In the Spirit


Brian Duncan and his business partners Dan Sachs and Executive Chef John Caputo enjoy wining and dining guests at their celebrated wine café, Bin 36, with seasonal fare and wine to match from their own private label of the same name. Wine director Duncan offers a delectable selection of international reds, whites, and “bubbles” that he has personally chosen from his travels–and often offers food pairing suggestions on the label. This year he presents a special blend: 2001 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, BIN 36 “10th Anniversary Cuvee,” a rosé blend of cherries, cranberries, and orange-scented tea notes. And like their wines, their prices are also savory.

Inside the restaurant, one can enjoy casual dining in the Tavern, a more intimate setting in the Cellar, or scrumptious tastes at the wine or cheese bar, where there is a selection of 50 cheeses on the menu.  Duncan believes the best way to learn about wine is to try it. That’s why all plated treats can be accompanied with the option of a flight–four different tasting pours served at the same time allowing guests to compare tastes; or the purchase of  four bottles in a particular category, such as Italian whites–which also makes a great executive gift.

Visit them online ( for their wine list as well as gift ideas and accessories. There are also restaurant event listings and recipes for sparkling wine cocktails and a BIN 36 mulled wine, with black peppercorn and ginger. In addition, the company holds classes through the Bin School for a variety of wine interests, which includes tours of Italy and Spain.

New to the Mix

This is not your father’s cognac. Produced from grapes that are first converted into a wine and distilled twice, Hennessy Black is made in the same tradition as the other Hennessy brands. But this incarnation, bottled in black with silver lettering, is new and blending with a distinct style even for serving: Enjoy it neat as a cocktail with ice. Hennessy Black presents a light and mellowing offering of fruit tastes and floral aromas, a perfect complement alongside other traditional summer spirits.

A Hearty Drink

Gin has a long-standing history, but Beefeater 24 introduces a blend that will elevate it beyond the familiar. Distilled in London, theirs is a rich, handcrafted, Artisan cut (a process by which the master distiller takes from the center or heart of the run). The combination of 12 botanicals, such as grapefruit and Seville orange peels, bitter almond, and orris root, as well as rare Japanese Sencha tea and Chinese green tea, provides a smooth, earnest, and distinctive taste. Furthering the experience is its celebratory bottle inspired by a flask owned by Jame Burrough, a distiller in the 1860s and creator of the original Beefeater London Dry Gin.