Say what you want about my infrequent visits out on the North Fork. Blame whomever you wish for the lack of attention I have given to writing about wine. Sometimes you need an excuse to get out there. And when you get that excuse and take advantage of it, magical things happen. It had been six months since I spent any real time at a vineyard or winery. It’s not important what the cause was or is. The important thing is that I made it happen. And used my wife’s birthday as the excuse to make it happen.

Sure, we had family visiting us from Atlanta. Sure, it was my wife’s 4oth Birthday. Sure, it was a perfect beach day. Sure, I took a day off from work. All of those are perfect reasons to make it happen.  And I am glad I took advantage of all those reasons.

roanoke-sauv-blancIt’s not often that I take a day off to go out wine tasting. It’s rare that I take a day off.  Heck, the last time I thought of taking a day of, someone at work visiting us went into cardiac arrest and I used my CPR training and brought him back from the brink of death. So, I’ve been a little apprehensive about taking days off that weren’t my regular, but I needed it. We needed it. Everyone who is in a wine region should do it. It essential for the mind, body and soul. And what better way then with a few bottles of sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. A true  variety family. Variety is what makes the family after all.

We settled in at Roanoke Vineyards on Sound Avenue, a favorite spot for us. Found a table, set up our picnic lunch and ordered a few bottles. The sun was bright and warm after a couple of rainy days. The grass was cool on my feet as I walked around and played with my son and nephew. The sauvignon blanc was cold, crisp and refreshing. The 2013 is by far one of the best sauvignon blanc on Long Island that I have tasted from that vintage.  It’s rich, lush, textured, fresh and vibrant, and it went down easy with a hard goat cheese from Spain.
roanoke-cabThe 2010 cabernet franc is a delight. Savory and earthy with a lot of texture. It’s still a teenager, but just a teenagers are, they reveal their potential at times and this did. Glad I have a few tucked away in my cellar. It was perfect with some olives and home made dried sausages.
Those two alone would satisfy most. However, we were still nibbling and still thirsty and we decided to spent the day at one spot instead of hopping around. So we decided to try the cabernet sauvignon. I’m not always a local cabernet sauvignon fan, I just find it not as ripe in most years, a challenge with the variety in this neck of the woods. That being said, when you have a spectacular vintage like 2010, you just have to give it a shot. Glad I did because this wine was the best of all. The 2010 cabernet sauvignon is layered with aromas and textures and nuances that struck every sensory nerve. Ripe, bold and yet approachable now in it’s youth. It was the clear winner of the day of what we were drinking.
Lessons are learned when you don’t realize it. It’s important to be aware of all that is going on and take time for your self.  Bring your family along and include them and make the best of everything. Those were the thoughts in my head as I sat in a comfy Adirondack chair, watching my son and nephew wrestle each other, looking at Gabby’s rows and listening to the music and the sprinkler in the adjoining field. I could have sat there all day long. I did. With my family and a family of grapes.