10/01/18 6:00am

Sam McCullough at Lenz Winery in Peconic.(Credit: David Benthal)

Before the wine is uncorked at special tasting dinners and winemakers stand up to explain the complex notes comprising the vintage, tireless hours are spent in the fields to cultivate the pour in the glass. 

The ripeness and health of the grapes delivered to the crush pad each fall are the responsibility of the less heralded — but equally crucial — influencer of the harvest: the vineyard manager.  (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…)

11/21/17 5:59am
Gibson Campbell, Regan Meador and author Lenn Thompson. (Credit: David Benthal)

Gibson Campbell, Caleb Barber, Regan Meador and author Lenn Thompson enjoy a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with plenty of wine. (Credit: David Benthal)

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in November 2015

When considering your Thanksgiving wine choices, here’s the only advice you need: Drink good wine.

Don’t complicate it any more than that.

OK. You probably want to know why it’s that simple, and I’m happy to explain it. I’ve written Thanksgiving-related stories for at least a decade, just like every other wine writer — from local guys like me to national columnists in the big, glossy magazines. Some feel compelled to do so, but often we’re told to write these stories because they’re apparently popular, though I don’t actually understand why. None of my friends or family members stress about what wines they’re going to pour with their turkey dinner. You shouldn’t either.  (more…)

10/29/16 6:00am

If you were to compare the 2016 Long Island vintage to a bottle of wine, it might be the kind you’d serve at a dinner party for friends — but perhaps not the special occasion reserve you were saving for your 25th wedding anniversary.

Harvest reports from across the East End are rolling in, and the prognosis is that 2016 is shaping up to be a challenging but manageable year. It will likely be remembered as a perfectly respectable vintage. (more…)

05/05/16 6:05am
From left: Kelli Urbanik Koch, Anthony Nappa, Regan Meador and Kareem Massoud. (Credit: Northforker file photos)

From left: Kelly Urbanik Koch, Anthony Nappa, Regan Meador and Kareem Massoud. (Credit: Northforker file photos)

Four of Long Island’s most respected young winemakers were highlighted in a recent Wine Enthusiast article about the future of the local industry.

Kelly Urbanik Koch of Macari Vineyards, Anthony Nappa of Raphael and Anthony Nappa Wines, Regan Meador of Southold Farm + Cellar and Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards are featured in the magazine’s June 2016 issue in an article called “Long Island & The Big Dreamer’s Out East.” (more…)

02/10/16 3:34pm
Paumanok Vineyards 2013 barrel fermented charddonay. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Paumanok Vineyards’ 2013 barrel fermented charddonay. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Paumanok Vineyards winemaker Kareem Massoud gets a lot of attention for his aversion to natural cork. All of his white wines are bottled under screwcaps, along with all but the most high-end of his reds (which are available under screwcaps as well as corks). (more…)

10/16/15 5:50am

grapes vineyardWhat do you think of when you hear the term “Long Island wine?”

Does it call to mind supple, sophisticated bottles of cabernet franc and merlot, or a crisp sauvignon blanc that pairs perfectly with oysters harvested from Peconic Bay? Or maybe, for you, Long Island wine is less synonymous with the product itself, but a summer day spent “out east” drinking rosé and laughing with friends?

In the 42 years since Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted the first commercial vineyard in Cutchogue, the industry, like that of any burgeoning wine region, has experienced periods of significant change in both atmosphere and reputation.

And until recently, there has never been a large-scale, unified effort to create a brand.  (more…)