May 12: Long Island Beer Festival (Melville, NY)


Long before becoming a huge, raging wine geek, I was well on my way to beer geekdom. While my fraternity brothers were knocking back cases of cheap beer (Keystone Ice and Milwaukee’s Best were favorites) I would scrape together every last nickel I could and buy whatever obscure microbrew I could find at the local beer distributor. I still enjoy good, artisanal-style beers on occasion, especially those from local producers like Southampton Publick House and Oomegang Brewery and that’s why I’m interested in the Long Island Beer Festival, which is being held on May 12 from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.…

May 3: Banfi Vinters Dinner at The Gatsby (Islip, NY)


On Wednesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. The Gatsby in Islip, New York will serve a four-course dinner paired with the Tuscan wines of Banfi Vinters. The cost is $75 per person. Reservations can be made by calling The Gatsby directly at 631-581-1900. I’ve never been to The Gatsby. In fact, the last time I was in the building, it was a Chinese buffet named Tang’s at least five years ago when my office was right around the corner. In recent years, however, I’ve heard many great things about the restaurant, and I’ll be there for this event. The menu…

BasicJuice Bounding Through Austrian Wine Country


As focused as I am on New York wines here on LENNDEVOURS, my buddy Beau over at BasicJuice is focused on not being focused. To call the man’s wine tastes eclectic would be akin to saying I kinda like my local juice. One thing he and I have in common, however (along with the desire to bring wine to more people and de-snobberize the stuff) is that we like to bring our readers cool stuff. Here I was, thinking that my 50 in 50 project was pretty cool…and then Beau had to go and plan a trip to Austria to…

Reminder: Wine Blogging Wednesday #20 is Next Week


Just a friendly reminder that Wine Blogging Wednesday #20 is a week from today on April 12. Hosted by Wine for Newbies, this edition of everyone’s favorite wine blogging event will force us away from the usual white wines — you know, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and riesling. I’ll be drinking some NY wines (stop the presses) probably gewurtztraminer but I haven’t quite decided just yet. Join in the fun.

Wolffer Estate’s Roman Roth on


Long Island wine has finally made its way onto the wine podcasting scene with Tim Elliott’s Winecast 56, which features an interview with Roman Roth, winemaker and general manager at Wolffer Estate in the Hamptons. Roman is one of my favorite people in the local wine industry, with an interesting, diverse background and a firm dedication Long Island’s unique terroir. Tim tasted three chardonnays and three merlots from Wolffer as well. Listen for yourself.

Slightly Soggy Trip to the Shake Shack


So yesterday I took a rare work-week trip into NYC for the Long Island Merlot Alliance’s pre-release party for 2004 Merliance, a 100% merlot wine made from the best lots from the participating wineries. More on the wine and the event later this week. Today we’re focusing on my lunch. I’ve read about Shake Shack a few times, mostly on blogs. But, when Frank Bruni wrote about it reopening for the spring a while back, I decided it was time to make my own visit. Of course, what started off as a beautiful day on eastern Long Island gradually got…

OysterFest at Lieb Cellars: Saturdays in April


Lieb Family Cellars is toasting spring’s arrival with OysterFest throughout April. Every Saturday in April, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., you’ll be able to sample Lieb’s  wines and delicious oyster dishes prepared by local chefs. They are offering a liberal tasting of three vintages of Lieb’s popular Pinot Blanc, including its Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, and will also serve its newly-released Cabernet Franc, a seafood-friendly red wine. The wines will be paired with tasty oysters and seafood dishes from local establishments, including Della Femina Restaurant in East Hampton, Waterside Caterers of Northport, Brewster’s Seafood Market in Hampton Bays…

An Early Spring Saturday in Wine Country


Every week, I get emails asking for advice on which wineries to visit or wondering which local wines I’m really enjoying that week. Truthfully, I always find these emails hard to answer because wine tastes are so individual and personal. My tastes may, and probably are, different from yours. Yes, I love the floral, spicy-citrus zing of Corey Creek’s 2004 Gewürztraminer ($25) but that doesn’t mean you will. (For instance, Nena isn’t a big fan.) So, every time my wife and I visit wine country, we try to take a different path so that we taste different wines and meet…

Announcement: 50 States. 50 Wineries. 50 Weeks.


Here on LENNDEVOURS, I bring you, my devoted (I hope) readers, the best of what New York’s wine regions have to offer, but as a weekly contributor to Wine Sediments, I’ve expanded that scope inThe Vines Less Tasted, a weekly column that focuses on lesser-known regions and lesser-known grapes. With wine being produced in every state of the union, there are so many wines out there beyond those made in California, Oregon, Washington and, yes, New York. I don’t even need to leave our shores for material. So, it is with great pleasure and excitement that I annouce that I…

Restaurant Review: Mirabelle (St. James, NY)


Saturday night, Nena and I enjoyed what I would term, without reservation, the best meal we’ve ever eaten at a restaurant. A bold statement to be sure, but Mirabelle in St. James is deserving of this and any other praise it receives. Wanting to spoil ourselves a bit, Nena and I decided to enjoy their eight-course tasting menu, which is a steal at $80. The captain and chef were both very accomodating when I explained my shellfish allergy and seafood aversion and they happily substituted two fo the eight dishes for me. For her first course, Nena had a trio…