Posts Written OnMay 2005

Restaurant Review: Oscar’s of St. James (St. James, NY)

oscars_sign_1

Some of Long Island’s better (and best) restaurants have one thing in common…they can be found on Routee 25a as it winds through St. James along the north shore of Long Island. Take a drive along Suffolk County’s "restaurant row" and you’ll come upon Mirabelle (which is widely regarded as one of L.I.’s top restaurants, Kitchen – A Bistro (a BYO championed by area chefs as their favorite spot to eat), Bella Vita City Grill (a highly-rated Italian-American), and Oscar’s of St. James, where Nena and I dined a little over a week ago. Top-to-bottom, it was one of the…

Our First Garden

garden

Nena and I still rent…a cute little beach bungalow of a house about a mile from the Long Island Sound. As such, we have fought the desire to beautify the outside too much…usually sticking with some flowers in the front and cleaning up all the leaves in the spring. But this year, we’re trying our hands at a small garden. Our soil is less than ideal (it’s basically sand with some rocky fill dumped on top of it), so we’re keeping it small and not going overboard. But, I planted it Sunday morning with: 8 tomato plants 4 bell pepper…

Long Island’s Family-Friendly Wineries

(This story appeared originally in the 5/27 issue of Dan’s Papers) Some teetotalers might disagree, but to many, Long Island wine country is the perfect destination for any sunny afternoon – whether you’re single, a couple, or a family. But with so many events and happenings planned all summer, some wineries are much more family friendly than others. What makes a winery family friendly? Donavan Hall of Rocky Point says, “the key for a successful winery visit with our two-year-old son, Trevor, is wide open spaces and plenty of verjus (unfermented grape juice) and cheese,” when talking about his family’s…

Taking the Heat — Grapes With Grilling

takingtheheat_2

(This story originally appeared in 5/27 issue of Dan’s Papers) Beer. Lager. Ale. It’s what most Americans serve with grilled fare at their weekend BBQs, and with good reason. It’s cold, refreshing and a great thirst quencher on a steamy summer day. Beyond beer, you might serve margaritas or maybe even sangria, but wine in its pure state doesn’t make much of an appearance when we fire up our grills. Maybe the outdoor setting, the primitive pleasure of open fire cooking, and the macho image of grilling pushes wine into the background. But why not serve it? Wine isn’t a…

Regulation as a Stand In for Good Parenting?

I just read this ridiculous letter to the editor of the The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi: Underage drinking is on the rise, and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may make it even easier for minors to get access to alcohol ("Wine commerce could change," May 17). Currently, if someone tries to buy alcohol in our state, he or she has to undergo a face-to-face ID check at a liquor store, where staff is trained to recognize fake IDs. This is a great mechanism to keep alcohol out of the hands of kids. However, over the Internet, no one knows who…

Thoughts on the Supreme Court Ruling…from Charles Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards

Charles is among my favorite people and thinkers in Long Island Wine Country. He’s always great for an insightful, frank quote. I particularly like these comments…especially because they consider the customers’ side of things too. "In my opinion this is more about personal liberty and freedom. As adults we do not need anyone in a free society to tell us how we should behave. When you can purchase a weapon on the Web it is silly that you cannot purchase a bottle of wine in the same manner. The argument about teenagers is bogus as we all know. Jim Trezise…

The Wishing Tree 2004 Unoaked Chardonnay

wishingtree_04chard

Ever since I discovered delicious steel-fermented chardonnays from Peconic Bay Winery and Macari Vineyards here on Long Island, I’ve been on the look out for the same style of wine being produced in other regions…without much luck initially. The "I hate Chardonnay…it’s too buttery and oaky" contingent, however, has caused more and more producers to hop the no-oak train, including this wine…which comes from Down Under in Western Australia. Eyes: Medium-to-light gold with a really light chartreuse-ish tinge (looks like a gewurtz to me…if gewurtz has a "look") Nose: Reminds me a lot of Macari Vineyard’s Early Wine on the…

Thoughts on the Supreme Court Ruling…from Theresa Dilworth of Comtesse Therese Winery

"I think it will be good for the region as a whole.  For example, at the moment I cannot ship wine to my Pfizer colleagues who live in New Jersey or Connecticut. It’s a felony to even cross state lines with wine in the car. I have gotten requests from people from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and the Carolinas, who came to Long Island for a visit, tried the wines, and then wanted to order some from my website once they get back home – in the past I had to turn these people down, but in the future I…

Thoughts on the Supreme Court Ruling…from Robin Meredith of Broadfields Wine Cellars and The Tasting Room

"You might think that the current regulatory environment wouldn’t have much of an impact on us, since we (The Tasting Room) are a group of boutique wineries producing extremely limited quantities of handcrafted wines. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  We turn away literally thousands of dollars of gift orders every December, and on an ongoing basis we have to tell visitors from Connecticut and New Jersey that they can’t join our wine club. This also has an impact on press coverage, since many writers outside the area are reluctant to devote any ink to Long Island wines unless their readers…

Winemaker Profile: Roman Roth, Wolffer Estate Vineyards

r_roth

(This story appeared originally in the 5/20 issue of the Long Island Press) Roman Roth, general manager and winemaker at Wolffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack, started his winemaking career at an age when most of us are focused on getting our drivers licenses and, if we’re lucky, our first cars. But, it was a natural thing for the German native. "I was 16," he says. "My father was a cooper and a winemaker before starting a wine and beer merchant business. As a result, both of my parents were wine lovers and collectors. Wine always played a special part in…