08/10/17 11:09am

Sparkling Pointe 2014 Brut. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

After tasting through most of the Sparkling Pointe portfolio at last weekend’s Harvest East End event, I can say without reservation that the winery is really hitting its stride. The wines have really never been better — which helps explain why the winery was named co-winery of the year earlier this week at the New York Food & Wine Classic. (more…)

08/05/17 10:53am

A glass of Bedell Cellars gewürztraminer pét-nat, enjoyed on the deck of the Tap Room at Corey Creek. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Earlier this week I visited Bedell Cellars’ new Tap Room at Corey Creek for the first time. It’s a decidedly more casual, fun space, with all tastings poured from taps (rather than bottle) and growlers available for fill and take home. (more…)

07/27/17 12:18pm

Martha Clara Vineyards Estate Reserve Riesling. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

When a lot of people think about New York riesling, they think about the Finger Lakes region in central New York, where it has earned a reputation for consistent quality. Some local wineries buy riesling juice from up there and make the wines here. Often, you’ll see “New York State” listed on those labels where you’d usually see “North Fork of Long Island” or “The Hamptons, Long Island.”

But that doesn’t mean that the Finger Lakes have a monopoly on delicious, food-friendly riesling in New York. (more…)

07/20/17 6:00am

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard 2014 Syrah. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Compared to other red grapes like merlot, cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc, you just don’t see a lot of syrah being grown on Long Island. And you don’t find many varietal Syrahs — that is wines made of at least 75 percent Syrah with that word printed on the label.

Maybe I’ll get into the reasons why in an upcoming column, but for now just know that there just aren’t that many. But, they always seem to stand out in my tastings. Maybe it’s just the novelty of them — they have entirely different flavor profiles than those other red grapes — but I almost always like them. Maybe not as much as I like Syrah from the Northern Rhone, but still, I feel like there is unrealized potential for this grape here on the North Fork.

Our “Wine of the Week,” Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard 2014 Syrah, hints at that potential. (more…)

07/12/17 9:46am

Bridge Lane Wines red blend. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

There are two main theories when it comes to pairing wine with food, mirroring flavors or contrasting them. Having a heavy pasta dish with butter, cream and maybe some pancetta? You could have a rich chardonnay with a healthy dose of oak to reinforce the same flavors. Or you could have a bright, citrusy unoaked white that cuts through the heft and weight of the food.

Personally, I lean toward the contrasting mode of wine pairing. (more…)

06/30/17 6:01am
Sauvignon Blanc

Macari Vineyards Lifeforce Sauvignon Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thomspson)

Summer and Long Island sauvignon blanc go hand in hand. As the hot, humid weather descends upon us, the bright citrusy flavors of local sauvignon slakes our thirst and refreshes us.

But not all Long Island Sauvignon Blanc is created equal. There are myriad styles thanks to experimentation on the part of local winemakers. Some producers pick their grapes a bit earlier to capture the most acidity. Others wait a bit longer to mitigate some of the green flavors that many expect in sauvignon blanc. You’ll find varying degrees of skin contact, lees contact and even barrel fermentation or aging too.

Note: Keep an eye out for the next issue of Long Island Wine Press, where we take and in-depth look at Long Island Sauvignon Blanc.  

Our “Wine of the Week,” Macari Vineyards 2015 Lifeforce Sauvignon Blanc, shows of yet another experimental side of local sauvignon blanc. Winemaker Kelly Koch uses one of the winery’s concrete eggs — they look exactly how you’re picturing them — to ferment a portion of the Lifeforce blend. The remainder is fermented in stainless steel. (more…)

06/16/17 6:01am

Raphael 2015 Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

This time of year it’s always great to have an armory of barbecue red red wines at one’s disposal — bottles that are fruity, not too complicated and most definitely affordable. Opinions vary on the “best” wines for food hot off the grill, but drinking what tastes good to you matters more than anything any so-called expert says. Even this one.

Our “Wine of the Week,” Raphael 2015 Cabernet Franc ($23), is a good option if you like local cabernet franc in a silky smooth style.

Winemaker Anthony Nappa has spent much of his career here on the Island dedicated to making wines that remain true to the region’s terroir and letting the vintage’s conditions shine through. (more…)