WTN: Raphael 2004 Cabernet Franc


I’ve written before about the wide range of cabernet franc styles one will find while touring Long Island. Some are light and fruity, some are spicier, some are hefty and brooding…but all are aromatic, which is one of the things I like most about this variety. If you’ve visited Long Island’s North Fork or been reading LENNDEVOURS very long, you’re already somewhat familiar with Raphael. Not only do I enjoy their sauvignon blanc, merlot and beautiful tasting room and grounds, winemaker and managing director Richard Olsen-Harbich contributes to this blog. Oh, and you could say that this Raphael 2004 Cabernet…

Where are the Long Island BYOB restaurants?


Where are the Long Island BYOB restaurants? I never really thought much about this until Nena and I visited our friends Paul and Sara in Philly, the land of BYO resturants. We had a great dinner at Azafran and what a joy it was to bring our own wine. I know of only two. Kitchen – A Bistro (St. James) Thai Gourmet (Port Jefferson Station) Both are awesome, by the way. Great food. And not corkage fee at all. Do any of my local readers know of any? Please share. I’m particularly interested because, as you all know, I love…

Back to Regular Scheduled Wine Blogging


As you may or may not have noticed, April was an extremely busy month here at LENNDEVOURS. Beyond the home rennovations and busy day job, I was also working on an exciting wine/writing project…one that I still can’t talk about. The combination led to far too few New York wines being tasted and reviewed and far too few posts about the happenings and trends in the local wine industry. But, the final deadline for the big project was yesterday, and I look forward to getting back to my usual at-least-once-a-day posting schedule. I’ve got a lot of wines to tell…

My Weber Bullet’s Maiden Voyage


Saturday, I fired up my smoker for the very first time. Her maiden voyage if you will. Around noon, with my spare ribs trimmed, slathered and rubbed, I fired up the chimney starter and got the charcoal and wood chunks (hickory) ready in the bottom of the Weber. I’ll tell you what, I obviously don’t have a lot of experience with different smokers, but this thing is almost fool-proof. Once I had everything set up (talk about mise en place…lots to do preparing for a smoking session), it was largely mindless. With the water pan (which holds a gallon of…

Got Gruner?


This week on Wine Sediments, I’m talkin’ Austrian wine — more specifically gruner veltliner. Austrian wine has been getting a lot of blog coverage lately, especially with the Live Austrian Wine Adventure ramping up soon, so I just had to throw my two cents in on an awesome gruner I tasted last week. Head on over to Wine Sediments this morning and learn a little about this under-appreciated white. Wine Sediments brings together some of the worlds best wine blogging talent. Even if I weren’t writing there, I’d check it out every day. You should too.

LIMA Uncorks Merliance in Manhattan


  On Monday, April 3, the Long Island Merlot Alliance hosted a press and trade preview tasting at Craft restaurant in Manhattan of its first co-produced wine – 2004 Merliance. Formed last fall by Raphael, Pellegrini Vineyards, Sherwood House Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards and Wolffer Estate Vineyards, the LIMA believes that merlot is Long Island’s signature varietal, and as such has dedicated itself to its advancement and continued quality in our region. In addition to the collaborative production of Merliance every year, the group plans to hold educational programs and sponsor research into exactly why Long Island is so well suited…

1975. It Was a Very Good Year.


No. Not for Long Island wine (the first commercial vines were only two years old at that point). 1975 was a very good year for people…particularly those born in Pittsburgh, PA and who eventually move to Long Island, fall in love with a girl and fall in love with a wine region. Yes. I turn 31 today. Not nearly as filled with fanfare as the big three-oh from last year, but a birthday nonetheless. As I mentioned a while ago, Nena and my parents bought me a smoker for my birthday. And last night Ben (yes, our beagle) gave me…

Wine Blogging Wednesday #21 & Is My Blog Burning #26 — Fabulous Favorites Festival


The Internet’s premier food blogging event, Is My Blog Burning? has inspired an ever-growing number of culinary blog events, including the world’s most popular virtual wine tasting Wine Blogging Wednesday. So, it was only a matter of time before the two culinary juggernauts joined forces to create the ultimate culinary blogging event. It is with great pleasure and excitement that IMBB’s founder, Alberto and I announce that we are co-hosting the May editions of IMBB and WBW. The dual theme? It’s the Fabulous Favorites Festival and it’s taking place on Friday May 19 on a blog near you. What is…

WTN: Shinn Estate Vineyards “Red” ($14)


I have an announcement to make: I have a new favorite local red wine for every day, food-friendly drinking. Shinn Estate Vineyard’s non-vintage Red ($14) is a blend of 75% merlot and 25% cabernet sauvignon, isn’t the most complex local merlot. It isn’t the richest, deepest pour either…but it’s ideally suited for food Light-to-medium bodied, this wine actually has some pinot noir-like qualities despite the grapes involved. Light ruby in the glass, the nose is mainly raspberry and strawberries, with just the most subtle hints of spice. The palate is juicy red berries, hints of oak character, and terrific food-friendly…