04/25/17 6:01am
Madiran The Wine Bar

Jacqueline Malenda inside Madiran The Wine Bar. (Credit: David Benthal)

It’s rare that a sixth-grade science fair project predicts one’s career, but that was the case for Jacqueline Malenda, proprietor of Madiran the Wine Bar in East Setauket. While her classmates were growing sugar crystals and measuring electrical currents, Malenda made wine with grapes from the supermarket.

With her parents’ help, she made that single bottle of 8 percent alcohol-by-volume wine using household items like a potato masher, cheesecloth, pitchers and a funnel.

“After making a presentation at the science fair, I came home with the blue ribbon. And the faculty drank my bottle!” (more…)

04/25/17 6:00am
A pint of Twin Fork Beer's "Chromatic Ale" at CJ's American Grill in Mattituck. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

A pint of Twin Fork Beer’s “Chromatic Ale” at CJ’s American Grill in Mattituck. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

After two years of planning, Twin Fork Beer Company has applied to construct a new brewery and tasting room on an undeveloped lot on Raynor Avenue in Riverhead.

The company, run by Riverhead natives and twin brothers Pete and Dan Chekijian, is hoping to add to the area’s craft brewing boom, Pete Chekijian said.

“We live out here, we believe in the area and we believe that we can contribute with jobs and the burgeoning tourism industry,”  Chekijian said after the Riverhead Town Planning Board discussed the application Thursday. (more…)

04/24/17 6:03am
The tasting room at Kontokosta Winery . (Credit: Randee Daddona)

The tasting room at Kontokosta Winery. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Choosing the exact coordinates for Kontokosta Winery’s tasting room was no arbitrary decision.

To find them, brothers and business owners Michael and Constantine Kontokosta set out on the Greenport property one day with a yardstick, some duct tape and a ladder in search of the perfect sightline to the bluff at the edge of their 62-acre property.

“We’d put the ladder down. Step up a few rungs and say, ‘Nope. It’s got to come over a few feet,’ ” said Michael Kontokosta, who also has the added surveying advantage of being 6-foot-4.

It took about an hour and quite a bit of bickering, but the brothers finally pinpointed what would be the center of the stately yet modern structure.

“We said, OK, everything starts from this point,” he said.

When asked if he thinks he made the correct decision, he doesn’t even pause: “I know we got it right.” (more…)

04/22/17 6:04am
The craft beer scene in Pittsburgh has greatly improved over the years, so says our Lenn Thompson. (Credit: Northforker file photo)

The craft beer scene in Pittsburgh has greatly improved over the years, so says our Lenn Thompson. (Credit: Northforker file photo)

I was born, raised and educated in western Pennsylvania. It’s changed a lot since I moved away in 2000, but despite the high-tech and medical industries there, it still has a decidedly traditional and blue-collar feel. Hearty food. Plentiful drink. We put french fries on top of salads and on top of our sandwiches back home. Yes, french fries as topping or condiment!

(more…)

04/21/17 6:00am

James Hull, owner of the Shelter Island Craft Brewery, likes to say that when people visits his brewery they are “tasting Shelter Island.”

By that he means every beer on tap is created from ingredients grown on the island, each with a different taste to offer.

The brewery is now entering its third summer and Hull said he’s excited about the progress he’s made, continuing to build his business and do what he loves.

“I’m not really a beer drinker myself,” he admitted. “But I was blessed with a very good palate.” (more…)

04/21/17 5:59am
Long Island Wine Council president and Wolffer Estate Vineyard winemaker Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Long Island Wine Council president and Wolffer Estate Vineyard winemaker Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Dear Friends of the Long Island wine region,

Spring is one of the best times of year on the East End. You’re finally free from the shackles of layers of clothing and are able to enjoy the sun’s warm rays. I’m sure plants feel the same way. The gardens, trees, farm fields and vineyards come alive again. Their tender leaves soak up the sun, displaying a beautiful, fresh light-green color that symbolizes new beginnings, youth, hope, immortality and fertility. (more…)

04/20/17 10:10am
A bottle of Palmer VIneyards Albariño. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Palmer Vineyards Albariño. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

It can be easy to forget that the Long Island wine industry was founded in 1973, not that long ago as far as wine regions go. For comparison, Pliny the Elder recorded the first evidence of vines in Bordeaux in 71 AD.

Long Island has done well for itself in its first 40 plus years, but when you look at the region with a global perspective, it’s still a toddler. Maybe even a baby.

Several grapes have come and gone over the course of Long Island wine country’s history — zinfandel was even tried early on — and a handful of grapes have emerged as those showing great promise here. Those include merlot, chardonnay, cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc. (more…)