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…)

09/09/17 6:27am

vineyard grapes

Look at almost any region’s wine industry in America — and in the world, really — and you’ll find some sort of trade organization formed to support it. In the Napa Valley, it’s the Napa Valley Vintners. Next door in Sonoma you’ll find the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance. In the Champagne region of France, you have organizations like the Comité Champagne. Closer to home, the Finger Lakes region has organizations like the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and Finger Lakes Wine Country. You get the idea.

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08/26/17 6:00am

Our Lenn Thompson notes that tasting room pourers are frequently the public face of any winery. (Credit: David Benthal Photography)

People who talk and write about wine, myself included, often talk about soils, growing seasons, weather, disease pressure and harvest timing. We focus on winemaker decisions about fermentation vessels or yeast strains or barrel aging. But a couple recent experiences at local tasting rooms reminded me of the unsung heroes of any winery — the people pouring the wines in the tasting room.

Over the course of a midweek jaunt on the North Fork, my wife, friends and I visited a handful of tasting rooms — some regular favorites, some that we hadn’t visited in a long time.

At one tasting room, which I’m choosing not to identify by name, we had an exchange with the young lady behind the tasting bar that I will summarize and paraphrase as such: (more…)

08/12/17 6:00am

A scene from the 2017 Harvest East End. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

I should preface my thoughts on this past weekend’s Harvest East End event, held at Martha Clara Vineyards, by mentioning that I don’t particularly enjoy these sorts of events. Six hundred-plus people, wine glasses in hand, moving from table to table tasting wine is a lot of fun, yes, but I greatly prefer tasting and drinking wine in a more intimate setting, one where consideration and conversation are more appropriate — and possible.

That said, it’s impossible for me to do anything but commend the organizers of this year’s event. Harvest East End has changed a lot over the years, and not always for the (more…)

07/29/17 6:00am

Martha Clara Vineyards 2016 sauvignon blanc was a standout for our Lenn Thompson during a recent tasting. (Credit: Madison Fender)

When visiting wineries on the East End, my wife and I have fallen into a bit of a rut. We go to Winery A first, then we go to Winery B and if our kids — now 5 and 10 — are behaving, we may squeeze in Winery C before taking them to Magic Fountain as a reward. Wineries A, B and C rarely (maybe never?) change. We know we’ll like the wines. We know that our kids are welcome. They are the safe bets and there is comfort in that.

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07/15/17 6:00am
vineyard grapes

The vines at Paumanok Vineyards on Thursday, July 13, 2017. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

We’re two-plus months into the 2017 grape-growing season, a time when I always like to check in with local growers and winemakers to find out how the season is going, how it compares to other seasons and how close to “normal” it’s been so far.

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