Miguel Martin Takes Over Winemaking Duties at Palmer Vineyards

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Miguel Martin, who has worked for several wineries the world over has joined Palmer Vineyards as winemaker. The native of Madrid, Spain native has nearly 20 years of winemaking experience, including winemaking positions at Gonzalez Byass, Robert Mondavi, Yalumba and Catera. "Miguel Martin is an important addition to the Long Island winemaking scene," said Robert J. Palmer, owner of Palmer Vineyards. "He brings not only 10 years of experience working with the highly regarded Robert Mondavi Co., but also has winemaking experience from all over the world. This really qualifies him to understand the uniqueness of Long Island." Martin joins…

WTN: Corey Creek Vineyards 2005 Reserve Chardonnay (North Fork of Long Island)

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Corey Creek Vineyards, owned by New Line Cinema chairman Michael Lynne, produces mostly white wines (the reds are bottled under sister winery Bedell Cellars’ label), including one of Long Island’s best gewurztraminers, a flavorful late harvest riesling and two different styles of chardonnay. Too often, Long Island chardonnay is severely over oaked in an attempt to make the rich, buttery style that (unfortunately) remains so popular with consumers. These wines usually fail because, unlike warmer California regions, local fruit just doesn’t get as ripe and can’t stand up to heavy oak. Disappointingly few local producers balance fruit and oak well…

Lenz Merlot Classic, Roanoke 2004 Preview BBQ and Upcoming Events

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Fall is one of the most exciting — and hectic — times on the East End of Long Island. The grapes have undergone veraison — the green grapes have changed color and started to ripen — and harvest season has begun (for sparkling wine) and will continue well into November. The ever-popular pumpkins and mums are also coming in, so the crowds will be flooding their favorite farm stands and nurseries. They bring a lot of energy to the region — but they make it harder for me to get to the wineries because of the traffic. As with any…

Remembering 9/11

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Sam’s right…I just don’t feel like writing about food or wine today. Riding in on the way to work this morning, I was listening to Howard Stern, just like I do every other morning…including 9/11 five years ago. Today, they replayed the broadcast from that awful day and I had the most painful sort of goosebumps all over my body. We should never forget the terrible events of the day. Ever. I was lucky to not be affected directly by the horrible attacks on the towers. But I have lots of friends who lost friends, loved ones or spouses. Regular,…

Do I Need a Formal Wine Education?

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For the most part, I’ve taught myself about wine. I devour books about wine. I taste taste taste and taste some more. And I interact with winemakers, winery owners and other wine bloggers/lovers/writers. I’ve taken a few local classes, including those at Stony Brook University’s Center for Food, Wine and Culture. And, they’ve been a lot of fun and educational as well. And, some day I hope to take some formal classes towards some sort of "degree." But right now it’s not a priority — though if I had time to take a two-hour train ride into Manhattan every weekend…

The First Batch of North Fork Red Wine Vinegar

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My first batch of AVA-designated red wine vinegar has been siphoned off and bottled. I haven’t actually used it in any cooking yet, but I can tell you this — the flavor is so much more intense than anything you’ll buy at any supermarket or even specialty shop. For my next batch, which will be ready in time for holiday gift giving, I’m going to use only merlot from the North Fork of Long Island AVA. I know that I’ve been a bit lax posting lately, but that’s only because real work has gotten in the way. Stay tuned for…

Appellation America Q&A: Kareem Massoud, Paumanok Vineyards

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It seems that almost every winery calls itself "family run" even if no one in the family ever touches a vine or steps foot in the winery itself. Paumanok Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island, on the other hand, actually is run by the Massoud family. This month at Appellation America, my North Fork Q&A is with Kareem Massoud, Charles and Ursula Massoud’s eldest son. After attending business school and working for a private investment firm in Manhattan, the family vineyard called him back to the East End. Now, he’s making the wines alongside his father, Charles, making…

Steelers Football — It’s Not a Game. It’s a Religion

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Tonight at 8:30 p.m. my hometown Pittsburgh Steelers begin the defense of their Super Bowl championship. As you know, I’m a huge fan (perhaps the understatement of the century) and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the return of NFL football. Charlie Batch leads the black and gold against the Miami Goldfish and I’m, of course, predicting a win. I think Nena is going to make pizza tonight, but if you’re looking for a more Steelers-centric menu, check out my Ultimate Steelers Tailgage Menu from last year. I’m still undecided on whether or not I’ll uncork my Super Bowl winnings…but I just…

Gilded Fork: Early Autumn Dinner

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Well, the LENNDEVOURS empire continues to expand. With this month’s Mise en Place feature on the Gilded Fork, I’ve officially become the site’s wine pairing guru. They actually list me on the masthead as an "expert" but that is a bit overstated probably. Wine pairing is much easier than most people think. If you have good food and good wine, chances are you’re going to be okay. Of course, there are exceptions…but wine pairing goes far beyond red with meat and white with fish. So, stay tuned as I pair wines with each of chef Mark Tafoya’s courses every month.…