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…

Coming in 2007: LENNDEVOURS 2006 Cabernet Franc


For quite a while now, I’ve toyed with the idea of becoming a home winemaker. Time isn’t exactly something I have a surplus of these days, but making and bottling my own vino is something I think would be such an amazing process. But, instead of going out and buying so-so home winemaking equipment and blindly working my way through the fermentation process with purchased juice or concentrate I’m taking it one step further. LENNDEVOURS contributor Richard Olsen-Harbich, who also happens to be the managing director and winemaker for Raphael, one of Long Island’s premier merlot makers, has offered to…

Human Terroir and Parenting Wines


By Contributing Columnist Richard Olsen-Harbich Voluptuous, muscular, fat, brooding, sultry…for hundreds of years, descriptors of the human condition have been used to define the flavors and experience of wine. With the advent of political correctness, some of these descriptors (like “feminine” and “masculine”) have lost favor, giving way to more literal references. What has not changed however is the way that wine can be compared to people. When I speak about wine I often use sociological analogies. That’s nothing new — vineyards and wine have been used to tell stories about people since biblical times. It’s often a good way…

The Gilded Fork’s Mother’s Day Menu — With Long Island Wine


Today on The Gilded Fork, Chef Mark Tafoya presents a delicious and delectable dinner menu for Mother’s Day and I’ve contributed wine pairings for each course. Yes, I focused on Long Island wines, but I gave enough direction to help even those unaware of the tasty local wines I love so much. Of course, if you’re reading this post…you’re well aware. Check it out and spoil mom this year.

The Smoker Cometh. Pork Wanted.


In the midst of our more-work-than-I-ever-expected bathroom renovation project, my parents and lovely wife presented me with my birthday present (a bit early, but I’m not complaining) — a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. I can barely contain my excitement as I think about all of the delicious pork I’ll be cooking on it this summer…ribs…shoulder….belly for bacon. I look forward to experimenting with this bad boy…and you’d better believe that I’ll chronicle my experiments here on LENNDEVOURS.

Castello di Borghese For Sale


As of last weekend, my favorite Long Island pinot noir producer, Castello di Borghese  in Cutchogue, went on the market for $9.2 million. The entire estate is included — 85 acres (25 planted with vines), winery, tasting room, warehouse and beautiful family farmhouse. Before current owners Marco and Ann Marie Borghese bought the property in 1999, the property was known as Hargrave Vineyard — Long Island’s first commercial vineyard, founded in 1973 by Alex and Louisa Hargrave. The Borgheses bought the vineyard and winery for $4 million. When I asked Ann Marie what made her and her husband, an Italian…

Long Island Sauvignon Blanc: A Quartet of Quenchers


You always hear that Long Island and its wines are reminiscent of Bordeaux and its wines. But when winemakers and winery owners say that, most of the time, they do so to highlight their red wines — those made from merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. What about white wines? Chardonnay, the white grape of Burgundy rules the Long Island white wine scene, not Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the white grapes of Bordeaux. But, while far from ubiquitous, a small number of local producers are doing what I consider great things with white Bordeaux varieties — particularly Sauvignon Blanc. Two…

Wine Blogging…Friday?


Oh boy. How sad is it that the founder of WBW missed his own event? Blame it on a much-more-damaged-than-we-thought subfloor in our bathroom (see pictures). It took us almost a whole day just to get the subfloor stablized enough to start the project. So, I’m a couple days behind on this renovation and WBW passed me by. But, we did drink the wine for the event, a bottle of Atwater Estate Vineyards 2003 Gewurtztraminer ($18). It was consumed over a quick dinner in the middle of work…so I don’t have full notes this time around. But, it’s an easy-drinking…

I Do Some of My Best Work in the Kitchen…


…but this week, I’ll be tackling our bathroom. I apologize in advance if I don’t post much to LENNDEVOURS this week, but I’m sure you’ll understand. We’re ripping out the tile/toilet/sink in our bathroom and replacing it all, tiling the shower walls and putting up wainscoting in there too. Did I mention that I am much more comfortable with a corkscrew or chef’s knife than I am anything you can find at the hardware store? Luckily, Len Sr. (along with Mamma LENNDEVOURS) will be visiting this week to help. You see, my dad is quite handy…but those talents didn’t make…