Roanoakemerlot_1So here we are, the one-year anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday, the international blogging juggernaut that encourages bloggers (and some non-bloggers) worldwide to drink/review/post about a wine that falls into a different category each month.

This month, as we gather from all over the globe, I’ve asked each of you to look right down the street…to the vineyard/winery nearest your home. Drink Local — Real Local…is the theme, which ties in beautifully with the 2005 Eat Local Challenge this month. It was completely coincidental, but I think it will bring even more WBWers to the fold.

Not long after I announced the theme, I was suddenly filled with dread. While I had a certain winery in mind when I came up with the theme (any excuse to drink their wines is a good one), I remembered a much lesser winery outside Long Island’s main wine country. Was it closer?

A hurried check on both Google Maps and MapQuest and I was relieved…Roanoke Vineyards was still the closest by about four miles.

I’ve written about owners Rich and Soraya Pisacano, as well as their wine, before ( 1 | 2 | 3 ) and they finally got their due in the New York Times recently
as well. I bought this bottle of Merlot when I was working on that
first story about them…and it’s been sitting, calling out to from our
wine fridge ever since.

This was to be it’s big coming out party…paired with grilled,
black-pepper studded steak and a delicious tomato/mozzarella salad made
with tomatoes from our own garden. Then…starting over the weekend, I
knew I was in trouble when I felt the first twinge of a cold.

By Tuesday, I was in full-blown head cold mode…unable to breath or
taste anything, let alone the elegance and nuance that I knew this wine
to have. But, the missus and I plowed on…making that delectable
dinner and  drinking the wine — taste buds be damned!

Nothing. That’s what I tasted. And that’s why I only had a small
glass…and re-corked in hopes that tonight I’ll again be able to
taste. But, in the interest of WBW, here are my previous notes:

"100% merlot. Toasty and spicy. Lots of lush
berry for a wine that spent 20 months in oak. Lingering, complex and layered
finish with a little mint at the end. As good a merlot as I’ve tasted from L.I. making it a great value, even at this price ($38)."

I hope that the rest of you WBWers dodged the tastebud deafening
affects of the common cold…and I look forward to reading all of your
posts. The entries are already rolling in, so keep an eye out later
this week (or maybe over the weekend) for the Wine Blogging Wednesday #12 Roundup.