WBW #26: The Contest

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WBW#26 host Beau Jarvis of Basic Juice has compiled the tasting note from Where’s Wino?, but now comes the fun part. Head on over to Basic Juice and try to identify the 19 mystery wines. No, you don’t need to guess producer, vintage and varietal. You only have to guess the origin. And yes, there are even prizes. Just get your guesses in by this Saturday (October 21).

Tasting Vintage Variation — A Flight of “Flight”

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You can buy bottle after bottle of mass-produced, ubiquitous wines like Yellowtail Shiraz or Cavit Pinot Grigio without even looking at the year on the label. That’s because year-to-year variation is barely perceptible in those wines. Huge vineyards, huge production and blending options that lead to a “house style” all result in fairly consistent flavors year in and year out. That’s boring and lame if you ask me. That sort of cookie-cutter consistency is not the case here on Long Island, where even the largest vineyards are miniscule by world standards. And, with generally cool weather that changes considerably from…

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.