11/04/17 6:17am

Bedell Cellars at sunset.
(Credit: W Studios New York)

“What are Long Island’s best wineries?”

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot lately. As much as the Vineyard 48 saga has tainted the image of Long Island wine, both locally and nationally — and I maintain that it did — it has a lot of people talking about Long Island wine. I’m getting a lot of emails and seeing a lot of chatter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too. Maybe that’s the silver lining of the whole Vineyard 48 debacle.  (more…)

11/03/17 9:11am

A bottle of Paumanok Vineyards Assemblage. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

You’ll find a lot of “Bordeaux blends” on the North Fork. Most wineries produce them and if they don’t wear Meritage on the label, they often have other proprietary names. Like with any other category of wine from any region there are the good examples, mediocre examples and, yes,  bad examples — although there are far fewer of those these days. (more…)

10/21/17 6:01am

A bottle of Mattebella Vineyards 2016 Rosé. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

This week’s “Wine of the Week,” Mattebella Vineyards 2016 Rose ($21) found its way into my glass via my wife. She recently went wine tasting to celebrate a friend’s birthday and brought it home among an armful of other bottles. She enjoys finding delicious local wines that I maybe haven’t had in awhile. (more…)

10/07/17 6:00am

Castello di Borghese sauvignon blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Just when you thought maybe it was time to drink less sauvignon blanc, Mother Nature has given us another extended streak of warm weather. And with Peconic Bay scallop season not that far off, it’s good to have fresh, clean, local sauvignon blanc around anyway.  (more…)

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…)

09/23/17 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…)