04/12/17 6:01am
Palmer Vineyards 2016 Rosé. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Palmer Vineyards 2016 Rosé. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Local rosé made entirely from merlot is rarely interesting or, frankly, anything more than mediocre. It tends to be very one-dimensional and lack freshness. Some might even call it boring. Okay, I’d call it that too.

Except when it’s not. (more…)

04/07/17 6:01am
Regan and Carey Meador of Southold Farm + Cellar. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Regan and Carey Meador of Southold Farm + Cellar. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

After months of work and planning, Regan and Carey Meador, proprietors of Southold Farm+Cellar will be moving to Texas next week with their young family and young wine brand. I’m going to miss them more than I care to admit and I know I’m not alone.

Much has been written about both their exciting wines and their trials and tribulations with the Town of Southold. I could write about all of that again — but honestly, I just don’t have the energy for it. It’s old news, anyway, and barely matters at this point.

Carey and Regan are moving on and the North Fork community’s loss is the Texas wine community’s gain. (more…)

03/31/17 6:01am
Sparkling Pointe's 2014 Brut. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Sparkling Pointe’s 2014 Brut. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Do me — and yourself — a favor and don’t reserve sparkling wine only for parties and special occasions. Sparkling wine makes any night (or heck, even morning) a celebration. And, with so many underrated local sparkling wines available, why not drink them more often? (more…)

02/16/17 5:57am
Pindar Vineyards Dr. Dan's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Pindar Vineyards Dr. Dan’s Signature 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

There is no denying the part Pindar Vineyards founder Dr. Herodotus Damianos played in the creation and popularization of the Long Island wine industry. Known as Dr. Dan, Damianos first bought 30 acres of land in 1979. He planted it a year later and two years after that, Pindar Vineyards sold its first wines. Pindar Vineyards, and its sister winery Duck Walk Vineyards, have since grown to produce more than 100,000 cases per year. (more…)

01/04/17 6:00am
A bottle of Roanoke Vineyards 2013 The Hill. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Roanoke Vineyards 2013 The Hill. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

When someone like Rich Pisacano, co-owner of Roanoke Vineyards who is also Wolffer Estate’s long-time vineyard manager, tells you that a newly released wine is “one of the most complex, interesting, beautiful wines that I’ve ever been a part of” that means something.

This is someone who has been planting and tending vines on the East End since high school. And our wine of the week, Roanoke Vineyards 2013 “The Hill,” is one to seek out. (more…)

12/10/16 6:01am
Madiran The Wine Bar

Both Madiran The Wine Bar in East Setauket and Beers, Burgers and Desserts in Rocky Point are worth the drive from the North Fork. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

As much as I feel a part of the North Fork wine community, I don’t actually live there. I live in Miller Place — about half an hour west of Roanoke Vineyards — with my wife, two kids and dog. We’d love to live in wine country, of course, but my wife and I work in Commack and Islandia, respectively, so our commutes are already 45 minutes-plus each way. I have no desire to extend that.

There are many reasons we love the East End. The wineries, of course, lead the way, but also the restaurants and small-town feel. Once you get beyond Riverhead, you don’t see chain stores and restaurants. The restaurants in particular appeal — and how they have embraced and contribute to the culinary and wine culture of the region. There are a lot of great places to eat and drink in wine country.

(more…)