02/11/17 6:00am
Lenn Thompson and a group of East End winemakers sampled these 2001 Long Island reds. Thompson said a majority of the bottles held up well. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Lenn Thompson and a group of East End winemakers sampled these 2001 Long Island reds. Thompson said a majority of the bottles held up well. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A lot of winemakers — and admittedly, wine writers — like to talk about how long a wine will age. You may see at the end of a tasting note, either at a winery or in a glossy wine magazine: “Drink now through 2030.” I’ve also heard from local winemakers that customers will occasionally make their buying decisions based in part on how long the pourer says a wine will age in their cellar.

There is a lot of confusion and quite a bit of mythology out there when it comes to these sorts of tasting windows and prophecies.

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02/09/17 6:00am
Long Island Wine

Macari Vineyards 2015 Horse Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

This weekend, Macari Vineyards will celebrate the release of our wine of the week: Macari Vineyards 2015 “Horses” Sparkling Cabernet Franc.

It’s the second release of one of a wine that quickly developed a rabid following last year. The 2013 edition was so popular with wine professionals and consumers alike that it sold out in months.

There is little doubt that it’s a unique, and uniquely delicious wine. Or that it was a bit of a surprise hit. One of the biggest in 2016, I think. (more…)

02/08/17 4:50pm
The Chequit

The Winter Painkiller at Red Maple. (Credit: The Chequit, courtesy)

As a major winter storm is preparing to bear down on the East End, here’s something that came across our desk that cheered us up a bit.

The Winter Painkiller is a hot cocktail now being served up at Red Maple, the cozy new American restaurant and bar at The Chequit on Shelter Island.

The inspiration for The Winter Painkiller comes from David Bowd, CEO of Salt Hotels (owners of The Chequit) and one of his favorite concoctions, the Painkiller. (more…)

02/03/17 6:00am
Lieb Cellars

Bridge Lane Wines 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

We’ve had a mild winter so far , so I can’t really complain too much. It’s been relatively mild and we haven’t had that much snow (can you hear that? It’s me knocking on wood). But when a wine like this week’s wine of the week, Lieb Cellars 2016 “Bridge Lane” Sauvignon Blanc makes its way to my tasting table, I can’t help but long for warmer weather — summer ideally, but spring works too. (more…)

01/31/17 6:03am
Inside the tasting room at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. (Credit: David Benthal)

Inside the tasting room at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. (Credit: David Benthal)

Suellen Tunney’s instincts about her destiny were confirmed by a glass of rosé.

In 2007, the New Jersey native, then working as a restaurant manager, took a trip to Napa Valley that prompted an aha! moment.

During a stop on a wine tour, Tunney, now tasting room director at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, asked someone in the industry, “How in the world did you get this amazing job?” (more…)

01/30/17 6:01am
Raphael La Fontana. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Raphael La Fontana. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

“My goal for this wine is more savory and tannin driven, but still light on its feet. The influence is from my love of Italian wines, in this case particularly Barolo.”

That’s how Raphael winemaker, Anthony Nappa, describes his approach to Raphael 2013 La Fontana, a blend of estate-grown merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot that was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. You won’t hear many local winemakers talk about Italy as their inspiration, but Nappa often does. It’s refreshing in a region still dominated with Bordeaux references and descriptions of why the wines aren’t like those in California. (more…)