Earlier this week, Nena made our delicious bean burgers again I was in a bit of a wine-pairing quandary. The stong flavors of cumin, cilantro and chiles eliminated subtle, nuanced wine from the equation…but I just didn’t think any of the gewurtz we have would work well with the corn and beans. And, because zinfandel doesn’t do well here on Long Island, (and I haven’t bought any in a while) that wasn’t an option either. So, I went to the ‘cellar’ and grabbed a bottle of non-vintage (but recently released) Fleurette from Castello di Borghese. I knew that it was made with pinot noir and pinot blanc, and that they billed it as "mildly dry." I figured it was worth a shot. Eyes: This wine looks juicy and is a bright magenta-pink that just barely avoids looking like Koolaid Nose: Simple and fruity with strawberry and cranberry aromas Tongue: Medium…


Next Friday and Saturday, the Hamptons Wine & Food Festival will take place in Bridgehampton, NY. It will feature both local and internationally famous chefs  and winemakers who will entertain attendees with live cooking demonstrations, cookbook signings, wine and food tasting seminars, a spectacular Grand Tasting each night and a large showcase of gourmet food sampling provided for your enjoyment. Other special events held during the weekend include an exclusive VIP caviar and cocktail party at a oceanfront estate on Friday night and a festive, multi-bar Mojito BBQ after-party at the main event venue on Saturday night. The festival will also "celebrate the rich agricultural heritage of the Hamptons region by spotlighting a selection of multi-generational farms along with the first winery that began harvesting its grapes over 30 years ago, paving the way for a local wine industry to rise and flourish." Cost for each of the four event…


For September’s vintage of Wine Blogging Wednesday, our host, the multi-talented, food blogging superstar Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini, is asking us to do something we’ve yet to do for WBW — do a food and wine pairing on September 7th. But, Clotilde isn’t asking us to pair wine with simple roast chicken or even seared scallops or goat cheese — oh no.. She’s chosen chocolate cake as our pairing partner, even providing us with a recipe. So get those pairing ideas flowing and get ready to bake or buy your cake. This promises to be a fun, and highly educational, edition of WBW.


I love Wine Blogging Wednesday, the virtual wine tasting event that brings people from around the globe ‘together’ for a day of wine tasting. I love the people I meet and new friends I make each and every month. I love learning about wine regions I’ll most likely never visit. And, I love bringing new wine lovers into the fold and showing them that wine need not be scary. This month, our little tasting group swelled to an all-time high of 43 entries as we filled our glasses with the most local wines possible. Rather than break the roundup into regions or varietals or anything of that sort, I’m going to just list them as I received them. That way, you’ll get to enjoy the posts the way I did…traveling from region to region and getting a little taste of each.


Last night I decided to take a break from compiling over 40 entries for Wine Blogging Wednesday and do a quick blind tasting of two pinot noirs…one from Long Island and the other from the Russian River Valley. Going in, I knew they’d most likely be quite different…most any Long Island winemaker who tries to make California-style wines is doomed to fail. Grapes simply don’t ripen the same here and those who try to make warm-climate wines here usually end up with flabby, lifeless plonk. Yes, I know that not every California wine is made in the "California style" but stick with me here. So, I grabbed these bottles from the ‘cellar,’ popped the corks, removed the foils, slapped paper bags on them, closed my eyes and moved them around…then wrote numbers on them. You need to close your eyes at some point if it’s blind, right? Regardless of process,…


As you can see, it was a slow week at the LENNDEVOURS tasting table last week. A bad cold and being busy with our puppy cut into the tasting. But fear not, I’ll catch up. Roanoke Vineyards 2000 Merlot: A- Waters Crest Winery 2004 Chardonnay: B Laurel Lake Vineyards 2000 Cabernet Franc: B-/B Waters Crest Winery 2004 Riesling: -corked- Pindar 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: B  


…our beagle, Ben, and his current state of un-housebrokeness. This picture, a happy time in the LENNDEVOURS household, was likely followed somehwat closely by a mad dash for the door as we try to teach the little guy that he’s supposed to do more outside than just walk around and follow his highly active hound nose. So that’s why the roundup isn’t finished yet for WBW #12. Of course, three or four of you have emailed me in the last 24 hours with entries…so I don’t feel nearly as guilty as I would have. So here’s to WBW (and a roundup tonight or tomorrow morning) and to our little guy learning the rules.


Long before I moved to Long Island and discovered an unwavering passion for all things wine, I was a beer-drinking fraternity boy, but not exactly like the rest of my brothers. While they were swilling the cheapest, coldest beer they could find in cans, I was the guy who would buy a different kind of beer almost every weekend, including any import or microbrew I could get my hands on in my college town in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. Back then, if I did drink wine, it was likely a cheap, flabby Chardonnay, most often from Australia, with enough sweetness to please my then-unrefined palate. Of course we also drank our share of Mad Dog and Thunderbird, too. We were kids, and we didn’t know any better. I still drink beer regularly – at ball parks, after my weekly softball games or at parties when the wine is awful. More often…