Posts Written OnJanuary 2016

From the Archives: Waters Crest Winery — Inspired Winemaking


Editor’s Note: Every Thursday — call it Throwback Thursday if you’d like — we’ll pull a story from the more than a decade of NYCR stories and republish it. This week, I’ve chosen a story I published exactly 11 years ago, on January 28, 2005, about Waters Crest Winery. It seemed appropriate given the fact that Jim Waters will open his new tasting room on Main Road in Cutchogue (picture above) sometime in the next couple of weeks. Jim Waters of Waters Crest Winery in Cutchogue has a great story to tell, one that will touch your heart as well as…

Long Island Wine Press: At Macari Vineyards, fermentation in an egg


Step into most any Long Island winery — where the wine is actually made, not the tasting room — and you’re mostly going to see two types of vessels: stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. These containers are used for fermenting and aging wine. You’ll find some open-top bins that are used for fermentation too, but barrels and tanks are the cornerstone of any winery’s production facility. Macari Vineyards has a lot of these tanks and oak barrels of different sizes and ages, but they also have something unique to Long Island wine — concrete eggs. Yes. Really. The use…

New York #Tastemaker: Kareem Massoud | Paumanok Vineyards


“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With our new #NYTastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. I’ve long respected and appreciated Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards — and not just because his wines are consistently some of the best on the North Fork. It goes well beyond that, actually, no matter how true that statement…

Weekly New York Wine News — January 25, 2016


The sun sets over Jamesport Vineyards (photo via Ron Goerler’s Facebook page) NEWS VitisGen – 1/12/2016 VIDEO: Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield, Associate Professor of Enology at Cornell, discusses where color comes from in European and hybrid grapes. – 1/21/2016 Things may be fairly quiet in wine country during winter, but it’s actually a great time to talk with the producers. NorthForker – 1/21/2016 A peek behind the curtain and a look at what’s cooking inside of Wölffer Kitchen. Finger Lakes Times – 1/25/2016 New hard cider maker fermenting away and prepares to set up a New York beverage shop in Geneva.…

Long Island Wine Press: Paumanok’s chenin blanc was an ‘interesting accident’

Wine Press 2015 Fall.
Sept. 9, 2015.
Photo by Randee Daddona

Paumanok Vineyards’ chenin blanc is one of the great mysteries of the North Fork wine world. Why? Because despite all the success the Massoud family — which owns the Aquebogue vineyard —  has had with it, they remain the only Long Island winery to grow or make it. By all accounts, it’s not tricky to work with — at least no more so than any other grape in our sometimes challenging maritime climate. It ripens and performs consistently in the vineyard and doesn’t require unique or special treatment or protocols. Paumanok’s winemakers — first Charles Massoud and now his son Kareem…

Harbes Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay Ice Wine


At the end of 2015, I promised myself that I’d make an effort to taste as much Long Island chardonnay as possible this year. A string of mediocre wines a few years ago convinced me to more-or-less ignore the category for a while, but that’s not fair. It’s time to take another look, and I’m working on a 2013/2014 chardonnay tasting report for an upcoming issue of Long Island Wine Press. Those reviews will trickle out here on the site over time, but today let’s talk about Harbes Family Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay Ice Wine ($35). It’s not real ice wine —…

From the Archives: Finger Lakes Riesling: The ABCs of Riesling ABV, or, All About Alcohol


Editor’s Note: Every Thursday — call it Throwback Thursday if you’d like — we’ll pull a story from the more than a decade of NYCR stories and republish it. This week, we look back to a post from November 2009 by Evan Dawson that takes a look at alcohol levels in Finger Lakes riesling — and what consumers want or expect. Are Finger Lakes wine producers insecure about alcohol? It’s a strange question, I realize. But it’s one that came to mind when my wife and I were out to dinner recently. We ordered a bottle of Joh. Jos. Prum 2007…

New York Cork Club: The Best New York Wine Delivered to Your Door


If you read this blog, you’re obviously interested in New York wine. But, depending on where you live, you may not have ready access to very much of it. If that’s you, we’ve got the solution. We’ve partnered with The Cellar d’Or — a great wine and cider shop in Ithaca, NY — for the New York Cork Club. Every month, I pick two great New York wines and they are delivered to your door. The wine itself never exceeds $50 for those two bottles (shipping costs vary) and by joining, you’ll get everything from classic wines from the top wineries in…

Corks of the Forks: What is #LICharacter?

Wine Press 2015 Fall.
Sept. 9, 2015.
Photo by Randee Daddona

When the Long Island Wine Council hired Ali Tuthill last spring as its first marketing director, many in the industry were curious about what she would try to do, and what she’d be able to accomplish. After a somewhat quiet period that was no doubt spent meeting with winery owners and winemakers, getting the “lay of the land” as it were, the wine council has launched a new website, logo and branding — all with the goal of creating a cohesive brand for Long Island Wine Country.  You can see the results at and, as someone who works in…

Macari Vineyards 2014 “Life Force” Sauvignon Blanc


(Photo via You can see a story I’ve written about Macari Vineyards’ use of concrete egg-shaped fermentation vessels later this month in the winter Long Island Wine Press — but in the meantime, I can tell you about a wine made using one of the two eggs found in the cellar right behind the tasting room bar: Macari Vineyards 2014 “Lifeforce” Sauvignon Blanc ($27). Of what is planted today, sauvignon blanc is clearly the white wine grape most important to Long Island’s future as a wine region. There’s more chardonnay in the ground, but more doesn’t mean better. Sauvignon blanc take well to our…