Lenz is a Lenn’s Favorite


(This column appeared in the 7/1/05 issue of Dan’s Papers) Over the Barrel…With Lenn Thompson Contrary to popular belief (okay, maybe just in my own wine-induced fantasies), I don’t own Lenz Winery in Peconic. That would be Lenn’s Winery anyway, even if the “z” would be a much more MTV-esque spelling. Lenz Winery is one of the North Fork’s most respected producers and employs one of the regions most gifted and charismatic winemakers – Eric Fry. If you’re at the Lenz tasting room and see a guy in overalls with a long ponytail and beard, that’s Eric. Say hello and,…

Music Among The Vines


Power. Grace. Complexity. These words, often used to describe our favorite wines, are also used to depict the nuances and wonders of great music. Standing alone, wine and music are two of life’s great pleasures, but blend the two and you have an event and experience with few peers. Last Sunday night Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack hosted just such an event: “Salon at Wölffer Estate – A Romantic Liederabend to Benefit the Music Festival of the Hamptons.” Those in attendance enjoyed glasses of Wölffer’s award-winning wines as Katya Sonina, an extremely talented pianist and student at Julliard, played selections…

The Greenport Garagiste


(This story appeared originally in the 07/01/05 issue of Dan’s Papers) Ivy League Professor-Cum-Winemaker Harold Watts’ Approach: Small Production, Big Wines    Garagiste, translated from the French, means “garage owner,” not something usually associated with wine country. But it’s a term often used in regions like Bordeaux to describe a winemaker who produces small lots of high-quality, handcrafted wines – sometimes right in his or her own garage. Harold Watts, Ternhaven Cellars’ owner and winemaker, also started out at home, but instead of making wine in his garage, Watts made wine in his Manhattan apartment. Today, with an unintentional though…

Bedell Cellars 2004 “Taste” Artist Series White


Back in April, Bedell Cellars released the first wine in its Artist Series. To get the Eric Fischl-designed label on that 2001 Reserve Merlot, you had to dish out $200 bucks for a magnum (750ml bottles are $30, but don’t have the special label.) Probably out of most of our price ranges…even if I think it’s the best wine I’ve tasted from the winery. This weekend, they will release the second wine in the Artist Series, a blend of 50% Viognier, 35% Chardonnay and 15% Gewürztraminer, dubbed simply Taste. The label was designed by reknowned artist Barbara Kruger, a reknowned…

Reality Web for Wine Lovers — The Real Wine World


Feeling a little under the weather? Dr. Vino has the cure for what ails you… The Real Wine World, a new project by the good doctor will track one year of making and selling wine in three different parts of the world — via a blog/website. I know that I look forward to keeping tabs on the three members of this reality show. What’s next? Survivor Napa? Who Wants to Marry a Vineyard Manager? The Apprentice Winemaker? The Real Wine World…check it out…and keep going back.

Tasting Table — Ending 06.26.05


Last week, I tasted, from left to right: Ternhaven Cellars 2000 Claret D’Alvah (Bordeaux Blend): B Ternhaven Cellars 2000 Merlot: B- Ternhaven Cellars 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon: C+ Bedell Cellars Artist 2004 Series White "TASTE" (Pre-Release Sample): B+ Lenz Winery 2003 Gewurtztraminer: A Lenz Winery 2003 White Label Chardonnay: B Lenz Winery 2001 Silver Label Chardonnay: B+ Lenz Winery 2001 Gold Label Chardonnay: B-

A Letter to My Readers and My Love


Ten days from this evening, on July 8th, Nena and I will be standing together on a covered bridge in Schoharie, NY, surrounded by the people that mean the most to us as we are joined in marriage. It is certainly cliche, but when I met Nena almost four years ago, I knew instantly that my search was over. I knew that I had found my best friend for life and the woman I would grow old with. What started back then as a first date at a sushi restaurant has grown into the relationship we’ve both looked for all…

The New York Times Tour of Long Island Wineries


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…

Want Austrian Wine? Check out WineMonger


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…