wolffer_sunset

In yesterday’s New York Times, Howard Goldberg wrote a piece listing some of the tasting rooms (and wines) that visitors should check out when touring our wine trails. Looking at his list, it’s hard to argue with it. He certainly includes all the "heavy hitters" in the region, including Bedell Cellars, Wolffer Estate, Paumanok Vineyards and Lenz Winery (who I’m writing about as I type this.) He also lists the places I consider "touristy" spots…Pindar, Martha Clara Vineyards and Palmer Vineyards. Touristy, in my definition, just means that the overall wine quality isn’t the best, but the tasting rooms and…

winemonger_1

Two wine blogs that I read regularly, BasicJuice and The Silk Roaf of Wine have mentioned a new online wine retailer — Winemonger.com — that focuses on Austrian wines. That’s Austrian…not Australian. This is great news for anyone who has ever wanted to taste some Gruner Veltliner but had a hard time finding it in local wine shops — which was me until recently. And, the have a decent selection of Austrian reds as well…including some blaufrankisch. Check it out…

sherwoodhouse

                    As the resident wine aficionado (or geek) at Dan’s Papers, I’m “forced” to taste several wines each and every week. In just under a year with the paper, I’ve already filled up one whole notebook with notes and comments and have started another. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it, right?                    Through hundreds (thousands?) of sips, I’ve learned that when I taste a winery’s new releases, I can almost always find at least one I enjoy. Just about every winery on Long Island has…

ternhaven_logo

In 1994, Harold Watts, a former economics professor at Columbia University in New York, bought five acres of land on Alvah’s Lane, just off Route 48 in Cutchogue, NY. Not long after, he planted his vines — merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. And, in 1997 Ternhaven Cellars was born when he opened his tasting room and production facility in Greenport, NY…in a rennovated gas station. I guess you could say he’s a New York garagiste. Last night, I tasted three of his current releases, all from the 2000 vintage (he ages his wines more than many local winemakers do…

drinking_wine

I just got an email from my for-print editor…and she needs five (yes, five) stories for Monday. Turns out that we have a wine guide insert for the 4th of July weekend (she never told me before now)…and as the wine writer, I’ve got to fill the pages. So, between now and Sunday, I’ll be drinking blind tasting at least a dozen different wines, making a few phone calls, sending off a couple dozen emails and typing away like a mad man. Oh, and cooking for eight of our closes friends Saturday night. Oh…and going to an event at one…

snapple

Why on earth would Snapple attempt to break the world record for largest ice pop in June…in Manhattan? If you’re in the mood for a dinner party-sized frozen treat, try this recipe for Pink Grapefruit, Strawberry and Champagne Granita. And even though it’s not Champagne, if you’re in New York, you should make it with Lieb Family Cellars 2001 Blanc de Blanc…which is a sparkling pinot blanc.

tastingtable_062005

Taking a page out of Jaime Goode’s book, I’ve decided to start taking pictures every Sunday of the wines Nena and I have tasted the week prior. It was a relatively small lot this week…I expect it will grow the next couple of weeks as I pre-write several columns for July (when I’ll be out for our wedding and honeymoon). This week, we have (from left to right): Laurel Lake Vineyards 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon: B- Laurel Lake Vineyards 2000 Cabernet Franc: C+ Laurel Lake Vineyards 2003 Pinot Noir: B/B+ Sherwood House Vineyards 2001 Merlot: A- Sherwood House Vineyards 2001 Chardonnay:…

garden2

As you can see in the picture above, our first garden is growing quite nicely. The zucchini and tomatoes seem to be doing particuarly well, with the peppers and cukes doing okay in their own right. Our basil plant is getting a bit unruly (need to start using it more!) but some of the herb seeds we planted are starting to poke their heads through the dirt too. Now that it’s growing (and going) so well, I really wish we had planted more. It’s still not bad for a first garden though. I’m definitely hooked. I’m particuarly proud of how…

laurellake_00cf

(This column appeared in the 6/17/05 issue of Dan’s Papers) Ever since the release of the movie Sideways, pinot noir has been the “it” wine. Even here on Long Island, I’ve been told stories about customers walking into a tasting room and buying bottle after bottle of pinot noir – without even tasting it or knowing how much it costs. As difficult as Pinot Noir can be to grow and make (well), that sort of impulse buying seems a little silly to me. But of the handful of Long Island wineries that make it, most do it well, including Castello di…

sherwoodhouse_01chard

Sherwood House Vineyards is owned and operated by Dr. Charles Smithen, a New York City-based Cardiologist and his wife Barbara, a vintage jewelry dealer. Charles’ love of and passion for wine really started in the 1960s when he was working in England…and took regular trip to French wine country. After moving to the North Fork of Long Island and planting vines, they started by selling their grapes to local wineries for three years before deciding to make their own wines — starting with a 1999 chardonnay. They now make chardonnay and merlot, and their wines are available for tasting and…