Posts Tagged“northforker”

Uncork the Forks: 6 reasons for North Forkers to visit the Finger Lakes

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I’m working on several stories after my recent trip to the Finger Lakes — but in the meantime, I wanted to share my latest column for the Suffolk Times, which can be found online on northforker.com Over the past several years, my family has fallen head-over-heels in love with the Finger Lakes region of central New York. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country that offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets, fishing, boating, wine tasting, great food and farmer’s markets, a relaxed pace and plenty of relaxation. In some ways, it’s a lot like the North Fork — except it’s…

Long Island Wine Press: 5 Truths About Long Island Chardonnay

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You may have noticed a lot of chardonnay-related activity here and on the site’s Facebook page of late. That was because of this story, which is in the spring issue of Long Island Wine Press. Check out the excerpt and then click the link below to read the full story. For the last five years of the decade I’ve spent writing about wine, I’ve largely ignored most Long Island chardonnay. Rarely tasted it, let alone drank it. Particularly if it was raised in an oak barrel. Sure, some unoaked Long island chardonnay made it into my glass — it’s bound…

Corks of the Forks: A Look at the “Other” Local Grapes

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A couple months ago, I devoted my column space to what has become the de facto “signature variety” for Long Island wine country: merlot. There are approximately 700 acres of merlot planted on Long Island — roughly 30 percent of the total vineyard acreage — and there are reasons for that. It grows and ripens dependably and consistently, even in all but the most horrid of vintages. That’s important here and why it’s the backbone of the industry.  But the East End isn’t like many parts of Europe where regulations dictate what grapes can be grown where. Long Island growers…

Corks of the Forks: Good wines for under $25

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Last week I read an interview on Food & Wine magazine’s website written by executive wine editor Ray Isle, with Doug Bell, who oversees all of the wine, beer and spirits buying for Whole Foods Market nationwide. Bell is responsible for selling 42 million bottles of adult beverages per year. Over the course of the interview, he makes some predictions for wine and beer in 2016.  Among the expected, often-discussed trends (dry rosé, prosecco and even more local craft beer), Bell feels that wines in the $15 to $25 price range are going to be big. “Look, when you spend…

Corks of the Forks: The truth about winter in Wine Country

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Other than that recent big snowstorm, we’ve had a relatively mild winter thus far. It’s been my kind of winter, with limited time spent shoveling. Let’s hope I didn’t just jinx us. Despite the relatively mild weather, you just don’t see big crowds in Wine Country this time of year. Once the last pumpkins are picked, the tide of humanity recedes a bit through Thanksgiving and then fades even more as winter settles in. On one hand, I understand it. There are few things more enjoyable than sharing a bottle of wine, overlooking a vineyard on a warm, summer day.…

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

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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…

Corks of the Forks: The Last Thanksgiving Wine Story You’ll Ever Need to Read

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When considering your Thanksgiving wine choices, here’s the only advice you need: Drink good wine. Don’t complicate it any more than that. OK. You probably want to know why it’s that simple, and I’m happy to explain it. I’ve written Thanksgiving-related stories for at least a decade, just like every other wine writer — from local guys like me to national columnists in the big, glossy magazines. Some feel compelled to do so, but often we’re told to write these stories because they’re apparently popular, though I don’t actually understand why. None of my friends or family members stress about…

Uncork the Forks: Lieb Cellars and its Brand Makeover

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOThe team at Lieb Cellars: (back row from left) controller Dayna Corlito, tasting room associate Julia King, tasting room manager Alicia Ekeler-Valle, CFO Dave Sanatore and marketing and wine club manager Dana Kowalsick. Brand ambassador Madison Fender (front row from left), general manager Ami Opisso and operations manager Melissa Cannady.

Creating and building a successful brand is difficult in any industry. Building and nurturing a successful wine brand in a region without an established regional identity or reputation is even harder. When Ami Opisso, general manager at Lieb Cellars in Mattituck, and the new ownership team took over what was then known as Lieb Family Cellars in 2013, they had an even more challenging situation. They had to revitalize a somewhat established brand and decide where they would take it, and the company, in the future.  They’ve pulled it off — perhaps better than any rebrand I can remember on…

Uncork the Forks: Making the Case for Merlot

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Long Island merlot has and always will have a place in my cellar and in my glass. I drink it a few times a week, usually with dinner. It’s dependable and consistently good — even in all but the most horrid of vintages. For many, that’s the point. That’s why so much of it is planted in the ground and why several producers have hung their hats on a grape that isn’t very sexy these days. One local writer has gone so far as to say, “Merlots are now considered the highest expression of the Long Island appellation.” I’m not…

Uncork the Forks: The Physical Side of Winemaking

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Two weeks after I spent the better part of a day picking and processing grapes at Southold Farm+Cellar, parts of my body still ache. Yes, that’s a commentary on my present level of physical fitness — and no one would ever suggest that picking grapes is work meant for someone who stands 6 feet, 3 inches — but it’s also a reminder of all of the hard work that goes into the wines we love drinking so much. Most people picture the life of a winemaker as an artistic, romantic one spent walking through vineyards, examining the grapes, perhaps plucking…