Posts Written OnApril 2008

Snug Harbor Restaurant & Inn (Hammondsport, NY)

As soon as we booked our trip to Keuka Lake, I started asking around for restaurant recommendations. They came from far and wide, but one of the first ones came from Lisa Hallgren, co-owner of Ravines Wine Cellars.  She recommended Snug Harbor Restaurant & Inn, so I made a reservation for our first night there. What a great find in the region’s off season. If they had been open on Monday, we would have gone back. From the location, to the service, to the food, it was one of the best experiences we’ve had in a long time. We felt…

Diploma Dispatches: Loire

By Sasha Smith, New York City Correspondent I used to get annoyed at wine writers who seemed to have a knee-jerk reaction against big, high-alcohol, ripe wines. I saw it as nothing more than a kind of elitist (to invoke the word of the week) pose against wines that were simply made to appeal to a broader audience. And then I started taking this course. It’s not so much that my wine evaluation skills have improved (although I like to think that they have) as a question of volume. The more wine I taste/drink, the more I crave refreshment –…

The Edible East End Spring 2008 Issue is Out

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Edible East End is probably my favorite local print publication. Each of its five issues each year are packed with great stories and information for lovers of all things local on Long Island. Unfortunately, my column "East End Oenophile" is no more, but fear not, I’ll be writing feature stories for them instead, which is much more interesting anyway. For this month’s issue, my lone contribution is some tasting notes from a visit to Bluepoint Brewery’s tap room, which run along side a nice piece by James Held. This issue also welcomes Channing Daughters Winery’s winemaker Chris Tracy as a…

Christopher Watkins’ Book Now Available

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I know that I should get cranking on all of the Finger Lakes-related posts that I have to write, but I wanted to take a moment to congratulate a friend on the release of his new book. You might know him as the director of operations at Roanoke Vineyards. But, in addition to his duties as LENNDEVOURS’ poet laureate, Christopher Watkins is a poet, musician and all around good guy. So today, I’m happy and proud to announce that his book of poetry "Short Houses With Wide Porches" is now available for purchase. Rumor has it that it’s quite good…

Ravines Wine Cellars and My Riesling of the Moment

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As you probably know, this week we spent four beautifully relaxing days at a lakefront cottage just south of Penn Yan, New York — smack dab in the middle of the Finger Lakes wine region. It’s the off season up here, so Keuka Lake is quiet, almost eerily so when compared with the chaos that is often Long Island, but the riesling is providing plenty of excitement for us Much like merlot dominates Long Island, Riesling rules the wine landscape up here. And, during our first afternoon tasting along the east side of the lake, I found what is my…

Loving The Finger Lakes

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I’m heading back out onto the dock with a glass of local riesling, but I just wanted to announce to the world how much we’re loving our time in the Finger Lakes. The cottage we’re renting is just steps (maybe 3) from the water, offering great views and the perfect setting for our mini-vacation. We’ve had two good meals (more on them later) and have enjoyed touring the vineyards. It’s quite a different world than the Long Island wine scene, that’s for sure. Different in both good and bad ways I think. This picture, snapped today on our final tasting…

Know Valvin Muscat? Hunt Country Vineyards Does.

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By Jason Feuler, Finger Lakes Correspondent Last weekend I attended a reception at Hunt Country Vineyards on the northwestern tip of Keuka’s left branch to celebrate the first available vintage of Valvin Muscat. This hybrid is, like the name implies, a genetic relative of the ancient and prolific muscat grape which is grown the world over, but usually in warmer climates. The few muscats I’ve had in the past were aromatic, food-friendly whites with good balance. How does its cousin compare? Actually, quite well. The Valvin Muscat I tried at Hunt Country left me with most of the good impressions…

WTN: Shinn Estate Vineyards 2007 First Fruit (North Fork of Long Island)

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Sometimes I really (seriously) get sick of all the local chardonnay I drink in covering the region so closely. It’s the second most planted variety on Long Island and, by far, the most planted white variety, so it only makes sense that there’s a lot of it made, but man, with a lot of these wines, any Long Island terroir is beaten out of these wines by new oak. That is why I’m still so excited about the local sauvignon blanc that some wineries have put out in recent year, including Shinn Estate Vineyard’s First Fruit, which is 96% sauvignon…

Firkin Friday at DEKS and Sixpoint in Bellport

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By Donavan Hall, Beer Columnist The next Firkin Friday at DEKS is coming up soon; it’s this Friday, the 18th. A firkin of Green Flash Hop Head Red is on its way from Vista, California for our cask conditioned drinking pleasure. Hop Head Red is "a deliciously full-bodied and appropriately hoppy ale," according to Celebrator Beer News. It earned the silver medal in the American-Style Amber/Red Ale category in the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, the USA’s oldest and most prestigious craft beer competition. As far as I can tell, this may be Hop Head Red’s Long Island premier (in…