When asked at the food and wine bash Dan’s Harvest East End on Saturday which New York wine was his favorite, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he could not choose.
“We love our wine in New York,” Cuomo said. “I love them all equally.”
During the event, held at McCall Vineyards and Ranch in Cutchogue, Cuomo said wine and the tourism it generates have helped the New York State economy by creating thousands of jobs. Vineyards on the North Fork have preserved and added to the region’s agricultural character, he said.
“A lot of farms can’t be sustained any more as farms,” Cuomo said.
Local chefs offered their cuisine and more than 40 wineries poured their chardonnays and merlots for the event which raised money for the Long Island Farm Bureau and Peconic Land Trust. The night was hosted by Joshua Weston and chef Tom Schaudel and New York Times food write Florence Fabricant were honored for their contributions to the Long Island dining scene.
Cuomo awarded Alexandra Macari of Macari Vineyards in Mattituck with the winery of the year award from the New York Wine & Food Classic. Macari said she knew some of Cuomo’s family in Queens, where the governor is originally from.
Unlike the governor, Chris and Indra Ferraro of New York City said they do have a favorite wine purveyor. Saturday night, they, enjoyed vino from Clovis Point Winery, Bedell Cellars and Jason’s Vineyard. The couple wore wine glasses on lanyards around their necks, like most attendees, and snacked on duck meatballs and tuna tartare.
Many local restaurants served up tastes of their cuisines, but North Fork outsiders came to offer samples, too. Taco Santo of Brooklyn slung tacos, and a Wisconsin cheesemaker, looking to expand on the East Coast, served aged goat cheese and cheese hand-rubbed in espresso.
Lena Tanzi, one of the owners of Wednesday’s Table in Southold, said she decided to come to the event to help promote her business. Wednesday’s Table served lemongrass chicken wings and mushroom truffled grilled cheese.
Kevin Penner of the North Fork Table & Inn came because of the line-up of eateries and wineries, and because he said the event is well run.
“Some of these summer events, especially on the South Fork, can be a bit of a train wreck,” Penner said.
He ladled out small bowls of sweet corn soup with rock shrimp.
Dan’s Harvest East End also honored Florence Fabricant, a food critic. She said she has been a fan of Long Island wine since it started, and praised the growth of the region’s restaurant scene.
“There’s a ton to write about,” she said.