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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…

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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.

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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…

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Du you Rhone? Whether you do or not, join food and wine bloggers the world over with the latest vintage of Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted by Jathan, founder of the newly re-designed Winexpression.com. For this, the 19th edition of WBW, Jathan has asked us to focus on the wines of the Rhone, specifically the intricate blends (unless you can find a rare varietal bottling). It looks like I’m going to have to leave my local New York wines for this one…but that’s half the fun. More than half really. His annoucement provides a lot of excellent information with links to…

discussion

A discussion of sulfites and American vs. European winemakers seems to be underway here on LENNDEVOURS. One of my contributing columnists, Richard posted The Urban Legend of Sulfites a week or so ago and my other contributor, Charles, has chimed in with his feelings. What do you think? One of my favorite things about wine is the discussions (and sometimes arguments) that erupt from my love of it. Join in the fun and be heard.

As if often the case, there is a lively discussion over at Vinography right now about wine reviews and whether or not we, as wine writers/critics, should use point scales or grading systems. Check it out and scroll through the comments to see my current thoughts. This is a topic I’ve often wrestled with…mostly because no one has been able to convince me that one way or the other is the be-all-end all. What do you think?

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Heavy, over-manipulated chardonnay is one of the wine community’s least appealing members, at least in the eyes, and palate, of this wine lover. Wine geeks often label these wines “flabby” but I compare drinking them to sucking on a butter-slathered two by four. And, despite what some sales-minded winemakers will tell you, pairing these wines with food is a crapshoot at best. Of course, chardonnay is a key chameleon variety, with a seemingly endless array of styles. On one end you have crisp, fruity, acidic chardonnay — those that don’t spend any time in oak barrels during or after the…

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Crisp, clean and refreshing, this is a wine for those of you who think you hate chardonnay. Fermented 100% in steel tanks, you won’t find any overbearing, heavy-handed oak influence. No…what you get is ripe apple and pear, fresh citrus and hints of minerals on the finish. This is what chardonnay actually tastes like — and it’s delicious. (This "Vintage of the Week" appeared in the Long Island Press)