Bedell Cellars: About Art. About Taste.


Much like food and wine, wine and art are forever beautifully entangled. The splendor of a vineyard as it dances through the growing season begs to be  memorialized with a camera or on canvas. And, similarly winemaking, while at its core a scientific undertaking, is a craft done best in the hands of true artisans. Art is necessary to sell wine as well. Wine shops can be overwhelming — shelf after shelf of many different wines from many different locals and many foreign to the consumer. We’ve all picked up a bottle based on the label, and Australian wineries, perhaps…

Bedell Cellars Winemaker on


John Irving Levenberg of Bedell Cellars can be heard this week on Vinetopia discussing the winemaking process and features the music he listens to while winemaking and drinking wine. I have yet to meet John, but I like what he’s doing with the wines at Bedell. Before joining Bedell, he worked at Paul Hobbs and other Napa wineries as well as in Bordeaux and New Zealand — bringing an interesting mix of Old and New World experience. Listen now.

My First Batch of Vinegar — North Fork of Long Island AVA


As someone who reviews 6-12 wines a week, I dump a fair amount of wine down the wink. I’m no teetotaler, but for the sake of my liver (and preserving things like my job and my marriage) I just can’t drink that much wine in a week. So, for a long time, I’ve found myself dumping lots of wine down the sink. Some is pretty bad, so it’s a welcome dump, but there are also a lot of good wines too. I’ve knocked around the idea of making my own vinegar for quite some time, but when The Obsessed One…

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, Right?


It looks like the Dutch have "borrowed" the original Wine Blogging Wednesday idea, which is coming up on its 22nd vintage in just a few days. Do any of my readers read Dutch? I’d love to find out if it’s being presented as an original idea. I’m assuming it’s not…I mean, WBW is a worldwide phenomenon that is coming up on its two-year anniversary (can you believe THAT?). Thanks to Tim of Winecast for sending this link over.

WTN: Shinn Estate Vineyards 2004 Wild Boar Doe


Too often, the term "food friendly" is meant as a negative in wine journalism — applied to wines deemed unable to bring pleasure on their own. This, of course, is absolutely ludicrous. It’s impossible to separate the two. Food and wine are forever intertwined — like Abott and Costello, peanut butter and jelly, or the Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl rings. Labeling a bottling as a "food wine" should be an accolade, not a comment on its overall quality. Given their pedigree as restaurateurs, it’s no surprise that David Page and Barbara Shinn, owners of Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck,…

Corks of the Forks: Raphael Vineyards


My "corks of the forks" column this week over at features Raphael, one Long Island winery getting a lot of attention these days. From appearing on The Apprentice to scoring well in the Wine Spectator to making the house red at The Modern, Raphael is making news and bringing attention to the North Fork. Good for Raphael and good for overall Long Island wine industry. Read more.

Eric Asimov Warming to Long Island Wines?


Many of you have already seen it (and emailed me about it) but being in meetings all afternoon kept my eyes from Eric Asimov’s story about some Long Island wines he tasted recently at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor. Let’s just say that I think he’s much more on target with this story than the last time he wrote about Long Island wines. It’s nice to see a respected wine writer like Eric say good things about these "older" vintages. Along with the contention that LI wines are too expensive, lack of cellar worthiness is the other complain I…

NY Wineries Getting Internet Marketing Help?


I’ve written before about how poor a job, in general, New York wineries do with their websites and Internet marketing. Some wineries don’t have websites at all. Others have sites that were built years ago and get updated maybe once a year. And many ignore contact forms and emails that come in via their sites. In short, very few "get it" when it comes to marketing themselves and their wines online. It’s a shame really as Internet marketing can be one of the most cost effective forms of marketing available. Of course, some of the smaller producers just don’t have…

The First Visit to “My” Vines at Raphael


Saturday morning, Nena and I battled the dreary weather on our way to Raphael to visit "my vines" for the first time, before sticking around for a barrel tasting of 2005 reds (more on that later this week). Winemaker and managing director, Richard Olsen-Harbich met us in the winery and took us over to the row of cabernet franc vines that will be used to make the first LENNDEVOURS-labeled wine. We also learned that Rich went to college at SUNY Cobleskill, just outside of Nena’s hometown. Small world when you consider the size of said hometown. The row is right…