Checking in on the LENNDEVOURS Cabernet Franc Vines

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Clearly I wouldn’t make much of a full-time vineyard manager. It’s been almost a month since my first visit to Raphael’s vineyard to visit "my" vines. As you can see to the right, they’ve grown quite a bit. But on Saturday morning, we went out east and stopped by so that my parents could taste Raphael’s bottlings and enjoy the vineyard views as I walked my row of ten-year old  cabernet franc vines. There isn’t a whole lot for me to do with the vines yet (the real vineyard tenders are making it easy on me), but I did weed…

Our Best Meal in San Francisco

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As you’ve probably guessed, we’re home from our trip to San Francisco and Sonoma. We had a great time, saw some great sights and, of course, enjoyed some great meals. But this post is about one meal in particular — the best meal we had in San Francisco. No, it wasn’t the dinner we had at Zuni Cafe, though that was romantic, delicious and amazingly fresh. And it certainly wasn’t our visit to Rubicon — a great meal in terms of the food, but god awful in terms of the service and overall experience. No, our best mean in San…

Long Island’s Only Co-Op Tasting Room to Re-Open Under New Ownership

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Last fall, when Leucadia National Corporation bought Broadfields Wine Cellars from Robin and Karen Meredith, it led to the closing of Long Island’s only two co-op tasting rooms for small, artisanal wine producers, both called The Tasting Room. This weekend, the owner of a winery who used to sell wine through the two locations is re-opening the Peconic location under the same name. Theresa Dilworth of Comtesse Thérèse, who will run the operation, is The Tasting Room’s third owner in nine months. Founded by the Merediths in May 2003, The Tasting Rooms in Peconic and Jamesport were acquired by Leucadia…

BTN: Butternuts Beer & Ale (Garratsville, NY)

By Contributing Columnist Donavan Hall Butternuts Beer & Ales is a partnership between Chuck Williamson and Leo Bongiorno; both were involved with the (now closed) Long Island Brewing Company. In a converted dairy barn in Garratsville, New York they operate a brewery with the capacity for up to 8000 barrels a year production.  (Though, no doubt they aren’t producing that much yet.)  They started shipping Porkslap, a Pale Ale, and Heinnieweisse, a Hefeweizen, in March 2006. These beers are distributed in New York and in parts of New Jersey. In the fall they expect to add an India Pale Ale…

Chardonnay Shines and a Sparkler — err Sparkles — at Lenz Winery

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For years, The Lenz Winery in Peconic has been one of the North Fork’s most respected and successful producers. Together, vineyard manager Sam McCullough and winemaker Eric Fry comprise one of the East End’s most experienced duos. Their experience and familiarity with North Fork growing conditions and fruit results in some of the area’s best wines — wines that the Wine Spectator was insane not to include in its recent New York-themed issue. You’ve no doubt read about Fry’s merlot and how it rivals Bordeaux’s best at a fraction of the price in professional blind tastings. Those wines are well…

San Francisco Notes

So I’m three days into my San Francisco adventure…and I thought I’d offer some little notes: My current hotel, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, is a nice place, but the wireless Internet access is awful. Just awful Restaurant service here doesn’t seem to be as good as it is back home. On my lunch break today, I waited 20 minutes at an outside table at Nob Hill Cafe. I finally got a menu and then waiting another 15 minutes before leaving — hungry and annoyed I had dinner at Cafe Claude tonight. It was pretty good. Solid coq au vin and…

Wine Blogging Wednesday #23 Announced — BBQ Wines

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I’m a few days behind, but this week Joel from Vivi’s Wine Journal announced the upcoming, and 23rd, edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday. His theme is one that is near and dear to my heart Bar-B-Que wines. Joel has left the ‘rules’ pretty wide open…just pick a wine to drink with a grill/smoked/barbequed meal. I know that most people drink beer with such eats…but not in the LENNDEVOURS house. Well, we do drink beer, but there is always wine around too. So, join us on July 5 and find out what other wine and bbq lovers are eating with their…

The (East Coast) Eagle Has Landed

It’s been a looong day, but I’m in San Francisco! After getting out of bed at 4 a.m. ET to catch a 7:15 flight out of JFK…I’ve had quite a day already and I’m trying to stay awake a few more hours to help with the time zone change. A few comments on my first day: I’m an idiot. Looking at the map, the walk from the Powell St. BART station to my hotel looked like "only ten blocks" which isn’t much of anything in NYC. So I decided to walk instead of taking a cab. Let’s just say that…