WTN: Shinn Estate Vineyards 2004 Wild Boar Doe


Too often, the term "food friendly" is meant as a negative in wine journalism — applied to wines deemed unable to bring pleasure on their own. This, of course, is absolutely ludicrous. It’s impossible to separate the two. Food and wine are forever intertwined — like Abott and Costello, peanut butter and jelly, or the Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl rings. Labeling a bottling as a "food wine" should be an accolade, not a comment on its overall quality. Given their pedigree as restaurateurs, it’s no surprise that David Page and Barbara Shinn, owners of Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck,…

Corks of the Forks: Raphael Vineyards


My "corks of the forks" column this week over at Hamptons.com features Raphael, one Long Island winery getting a lot of attention these days. From appearing on The Apprentice to scoring well in the Wine Spectator to making the house red at The Modern, Raphael is making news and bringing attention to the North Fork. Good for Raphael and good for overall Long Island wine industry. Read more.

Eric Asimov Warming to Long Island Wines?


Many of you have already seen it (and emailed me about it) but being in meetings all afternoon kept my eyes from Eric Asimov’s story about some Long Island wines he tasted recently at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor. Let’s just say that I think he’s much more on target with this story than the last time he wrote about Long Island wines. It’s nice to see a respected wine writer like Eric say good things about these "older" vintages. Along with the contention that LI wines are too expensive, lack of cellar worthiness is the other complain I…

NY Wineries Getting Internet Marketing Help?


I’ve written before about how poor a job, in general, New York wineries do with their websites and Internet marketing. Some wineries don’t have websites at all. Others have sites that were built years ago and get updated maybe once a year. And many ignore contact forms and emails that come in via their sites. In short, very few "get it" when it comes to marketing themselves and their wines online. It’s a shame really as Internet marketing can be one of the most cost effective forms of marketing available. Of course, some of the smaller producers just don’t have…

The First Visit to “My” Vines at Raphael


Saturday morning, Nena and I battled the dreary weather on our way to Raphael to visit "my vines" for the first time, before sticking around for a barrel tasting of 2005 reds (more on that later this week). Winemaker and managing director, Richard Olsen-Harbich met us in the winery and took us over to the row of cabernet franc vines that will be used to make the first LENNDEVOURS-labeled wine. We also learned that Rich went to college at SUNY Cobleskill, just outside of Nena’s hometown. Small world when you consider the size of said hometown. The row is right…

Palmer Vineyards: Where’s the Ripeness?


As you’ve no doubt already heard, many vineyards lost some their red wine crop last fall as the East End was pummeled with record rainfall. Unfortunately, Palmer Vineyards was one of the hardest hit, losing almost all of their reds — enough that their 2005 red wines were made using grapes from the Pacific Northwest. But, because most of our area’s white wine grapes were harvested before the deluge, the dry, warm growing season expresses it self quite well in many of the 2005 whites I’ve tasted. Bright fruit that tends more toward the tropical than usual is common and…

Wines Made With Care at Macari


Do you know the name Paola Valverde? Probably not — but you should. In a wine region dominated by well-known, pseudo-star winemakers — the Chilean-born Valverde deserves much more attention than she does for the work she’s doing at Macari Vineyards. Yet, she flies under the radar perhaps more than any other local winemaker. But, anonymity aside, her wines speak for themselves. And some of them speak quite loudly. Macari has long produced one of my favorite roses, and the Macari Vineyards 2005 Rose ($12), which will be released in a couple weeks, continues that pedigree. A pretty salmon-orange-pink, its…

Fabulous Favorites Festival Roundup — Finally


Better late than never I always say. (Okay, maybe I never say that because I’m typically not a very patient man. Oh well.) I’ve finally gotten around to doing my half of the WBW/IMBB Fabulous Favorites Festival round up (see Alberto’s half). So, without further adieu… Apparently Michelle of My Wine Education should have followed the rules (haha). She didn’t pick a favorite and her pairing of Biltmore House 2004 Syrah with pepper steak just didn’t get it done. Of course, rules are meant to be broken (and are broken regularly with these events!) Catherine from Purple Liquid, which is…