO ~ if I can find a great, off the radar, wine by the glass at a restaurant under $12 I consider it quite a bargain! I'm tired of paying $12 a glass for Sterling VC.
Thomas Matthews
New York City —  January 26, 2010 2:51pm ET
Andy, Thanks for catching that error. Maybe I had two glasses ;).

Kathy, I'm with you on this one.

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