05/11/19 6:00am

Credit: Vera Chinese

I don’t have an expansive wine cellar, but I do have one. It’s in a corner of our basement against an outside wall, where it stays mostly cool year-round. It’s also a disorganized disaster of a mess. And that might be understating the situation.

But, as I slowly try to dig through it and drink down my cellar to a more manageable size, I’ve found some real treasures — older local wines that in many cases I didn’t realize I had. I opened some with friends just to see how they were tasting. They varied in years from 1997 to 2006 and, while a couple of them were probably beyond their peak drinking, not a single one of them was what I’d call a clunker.

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04/29/19 5:51am
Strawberry Frosted Doughnuts from North Fork Doughnut Co. (Credit: David Benthal)

“Doughnuts. Is there anything they can’t do?”

Homer J. Simpson

A decade ago, the idea of a doughnut beer might have seemed like something that could only exist on an episode of “The Simpsons,” on which Homer is known to throw down an occasional pink-frosted, rainbow-sprinkled ring along with a can of Duff. In recent years, however, as gourmet doughnut shops and craft breweries celebrate their rise in American foodie culture, doughnut-beer collaborations have begun to pop up.

Now, the North Fork has its first two doughnut beers, both brewed using pastries sourced from North Fork Doughnut Company in Mattituck. The first, called Dough’nt Stout Me Now, used a maple glazed doughnut and was brewed late last year at North Fork Brewing Co. in Riverhead. North Fork Doughnut Company then brought its products out to Bay Shore, where they will soon open a second location, to brew Strawberry Frosted Donut Milkshake IPA at Destination Unknown Beer Company, aka DUBCO.

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04/20/19 6:00am

We asked Long Island’s wineries to tell us about the history of their vineyards, the wine they make and what makes their tasting room a unique place to visit. Read up on the wineries to plan your next stop along the Long Island wine trail.

This guide features write-ups on most Long Island tasting rooms and includes important information like the varieties of grapes grown and hours of operation. (more…)

04/20/19 5:55am

As I sit here writing this column, the sun is shining out over my messy backyard — our two dogs and our two kids have left it a mud pit — and the window is open for the first time. Spring has been slow to arrive, but it’s here and I’m definitely ready for it.

This time of year is a real sweet spot on the calendar: when it’s starting to get warmer, but before Memorial Day when the East End traffic ramps up and spending a day on the North Fork becomes a bit more laborious.

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04/19/19 5:55am

In addition to soil, geography and tradition, terroir — the intricacies that influence the character of wine — relies heavily on climate. It’s what sets a lighter, cool-climate pinot noir apart from a full-bodied one grown in a warmer region. Those ideal climatic conditions — warm and temperate with refreshing Atlantic winds and a lengthy growing season — that make the North Fork an optimal location for grapevines to thrive.

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