Long Island Mid-Harvest Report

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Last year’s grape harvest was remarkable both for the hot, dry conditions that lasted all summer long and the almost twenty inches of rain that was dumped on the East End over eight days right in the middle of harvest. White grapes were largely unaffected because they had already been picked, but many of the Island’s red grapes weren’t so lucky. That rain completely decimated some producers to the point where they didn’t make red wines last year at all. Others escaped mostly unscathed and have made some tremendous wines. There will be less 2005 red wine on shelves once…

Curry-Seared Scallop with Spiced Green Pea Puree

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Tomorrow is my sister in-law Kim’s birthday. She, along with my in-laws, were here this weekend to help us paint the nursery so we did a little dinner Saturday night to celebrate. The last few dinner parties we’ve thrown, I’ve done something as an amuse bouche — for a couple reasons. First, by skipping this course myself, it allows me time to get organized and caught up in the kitchen for subsequent courses. And, as in the case of this scallop, it’s an easy way for me to cook some seafood for my guests…but I don’t have to eat it.…

A Shower and a Snap

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After a week or so of gorgeous weather (sunny, warm, dry), a storm dumped a lot of rain on Long Island last night. I’m still trying to find out exactly how much and how much of an impact it is going to have. It was a relatively short storm.  Potentially more worrisome is the cold snap predicted for this weekend. I’ll see what I can find out today, tomorrow and through the weekend. But it’s my guess that all of my winery contacts are a bit preoccupied right now. Stay tuned. UPDATE: Alice Wise at the Cornell Cooperative Extension reports…

Long Island Pumpkin Ales — Too Much About the Spice?

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By Contributing Columnist Donavan Hall Over the last week or so, the weather on Long Island turned cool.  A few of the trees in my yard took this as a signal to start dropping their leaves — my yard is littered with auburn, brown, garnet and orange.  The signs of Fall are everywhere.  Last weekend, I took my family to the Garlic Festival (see Denise’s article on Growers and Grocers), the second in what might prove to be an annual event.  In addition to last weekend being a celebration of garlic (I was seriously tempted to brew a garlic beer…

Catching Up On a Lot of Things

Real life has been extremely hectic lately it seems. As a result, LENNDEVOURS hasn’t been all that it can be — or has been in the past — of late. But, because this blog also serves as "What is Lenn up to these days" repository as well, I thought I’d explain why I’ve been so ridiculously busy lately. I’ve been working on my first issue as editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. It’s been an amazing (and stressful) learning experience already and I don’t even have all of the stories in yet. Recruiting writers…and then weeding out the lesser…

Why I Hate Synthetic Corks (aka Bad Choices)

So I sat down last night to review a few different wines from Standing Stone Vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It’s a well-known producer and I’ve enjoyed both their dry vidal and vidal ice wine in the past. Then I opened my only bottle of their 2003 Pinot Noir ($26). As I slipped the capsule off, I was surprised to see a synthetic cork. In my experience, few wineries use them on a wine over $15 dollars — particularly not one that should have some cellar worthiness. So I extract the cork and pour… Something is…

Reminder: Wine Blogging Wednesday #26 is Next Week

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Where’s wino? No no, Beau over at Basic Juice isn’t asking us to find him next Wednesday for WBW #26, that’s just the name of this month’s theme. He’s shaken things up a little this time ’round. Instead of thrusting an explicity variety/locale upon us, he’s offering some options. And, instead of posting our tasting notes, he wants us to send them to him directly so we can play a little game of "where’s the wine from based on the tasting notes?" Learn more at Basic Juice…and we hope you’ll look for Wino next Wednesday.

Read Local: New Long Island Magazine — canvas

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Long Island has more than its share of publications — too many in fact (and this coming from a guy who writes or has written for several of them). So many of them are the same — too many advertisements and too few interesting stories. Long Island’s newest magazine, canvas, is a little different. For one, the production value is through the roof compared to so many of the ad-supported papers in these parts. Two, the editor isn’t some just-out-of-college rookie or crazy person without any real talent. canvas’ editor, Ramin Ganeshram is an experienced journalist, editor and cookbook author…

Who are my daily blog reads?

People ask me all the time what other wine and food blogs I read. The short answer is "too many"…there’s just so much interesting content out there for any wine lover or foodie. But, with life as hectic as it is these days, I’ve had to pare down my daily reads — the blogs that I read every single day. So, I thought I’d share this list with you. Maybe you already read them. Maybe you don’t. If it’s the latter, check them out. They are well worth the few minutes of reading. So, in no particular order, I give…