01/18/17 11:38am
Palmer Vineyards 2015 Pinot Blanc.

Palmer Vineyards 2015 Pinot Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

It’s easy to get in a wine-drinking rut.

Even for someone like me — someone who is willing to taste most any wine from any region in the world — it’s a natural tendency to stick with what you like. Take that tendency, and the fact that there are few local tasting rooms where I feel comfortable bringing my family with me, and you end up with a narrow band of local wines finding their way into my glass. (more…)

01/14/17 6:00am
Snowy Vines

A snowy January day at Pellegrini Vineyards in Cutchogue. In this column our wine writer ponders what 2017 will bring in Long Island Wine Country.

New year. Time to reflect. Time to look forward. A fresh start. All that stuff. It’s that time of year — again.

A lot happened in wine country during 2016, but that’s true every year and it’s not worth rehashing the year that was. I’m a look-forward guy. I like to think about and even try to predict what might come next.

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01/04/17 6:00am
A bottle of Roanoke Vineyards 2013 The Hill. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Roanoke Vineyards 2013 The Hill. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

When someone like Rich Pisacano, co-owner of Roanoke Vineyards who is also Wolffer Estate’s long-time vineyard manager, tells you that a newly released wine is “one of the most complex, interesting, beautiful wines that I’ve ever been a part of” that means something.

This is someone who has been planting and tending vines on the East End since high school. And our wine of the week, Roanoke Vineyards 2013 “The Hill,” is one to seek out. (more…)

12/24/16 6:01am
Kelly Koch

Our Lenn Thompson highlights Macari winemaker Kelly Koch as a standout winemaker in 2016. (Credit: David Benthal for northforker)

Before I dive into my final column of 2016, I just want to take a quick moment to thank you for caring enough about what I have to say to read it every other week in these pages. I’ve been writing about wine for more than a decade now, but I still feel like I know very little about it. That’s why wine is such a fascinating and wonderful hobby (or obsession in my case) — there is always something more to learn and know. Over the past many months, I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of you in person, either at the wine tasting salons I’ve hosted at Roanoke Vineyards or just out and about on the tasting trail. Thank you for saying hello. Keep doing it. (more…)

12/23/16 11:22am
Sand City Brewing Co.

Sand City Brewing Co. in Northport. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Most any story written about the current state of Long Island beer today mentions the proliferation of small new breweries on Long Island. There really are a lot of breweries on Long Island now. Some are on the bigger side — think Great South Bay Brewery or Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. But most of the new kids on the block are far smaller.

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12/15/16 10:54am
Long Island Wine

Lieb Cellars 2015 Reserve Chardonnay. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

In releasing our “Wine of the Week,” Lieb Cellars 2015 Reserve Chardonnay ($24), the winery has brought back an old customer favorite — but with a bit of a fresh perspective.

This is the first reserve chardonnay Lieb has produced since the new ownership and management teams took over in 2013, but it’s not because they don’t like chardonnay.

“We had an overstock of Reserve Chardonnay and wanted to catch up before we produced more,” winemaker Russell Hearn told me. (more…)