My “Secret Project” Revealed

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Several times back in May I wrote here about how busy I was with "various writing projects" — one of which I couldn’t discuss beyond that. It was probably the single most exciting thing I’ve done thus far as a result of LENNDEVOURS and I’m happy to report that the gag order has been lifted. Many of you are familiar with Chocolate & Zucchini, one of the world’s most popular culinary blogs, and its founder Clotilde Dusoulier. Any fan of C&Z knows that Clotilde been working with a book U.S. publisher on a cook book. Well, I’m proud and honored…

WTN: Grapes of Roth 2001 Merlot ($50)

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Later this month, Roman Roth, the winemaking talent behind the wines of Wolffer Estate, Shinn Estate Vineyards and Roanoke Vineyards, will show off his garagiste side. Translated from French garagiste literally means “garage owner," but in the world of wine, it’s used to describe a winemaker who produces small lots of high-quality, handcrafted wines – sometimes right in his or her own garage. And while Roth didn’t make his private label — Grapes of Roth — in his garage, he’s embraced the garagiste philosophy, crafting fewer than two hundred cases of his 2001 Grapes of Roth Merlot ($50). Roth grew…

Wine Blogging Wednesday #24 — Chateau de Montfort 2004 Vouvray

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Tvinooday, Wine Blogging Wednesday turns two years old — and this founder couldn’t be prouder or happier. What started with a brief exploration of New World, non-U.S. merlot eventually moved onto unique themes like Wacky Name Wines, Obscure Red Varietals and Drinking Local — Real Local. It’s been an interesting ride, that’s for sure, and I hope one that has been fun — and educational — for those participating. This month, it seemed only right to have Alder of Vinography host the event, considering he is best-known of all wine bloggers. Instead of forcing us to drink something from his…

Don’t Forget — Wine Blogging Wednesday #24 is Tomorrow

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Don’t forget — tomorrow marks the two-year anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday, everybody’s favorite wine blogging event. To help us celebrate, the King of all wine bloggers, Alder of Vinography is hosting the event. He’s asked us to sample a white wine from the Loire Valley. So, run out and pick up your Loire white and join us tomorrow for Wine Blogging Wednesday #24.

WTN: Channing Daughters Winery 2005 Sylvanus ($24)

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Here on the East End, in the heart of merlot country, Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton serves as a tasty oasis for white wine lovers. They make make red wine as well of course, but white wine is where winemaker Christopher Tracy shines, with a varied roster of different and unique wines. While most local wineries use Bordeaux as their model, Tracy and Channing Daughters Winery looks to Italy for inspiration — northern Italian regions like Friuli and Trentino — because of the similarities of their cool maritime climate to our own. Channing Daughters Winery is known for experimentation and…

Long Island’s 2006 Vintage So Far: Damp and Dangerous

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I’ve been reading a few stories locally about how "great" the 2006 vintage is looking here on Long Island. Of course, knowing that the authors of these stories don’t typically cover wine (if ever) I was skeptical. It’s been very wet and humid lately and we’ve had several days where we’ve touched 90 degrees. But, rather than make assumptions, I asked Richie Pisacano, owner of Roanoke Vineyards and vineyard manager at Wolffer Estate for an update on what he’s seeing. He’s been growing grapes on Long Island a long time, and he’s not one to fall victim to marketing/PR spin.…

The Wine Advocate Tastes New York: Some Thoughts

As many of you already know, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (WA) recently published reviews and commentary about New York wines, and many Long Island and Finger Lakes producers scored very well. This was, no doubt, an important success for both regions — particularly after the Wine Spectator’s slightly underwhelming and suspect reception. But what does it all mean? You’ll never find numbered wine ratings here on LENNDEVOURS (though I admit that I used to use A-F grades) — because they dummy-down wine and are largely meaningless without context. And yet, Parker ratings can make or break a winery. If Parker…

New Yorkers Can Now Buy Beer Before Noon on Sundays

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Having grown up in Pittsburgh, restrictions on buying beer are nothing new. In Pittsburgh, you can’t just stop in at the local supermarket or convenience store to pick up a six pack. You can only buy beer by the case and from beer distributors. That being said, I’m glad to read that New York has lifted the ban on beer sales before noon on Sundays. Again, weird rules on beer buying aren’t new to me, but I’m glad to know that I can buy beer Sunday morning for a football party (instead of having to go between noon and the…

I’m a Butt Man — Pork Butt Preparation

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This morning I got up early to do a little BBQ prep work before heading to the office. (Okay, so maybe Ben got up at 5 a.m. and had to go out, so I got up to take him, regardless, I was awake early.) The first thing I did was make the rub for these two delicious chunks of well-marbled pork. I think there’s 15 lbs total, so we’ll have more than enough for the party, which means pulled pork tacos, omelets, fried rice…whatever all next week. No complaints here. Once I trimmed some fat (just a little, fat is…

50 States. 50 Wineries. #10: Jefferson Vineyards (Virginia)

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Thomas Jefferson was America’s first wino/wine geek/vinophile, so it’s far from surprising that he planted his own vineyard — way back in 1774. Jefferson and Italian Filippo Mazzei planted the vineyard right next to Monticello — and today Jefferson Vineyards resides on the same plot of land. Of course, the vines they use today aren’t from 1774, but they do date to 1981. As 50 in 50 has unfolded, I’ve found the wines a bit disappointing — whether too sweet for the acidity level, boring and lifeless, or just plain faulty. So far, the stars have been the wines from…