This weekend in New York City, I made it my goal to sample a few varities that step out of the wine box. Lucky for me, we went to The Modern (located on the garden level of MoMa)to celebrate a friend’s birthday and their wine list offered a great selection of unusal varieties. Managed by Belinda Chang, the list offered an interesting read with many regions and price points represented.  I settled on two bottles for the table, a 2006 Paul Blanck Chasselas from Alsace, France and a 2007 “Modern” Alicante Bouschet from Barrosa, Australia. The Chasselas (a lesser quality French grape from a great Alsatian producer) was dry, neutral in nature with with lots of fruity, hay-like aromas that reminded us of Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. It was fantastic with the mushroom soup and chirizo ravioli I ordered for my first-course. The Alicante Bouschet (one of the few red grapes around that also has red pulp) was dark rose in color with loads of strawberry, cranberry and cranapple aromas. Fruit-forward and medium in body, the wine was a good match for the Alsatian-style sausage and sauerkraut at the table. The wines were offered by glass and bottle making it a fun way to try lesser known varieties. Here’s the best news…The Modern offers a three-course dinner for $35 every Sunday night. A great oppotunity to take in the chic scene, Alsatian eats and sample unusal varieties by the glass. Cheers.