11/28/18 5:55am

Raphael 2016 Cabernet Franc is our Wine of the Week. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with their friends, family and of course food! I took advantage of the long weekend to catch up on some wine tasting, including this week’s Wine of Week: Raphael 2016 Cabernet Franc ($22).  (more…)

08/22/18 6:10am

Chef Stephan Bogardus in the kitchen at North Fork Table & Inn.(Credit: David Benthal)

The end of summer vacation means it’s time to start thinking about the next vacation. And for those who fancy themselves foodies or oenophiles (or both), planning a great escape to a land known for palatable plates and fine wine can be a perfect way to stave off end-of-summer blues. Craving an edible adventure, I asked North Fork chefs, restaurateurs and winemakers for recommendations. Their answers came from far, wide and down under. Consider these some of the world’s most delicious destinations. (more…)

04/10/18 6:10am

Pick up a bottle of Sparkling Point Brut on your next visit to Stirling Sake in Greenport. (Credit: David Benthal photos)

Remember the days when dinner was a protein-starch-veggie affair? There’s no shame if you can’t. Food may still sustain us, but these days it’s also meant to entertain us.

Blame the millennials, Instagram and wine and food subscription services, but experiential dining is now at the head of the table.

The Long Island restaurant scene has become more creative — putting a greater emphasis on shareable conversation-starting tapas, local ingredients and plating dishes so artistically they look almost too good to eat.  (more…)

06/28/17 6:01am
Bordo Antico

Anthony Nappa with a bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo Antico, the first certified organic wine grown and produced on Long Island. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Editor’s note:  An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the classification of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo Antico as Long Island’s first certified organic wine. It is certified “wine made with organic grapes,” according to NOFA-NY. 

Organic local food enthusiasts can now incorporate wine into that lifestyle.

Anthony Nappa Wines released Bordo Antico last month, the first certified wine made with organic grapes grown and produced on Long Island. It’s also the first certified organic vitis vinifera — meaning common wine grape variety — bottle grown and produced in all of New York State.

“It’s a pretty cool barrier to break,” said Nappa, who in addition to his own label owns The Winemaker Studio and is winemaker at Raphael Winery, both in Peconic. “For me, if you tell me something is impossible, I’m like ‘Let’s do this.’”

Although this is the region’s first certified bottle made with organic grapes, one farmer, Rex Farr of Calverton, has been harvesting organic grapes since 2011. Mr. Farr has sold his grapes to local wineries, although none have received certification to produce organic wine. (more…)

06/16/17 6:01am

Raphael 2015 Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

This time of year it’s always great to have an armory of barbecue red red wines at one’s disposal — bottles that are fruity, not too complicated and most definitely affordable. Opinions vary on the “best” wines for food hot off the grill, but drinking what tastes good to you matters more than anything any so-called expert says. Even this one.

Our “Wine of the Week,” Raphael 2015 Cabernet Franc ($23), is a good option if you like local cabernet franc in a silky smooth style.

Winemaker Anthony Nappa has spent much of his career here on the Island dedicated to making wines that remain true to the region’s terroir and letting the vintage’s conditions shine through. (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…)