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…)

11/21/16 6:01am
Sparkling Pointe Topaz Imperial

A glass of Sparkling Pointe Topaz Imperial. (Credit: Vera Chinese photos)

We ate, we drank, we sparkled.

Sparkling Pointe vineyard held the fourth session in its annual “Eat, Drink and Be Sparkling” food and wine pairing series on Sunday. The event allows you to take a break from your holiday shopping with decadent treats served alongside a glass of bubbly.

This Sunday’s delectable combo featured bento boxes from Stirling Sake along with glasses of Sparkling Pointe’s Topaz Imperial and bossa nova music. Monday Michiru, a Japanese-American actress, singer and songwriter, and her band provided the tunes. (more…)

11/18/16 6:00am
Macari Vineyards 2016 Early Wine

A bottle of Macari Vineyards 2016 Early Wine. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

The third Thursday in November, which was yesterday, is kind of a big deal in the wine world. It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day, when, under French law, the new batch of Beaujolais Nouveau is released at 12:01 a.m., just weeks after the gamay grapes used to make it were picked.

In France — particularly in the Beaujolais region — it’s a day celebrated with festivals, fireworks and much revelry. Here in the United States, you’ll probably find stack after stack of the stuff at your local wine shop.

Though it’s a fun concept, a very-early taste of the new vintage just in time for Thanksgiving, most of the wine is mediocre or worse. There are some good ones, but they are harder to find and aren’t worth chasing down.

Don’t bother. Pick up a bottle (or six) of our wine of the week: Macari Vineyards 2016 “Early Wine” Chardonnay. (more…)

11/09/16 6:00am
Macari Vineyards Early Wine

Macari Vineyards’ 2016 Early Wine was released Nov. 8, 2016. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

It takes less than two months for Macari Vineyards’ Early Wine to go from vine to glass.

The Mattituck vineyard released its 2016 version, which the New York Times once called “fruit salad in a bottle,” in its tasting room on Tuesday. Perennially the first wine of the North Fork harvest to be released, it’s made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes and costs $18 a bottle.

“[It] offers green apple, lime and floral aromas,” said Macari winemaker Kelly Koch. “A slight effervescence and bright acidity keep it fresh and balanced.” (more…)