tastingroom_1

The Tasting Room, a two-location co-op tasting room that was the exclusive location for Comtesse Thérèse, Schneider Vineyards and Broadfields Wine Cellars wines will close its doors for the final time this Thursday, March 2. As I reported back in November, Leucadia National (owner’s of Pine Ridge Winery in Napa) purchased the two tasting rooms along with two local vineyards. I’m a little surprised that they are closing them down already, but one winery that used to pour there, Sherwood House Vineyards, has opened its own tasting room, and I suspect that others were heading that direction. As soon as…

chardonnay_week

Despite ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) groups and the woody/buttery/sweet renditions many CA producers punish our palates with, chardonnay remains the king of white wine in terms of sales and acreage here on Long Island. I think name recognition at least partially drives this. The average wine drinker just doesn’t know what gewurtztraminer tastes like and probably thinks of riesling as super-sweet and "not classy." The charddonnay shift is on, however, so even chardonnay haters can find bottles with nice acid, crisp fruit and none (or little) if the 2×4 flavors of old. All I know is that I have a…

farmstand_2

Those of us near the North Fork of Long Island are lucky to have access to some great farmer’s markets and farm stands. But, not everyone is so lucky. It’s possible that that is all going to change…obviously for the better. Adam Mahler’s of Untangled Vine reports on a move among some Representatives in Washington D.C. to help the farmer’s market movement. He has set up an interview with the Representative that introduced the bill, so keep an eye out on his blog for more information. When I first read about the proposal, part of me was worried about the…

chardonnay

…like Ms. Chardonnay (seen at right). AppellationAmerica, has put together an encyclopedia of grape varieties that as entertaining as it is educational. You’ll find all of the usual suspects (merlot, cabernet sauvignon etc.) but also some varieties you may not have heard of, such as michurinetz, cascade and doreen. Check it out, but beware — you may find yourself spending a long time reading each and every one.

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…