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Random House Webster’s Dictionary defines balance as “a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.” To wine lovers, the concept of balance isn’t all that much different. A wine is said to be balanced when all of its individual components — alcohol level, acidity, tannins (in red wine), flavors and sugars (if present) — are in perfect harmony and none overwhelms the others. At Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery in Cutchogue, winemaker Stan Schumacher is crafting just these types of wines — clean wines with class and poise. I recently sipped some of his latest…

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Last Sunday, something important and exciting happened in the lives of the LENNDEVOURS family. I wish I could tell you that we bought a house (sometime in the next year I hope) or that some generous Long Island bazillionaire decided to thank me for bringing Long Island wines into his life by buying me a small, five-acre vineyard filled with mature cabernet franc vines. But no, the exciting news is slightly less exciting than that — we finally took a group of friends out to wine country to visit three of our favorite wineries on Route 48, the northern-most wine…

Via the good doctor over at Dr. Vino: That’s right folks…they’re growing grapes in Queens. I’m going to have to investigate this project more, but if Steve Mudd of Mudd Vineyards on the East End is involved, that’s instant credibility — in my eyes anyway. He’s a highly respected grape grower in Long Island wine country. This is a story that bears watching.

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It seems like I’ve been drinking a lot of rose lately. I guess it’s a combination of swelteringly hot temperatures and the fact that several local wineries are releasing new ones. Regardless, I don’t mind much. I like a quality rose every now and then. Macari Vineyards makes some of our  favorite summer sippers, including  their Early Wine and previous vintages of  rose. This year’s vintage is made with 55% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 15% cabernet franc, but previous vintages have included a little malbec and petit verdot as well. Eyes: This wine is a mouthwatering, pretty salmon color Nose:…

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Another light tasting table from last week. But that’s about to change this week…lots to catch up on. Freeman Vineyard & Winery 2003 Pinot Noir: B+ Castello di Borghese 2002 Reserve Pinot Noir: A- Castello di Borghese Fleurette (NV): B-/C+ Castello di Borghese 2004 Founder’s Field Sauvignon Blanc Reserve: B Castello di Borghese  2003 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay: B-  

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Pindar Vineyards, one of New York’s most popular and widely-distributed wineries (they have great marketing), is known in some circles for its cheap, sweetish blended wines and its always-packed tasting room. But don’t be fooled. If you drink through the varied bottlings, there are a few gems to be tasted. Personally, I’ve long been a fan of the 1999 Rare Cuvee Champagne ($28), despite the use of the term Champagne outside that region of France, and the consistently good Johannisberg Reisling ($15). Before recently, I thought these to be the only real gems buried in the impressively long tasting menu.…

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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…

hamptonsfestival

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…