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…

Food and Wine Bloggers: What’s Your “Guilty” Pleasure?

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Most of us in the food and wine blogging community qualify as foodies and wine geeks. That means that we make things from scratch instead of just buying it — things like salad dressing, ketchup, marinara or even duck confit. We buy local, organic ingredients when we can instead of mass-produced and shipped-around-the-world junk. We’re members of Slow Food. We’ve joined CSA programs. We seek out free-range, organic meats. We don’t eat at McDonalds. We don’t eat Doritos. We don’t eat Hostess Cupcakes. Or do we? I get accused of being a "food snob" all the time, and I bet…

The Planning of a Pyro Party

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I absolutely love cooking with fire and this weekend, Nena and I are hosting what will probably be our biggest party of the summer. It’s only 13 people, but with all that we have going on these days, it seems pretty big anyway. Now, I don’t plan dinner parties that are anywhere near as ellaborate as the Obsessed One, but I do try to introduce our sometimes culinarily-challenged friends to some new things every time out (while keeping some old standards around as well). So, I do a fair amount of menu planning ahead of time — and one certainly…

WTN: Galluccio Family Wineries 2003 Cru George Allaire Chardonnay

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When Vincent Galluccio took over Gristina Vineyards in 2000, it would have been easy to eliminate the Gristina name completely. But, with an eye towards tradition Jerry Gristina had built upon founding the vineyard in 1984 and reverence for the past, many Galluccio-produced wines still bear the Gristina name and label. For the most part, these are the winery’s everyday wines — some tasty, some not. The most interesting wines in the portfolio are labeled Galluccio, with two further labeled Cru George Allaire — named for Mr. Galluccio’s father in law. Despite fermentation in French oak and 14 months of…