Okay, so I’m a couple days late for Christmas, but we’re still smack dab in the middle of the holiday season…so Happy Holidays from all of us at LENNDEVOURS (Nena, Ben and myself). We’re in upstate New York visiting Nena’s family until Thursday, partially just to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of Long Island, but also to help my mother in-law prep for her annual holiday open house. It’s an open house in name only…people come when it begins and stay until it’s over. This year she’s expecting 130 people or so…and she’s happy to have…

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Tom of FERMENTATION recently made a call for Top 10 Lists and I knew I had at least one in me as I look back on 2005. In fact, I’m sure I have more than one…but for now I present my Top 10 Must-Try Long Island Wines of 2005. While some of these certainly would qualify for a "best" list as well, this list is more accurately defined as the wines I’d insist any wine lover taste (if possible) when they come to Long Island for the first time.10. Bedell Cellars 2001 Reserve Merlot. One of our region’s top merlot…

Tom over at FERMENTATION had written an interesting, observant post on the state of the wine industry in terms of innovation’s progress…and those things that hold it back. Definitely worth a perusal as we head into the new year. New York winemakers, in general, and Long Island winemakers more specifically are definitely not on the leading edge of innovation — particularly in packaging. To my knowledge, no one locally is using screwcaps  yet (too expensive up front) and. I doubt you’ll see boxes or bags of wine anytime soon either, though I can think of a couple producers who would…

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In early October, an earthquake devastated Northern Pakistan. More than 70,000 people died in the tragedy and another 100,000 were injured. You might remember the efforts of the Food (and wine) Blogging Community last February to help those affected by the tsunami in Sout East Asia and East Africa. This year, the blogging community, led by Chez Pim, presents the second Menu For Hope II. Pm has organized this quite differently this year. It’s an raffle of course and all the money raised will go to Unicef, specifically for the earthquake region. Between changing email addresses since the last Menu…

Thanks to Ray, a devout LENNDEVOURS reader for this link to a round up of a tasting that pitted New York wines against those from Virginia (where Ray lives now). Some interesting results…and ones that make me want to explore VA wines a bit more. I’m going to try to track down a comprehensive wine list…as I’ve had some of the NY wines mentioned and there are betters available. If the panel liked the Wolffer 2004 Late Harvest Chardonnay, they should try the 2003! Interesting that there weren’t any Long Island merlots mentioned…given that some are really pushing it as…

The results for Wine Blogging Wednesday #16 — Judge a Wine By its Label have been posted over at An Obsession With Food (And Wine). Check them out. Our host, Derrick, did something quite interesting with the round up…broke them down by previous participation (or lack there of in the case of the "Fresh Faces"). Great idea and great job pulling together the ever-growing number of participants. Keep an eye out for the announcement of Wine Blogging Wednesday #17. I won’t spoil the surprise…but once again I won’t be drinking Long Island wine…because it won’t fit the theme. www.flickr.com Check…

moving

(or at least our mortgage bank is) Monday afternoon, we finalized the purchase of our very first chunk of Long Island — a house and a quarter-or-so acre of land about two miles from Long Island Sound. I just wanted to thank everyone for your emails and blog comments of congratulations and encouragement. We’re excited, anxious, happy, scared and MOVING. We’ve started by moving a few car loads (mostly kitchen stuff of course) and then this Saturday is the official moving day. We have great friends and a half dozen or so of them are coming to help. It’s a…

blends

Blended red wines – they are the best of wines, they are the worst of wines. Have you ever been in a wine shop and seen gallon jugs of “Burgundy” for less than ten dollars? Those wines bear little (okay, no) resemblance to the fine wines of the French region with the same name. Jug “Burgundy” often comes from California’s Central Valley and is a blend of high yield Barbera, Petite Sirah and other red varietals. Wine snobbery is never a good thing, but these wines are just awful. But blended reds are not created equal. Some of the world’s…

singers

Tomorrow night in the Staller Center Recital Hall at 8 p.m., the Stony Brook University Camerata Singers and the Stony Brook Chorale will present their Holiday 2005 performance. The Camerata Singers will be performing motets and folk songs by America’s greatest composer, Aaron Copland, while the Chorale peforms carols and lullabies. Both groups are conducted by Timothy Mount. You may have noticed that there’s no mention of food or wine…so why am I telling you about it? It’s quite simple…my supremely talented wife is a member of the Camerata and they are a great group worth hearing if you are…