09/28/17 5:59am

A bottle of Bedell Cellars merlot. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Narrowing down the nearly two cases of merlot tasted for this story into a Long Island merlot “six-pack” was incredibly difficult. Nearly every wine was worthy of inclusion.

Ultimately, these choices cover a wide range of what is available, mixing some more-affordable options in with some of the region’s best. (more…)

09/28/17 5:57am
merlot

Vineyard workers at Lenz Winery harvest merlot grapes in 2016. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Look out the window the next time you find yourself on the East End. If you see grapevines, there’s a fair chance they are merlot, which makes up nearly 30 percent of the total grape plantings on Long Island. Roughly 700 acres of local vineyards are dedicated to merlot, making it the most-planted red grape variety. Its dominance is on full display in local tasting rooms, too, where you’ll find merlot bottled by itself, as well as in many red blends, rosés — and a few wineries even use it in sparkling wine production.

The importance of merlot to the local wine industry simply cannot be overstated. It is a workhorse for the region while also leading to some of its most lauded and adored wines. (more…)

09/27/17 6:00am

You choose your winery visits for the wines, right? Of course, you do. But let’s not forget the aesthetic allure of the vineyards/tasting rooms. Our camera rolls express our visual identities these days, and if you’re the type who never misses a chance to create social media envy among your followers, here’s a cheat sheet to the vineyards and tasting rooms with the biggest Instagram followings. Come for the signature wines, but stay for the signature visuals. Then make sure to check in, snap, filter, hashtag and gram away and share those visual moments in pixels. (more…)

09/26/17 6:03am

At Bedell Cellars, every cellar employee has a hand — or more specifically, a flower petal, leaf or sea shell — in making the wines each harvest.

That’s because winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich has started a tradition that increases the types of natural yeast used in the fermentation process by incorporating North Fork plants and minerals foraged by the staff. (more…)

09/25/17 6:00am

Macari Lifeforce Sauvignon Blanc paired with Catapano Dairy Farm Peconic Bel. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Ah, the age-old love story that is cheese and wine. It’s a common pairing at events, dinner parties and, if we’re being honest, on a chill Friday night at home. What may be less common, however, is knowing which wines complement which cheeses, and why. Seven Long Island cheese aficionados provide the answer, offering up some of their favorite vintages from our vast and diverse region to pair with delicious cheeses. (more…)

09/23/17 9:54am

The 2017 East End Seaport Museum’s Land & Sea Gala held at the Greenport Yacht & Shipbuilding Company.

The 28th annual East End Maritime Festival in Greenport kicked off Friday night with the Land and Sea Gala.

More than 20 local restaurants served up tastes accompanied by liquid refreshment from local wineries and beverage producers. The Maritime Festival continues Saturday and Sunday. See more photos below and check back for additional coverage from Saturday’s events. (more…)

09/23/17 6:00am
Bordo Antico

A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo Antico. The wine, which is made with organic grapes, sells for $22.(Credit: Vera Chinese)

While some observers are busy complaining about the prices of Long Island red wines, which admittedly can get a little crazy at the high end, something interesting has happened.

Several wineries have started to put out delicious, distinctive wines that can be bought for less than $25 at wineries (and even less at local shops). (more…)