lenz_tasting

On Saturday, March 11 I’ll be heading to The Lenz Winery for a sure-to-be-interesting blind tasting event hosted by owner Peter Carroll and winemaker Eric Fry. We will be tasting four Lenz wines blind against premium wines from France. I’m looking forward to the event, which (unfortunately for many of you) is invite only to members of their wine club and the press. I’ve always enjoyed most of the Lenz lineup, but more more excited about the opportunity to taste some of the higher-end Bordeaux in the flights. 1st Flight – 2003 Chardonnays2003 Lenz White Label Chardonnay ($12)2003 Jean Louis…

nyc_shopmap

Dr. Vino has put together a great tool for anyone who needs to find a wine ship in Manhattan. Check out his New York City Wine Shop Map, which is even available for your mobile device. With as many wine shops as there are in NYC, this is quite an undertaking, so if you know of a great shop that isn’t listed, I’m sure he’d love to hear about it. Check it out today.

cascademtn_summertide_1

Many wine "experts" turn there nose up at any wine made with hybrid grapes, deeming them "simplistic" or "without character." Wine geeks like myself, however, can recognize that such wines have their place. I’ve had several wines made from seyval blanc that have been clean, refreshing and delicious on a hot summer day. Vidal blanc is another hybrid that leads to some excellent ice wines in Canada and the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Well, this non-vintage white blend from Cascade Mountain Winery, located in Amenia, New York (Hudson Valley), is made using both seyval blanc and vindal blanc.

strawberrywines

Strawberry wine. It’s not something I drink regularly and probably not anything I’d drink with non-dessert food. But, over the weekend I tasted and compared two different versions from two well-known Hudson Valley wineries, Baldwin Vineyards and Alison Wines & Vineyards. I’m not going to go into full tasting note mode here…they both look, smell and taste like strawberries, there’s not a whole lot of nuance here. But there are differences certainly. Both were very sweet and edging on the cloying side of things but not quite. The one from Alison, named Fraise ($18 for 375ml), is the more refined…

risotto

Valentine’s Day is treated a little bit differently in our house, I think. We don’t really buy each other gifts beyond a well-thought-out card. But, we have a few food traditions related to the most Hallmark of all holidays. First, we never, ever go out to dinner for the occasion. So many restaurants have over-priced, under-delivering fixed menus, and tables filled with people who never go out to nice restaurants and act like it. Second, in recent years, Nena has started making her should-be-famous banana-chocolate chip pancakes (in heart shape) on the day itself. It’s a casual, fun meal that…

roanoakemerlot_1_1

Roanoke Vineyards, one of the North Fork’s newest producers has been a favorite almost from it’s inception. I’ve written about them several times, almost always take first-time LI winery visitors there, and I named their now-sold out 2000 Merlot my favorite of 2005. Well, with a second New York Times piece this weekend, the secret is most certainly out about the two new red blends Rich and Soraya Pisacano just released. Roanoke Vineyards is a must-stop tasting room on the North Fork. From it’s rich, artisanal reds, the hands-on approach of Rich and Soraya, to the opportunity to also sample…

grilledcheese

I swear, I meant to blog about Cheese Sandwich Day on the day itself, last Thursday. But, while we cooked and ate our yummy grilled cheese sandwich, a vacation day Friday and a long holiday weekend spent doing work on our new house has created a bit of a blogging back log. So what is Cheese Sandwich Day all about anyway? I’ll leave that explanation up to my go-to blog when I’m looking for a delicious recipe, Stephencooks. As for our sandwiches, I stopped on the way home at the local grocery store (greatly limiting my cheese selection) and whipped…

bbqribs_1

Think real-deal BBQ competitions don’t happen outside of the south? Think again…New York City is going to be hosting its first BBQ contest on March 26 — Grillin’ on the Bay. Some of the region’s best pit bosses will be cooking up chicken, pork, fish and even dessert. I know that I’m going to go if I can (never been to such an event) and if you want more information, visit White Trash BBQ’s great site.

seattlebox_2

And a bottle of Matthew Cellars 2001 Columbia Valley Red, compliments of the Culinary Fool and her Seattle Seahawks losing in the Super Bowl. We had a bet, and my winnings arrived yesterday. As you can see above and to the right, B tried to cover up her obvious shame by burying the bottle in Seahawks gear. She’s a gracious loser, I’ll give her that. I think Ben Roethlisbeagle will enjoy ripping the wrist bands to shreds. (Just teasing, I know a Seahawks fan here at the office I think he has kids. So they’ll get the gear most likely).…

ratings

Wine lovers and writers often debate the validity and usefulness of wine scores. I think they have their place, when taken as a part of a complete review that includes tasting notes and background information. But then I finally thumbed through the February issue of Wine Spectator and came upon some disturbing scores. It’s not often that I see many New York wines listed, even in the back. But this was their "ratings roundup" so there were quite a few. Some scary numbers: Yellow Tail 2003 Reserve Shiraz: 88 Bedell Cellars 2001 Reserve Merlot: 87 Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2001 Estate…