Posts Written OnMay 2012

Why Do I Write About Wine?


The other day I posted a link on Facebook to an article I wrote about wine writer ethics. A friend I respect made a comment that said, essentially, “Enough about wine. Real people are struggling in the world.” It led me to ask myself: Why do I write about wine? First, it’s important to understand that I do not write about wine because I like to drink wine. Not that I don’t like to drink wine, of course. But I was drinking wine long before the thought of writing about wine appealed to me. So why did that Facebook comment…

#TasteNY: June 6 with Red Tail Ridge Winery


I’m excited today to announce the return of #TasteNY — our Twitter-based virtual New York wine tasting events. The next edition will take place on Wednesday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET and will feature the wines of Red Tail Ridge Winery, a 32-acre vineyard and winery located on the western shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes, owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Mike Schnelle (vineyard manager) and Nancy Irelan (winemaker). During the event, which can be followed using the #TasteNY hashtag on Twitter, wine lovers from across the country will be discussing four of Nancy’s…

Moustache Brewing Co.: Couple Kick-Starts Craft Brewing Dreams

Lauri and Matt Spitz of Moustache Brewing Co.

As of 8 a.m. this morning, Lauri and Matt Spitz were $4,185  from — they hope — eventually quitting their day jobs to follow their hearts to craft brewing. The Central Islip couple hopes to launch Long Island’s newest craft brewery, Moustache Brewing Co., soon and they are using Kickstarter, a website that allows micro-investors to “fund and follow creativity” to raise the capital needed to get started. They have until midnight on May 23 to raise $25,000 via the website, or they don’t get anything. New breweries are popping up all over Long Island. It’s a fun time to…

Sherwood House Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay


Sherwood House Vineyards has built its reputation largely on the back of its Old World-styled, barrel-fermented chardonnay. Some call it Burgundian, but I don’t think there is any chardonnay in the world that truly tastes like good Burgundy — and besides, why not carve out and try to describe your own region’s style? That’s another post for another time, though. The Sherwood House Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay ($30) isn’t quite as delicious as the stellar 2008, but it’s still a fine example of what oak-influenced chardonnay can be here on the North Fork. The nose shows scents of vanilla-roasted pears, buttery…

Surprised by “Little Burgundy” at TasteCamp: Ankida Ridge

When I visit a new wine region for the first time, I’m most interested in trying the signature wines of that region –– the grapes that grow best and are considered most suited to the terroir. I don’t make a habit of seeking out the stuff I drink back home. But if I see it, I simply can’t resist trying it. Especially if it’s pinot. Nothing gets winemakers and wine lovers waxing poetic like pinot noir. Sweeping generalizations, clichéd metaphors about women and sex, and cool-climate superiority complexes abound, and it’s easy to forget that as haunting and beautiful and…

Sherwood House Vineyards 2011 White Merlot


100% merlot rose rarely excites me. Often it’s a bit one-dimensional and uninteresting — especially if made via saignee — but Sherwood House Vineyards 2011 White Merlot ($18) is quite refreshing and delicious. Pears, apples, strawberries and a distinct hint of peach greet the nose while the palate focuses more on peaches and wild strawberries — with a light sweet herb quality — and plenty of acidity to go around. 2011 was a tough year for red grapes, but so far, the 2011 roses have been vivacious and satisfying. I plan to taste and review more soon. Producer: Sherwood House Vineyards…

Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca: Unique Austrian Style in Finger Lakes Wine Country


Monday, May 7 was a big night in the national culinary scene — so big, in fact, that many in the business call it the “Academy Awards” of the food world. The James Beard Awards Ceremony is an annual event that honors outstanding restaurants, chefs, culinary professionals as well as food and wine writers. And although Dano Hutnik of Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca wasn’t in attendance, the event held special meaning for him and his wife and business partner, Karen Gilman. “Too much to do around here!” Gilman said last week with a tinkling laugh.” Hutnik was nominated as a semi-finalist for the Best Chef…

Save the Date: June 15 NYCR “Drink Local” Wine Dinner with Anthony Road Wine Company at Amarelle


We’re still working out the details, but I couldn’t help but tell you about the next New York Cork Report Drink Local Dinner. It will be on June 15 at Amarelle in Wading River, and will feature the wines of Anthony Road Wine Company, located on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes. Winemaker Johannes Reinhardt will be pouring a variety of wines (still to be determined) paired with Chef Lia Fallon’s creations. I hope that we’ll be able to share the menu sometime in the next week or so, but in the meantime, save the date!

Turning Beer Into Bread: Greenport Harbor Brewing’s Spent Grain Takes a Tasty Turn


The North Fork food community is a practical, inventive bunch. From creating chicken coops from wine barrels to using local beer for cheesemaking, members show how a local food economy should be – small, integrated and sustainable. Often, one person’s waste is another’s treasure. So I was not surprised to hear recently that Greenport Harbor Brewing is doing some pretty cool things with their spent grain. For those unaccustomed to brewing, malted grain is the key ingredient used as the starch in beer. That grain is soaked and put through a series of steps to break down its sugars for…

Macari Vineyards 2007 Reserve Merlot


Few expect a “jammy” component in Long Island wines, but the hot, dry 2007 vintage has led to a handful of wines with a decidedly jammy mid-palate. This wine, Macari Vineyards 2007 Reserve Merlot ($36) actually leans a bit in a different direction — away from sweet fruit and into the savory. With a nose that shows plum, cherry and raspberry qualities, an umami edge that is almost meaty is a welcome addition along with notes of dried herbs, clove, cinnamon and earth. Medium bodied and even restrained compared to many ‘reserve’ wines from the vintage, a bit of vanilla…