06/03/17 6:02am

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

I spent a few days in Charlottesville, Va., last week taking part in the Virginia Wine Summit, a celebration of the Commonwealth’s wine and wine culture. I was invited to speak on a panel titled “Defining Local on the East Coast,” a vague and somewhat nebulous topic that I’m not sure we really tackled during the session, but I digress.

The summit itself was only one day but, as a speaker I was able to join my fellow panelists — mostly sommeliers and restaurateurs from up and down the Eastern Seaboard — on a tour of some local vineyards and for some walk-around tastings of other Virginia producers.

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06/02/17 5:56am

Enjoy a blind tasting at Waters Crest Winery on Sunday. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Do you think you’d choose a fine French wine over a high quality glass of Long Island merlot?

Find out this weekend as Waters Crest Winery in Cutchogue hosts its “Best of the Crest” event on Sunday, June 4. (more…)

06/01/17 11:30am

A bottle of Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

It’s almost summer (I’m choosing to ignore the weather we’ve been enduring lately) and with the change of seasons comes a change in drinking habits — as well as venues — for many.

When you’re looking for wine to enjoy by the pool, on the boat or at the beach, you’re not looking for extreme complexity and nuance. You want fresh. You want clean. You want thirst-quenching. And it’s a bonus if the wine is sealed under a screwcap, because you know you’re not going to remember to pack the corkscrew. (more…)

05/25/17 5:14am

Channing Daughters Winery 2016 Tocai Fruilano Pétillant Naturel. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

As Channing Daughters Winery’s winemaker Christopher Tracy is prone to doing, he has embraced the fresh, fun deliciousness of pétillant naturel wines with gusto in recent years.

The man who is making a half dozen different vermouths and recently released seven different roses from the 2016 vintage has taken a ‘pet nat’ program that started with just three wines — white, rose and red — and blown it out to more than a handful of wines of various colors made from a wide array of grapes.

This week’s “Wine of the Week,” Channing Daughters Winery 2016 Tocai Friulano Petillant Naturel ($28), is one of the newer additions and one of the most distinctive. (more…)

05/23/17 9:20am

The crowd at the 2016 Harvest East End. (Credit: Madison Fender)

Hold out your glass for another pour of rosé as the Long Island Wine Council’s annual Harvest East End event returns this summer.

This year’s gala, dubbed “Back to Our Roots,” is set for Saturday, Aug. 5.

Harvest East End, which usually features tastes from upwards of 30 Long Island wine producers, is the Wine Council’s biggest event of the year and traditionally honors longtime contributors to the Long Island wine industry.

While that will continue in 2017, guests can expect something slightly different this year. (more…)

05/22/17 6:01am

A bottle of Paumanok Vineyards 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

While many people associate the lively acidity and tropical fruit flavor of sauvignon blanc with wine from New Zealand, Long Island oenophiles know that our region produces a tasty expression of the grape.

Wall Street Journal wine columnist Lettie Teague acknowledged Long Island sauvignon blanc as a variety worth seeking out in a May 20 article entitled “Sauvignon Blanc for the Savvy: A Global Guide to Top Ten Bottles.” (It’s behind a paywall.) (more…)

05/20/17 6:11am

A bottle of McCall Wines 2016 Cuvée Nicola. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

McCall Wines earned its reputation among local wine lovers on the back of its pinot noir program, which stands as the best on the East End. No other pinot noir comes close.

A peek behind the pinot portion of the portfolio reveals quality across the board. McCall’s cabernet franc and merlot are also often outstanding as well. The rosé, too. But the hidden gem of the lineup is on the white wine side — sauvignon blanc.

Starting in 2015, the McCall sauvignon blanc has been made entirely with estate-grown fruit (rather than purchased grapes from elsewhere on the North Fork). Grown in McCall’s North Ridge Vineyard — a vineyard formerly known as Andy’s Field when it was part of the Gristina property — our Wine of the Week is McCall Wines 2016 “Cuvée Nicola” Sauvignon Blanc ($24). (more…)