BY DAVE ZUCKER
Local specialty wine shop Apricots & Honey will play host to Emmy-nominated actor and oenophile Tituss Burgess on Saturday, November 25. From 4 to 7 p.m. Burgess will be available meet guests and sign bottles of his personal wine brand Pinot By Tituss Burgess (and taste some, of course).
Burgess has appeared on stage in productions such as The Whiz, Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, and The Little Mermaid, and has thrice been nominated for Best Supporting Actor Emmys for his role as Titus Andromedon on Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Spinning out of the gag “Peeno Noir” on Schmidt, Burgess has released his own line of wine, beginning with the titular “Pinot By Tituss,” a 2014 pinot noir from Santa Barbara County, California. This was followed by “Pride Pinot,” also a 2014 which adds hints of baking flowers, wildflower honey, and cacao; and eventually “Rosé Pride,” a 2015 Californian rosé with light flavors of strawberry and pear.
“I saw that it was a very solid pinot noir, especially coming from the California area. From there I looked to find where the distributor was,” says Shaheer Brewster, owner of Apricots & Honey. “We went to his nomination party in the city and I was able to meet with him. I got to talking with him, and he was more than happy and thrilled to do a tasting and show his presence in Westchester.”
Burgess himself was quite enthusiastic. "I look forward to being able to give Mt. Vernon a taste of my wine. I hope everyone can make it out to say hello and buy a bottle for me to sign. See you there!”
‘Meeting everyone’ is very much on the Apricots & Honey to-do list. Brewster says that’s the whole purpose of why he hosts community events. “It allows people to interact … it allows people to have conversation, to meet people you haven’t met, that you didn't know lived in your neighborhood or were a part of your community.”
Brewster was also kind enough to give a few tasting notes for those who won’t be able to attend the event in person:
“The pinot noir has a hint of sweetness, more of a fruit-forward approach. You do have a little oak on it. It’s very low in tannins so it has a very nice balance. You get notes of cherries and some dark berries, and a very slight hint of cinnamon on it. It’s a very ‘user friendly’ or easy-drinking pinot noir, something that people can have throughout a night, at any kind of occasion. It’s something that can be opened up right away and people can enjoy.”
Admission is free to anyone over 21, but tickets should be reserved in advance at [website] to ensure there’s space.
Apricots & Honey Wine and Spirits
673 East Lincoln Ave., Mount Vernon