11/21/17 5:59am
Gibson Campbell, Regan Meador and author Lenn Thompson. (Credit: David Benthal)

Gibson Campbell, Caleb Barber, Regan Meador and author Lenn Thompson enjoy a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with plenty of wine. (Credit: David Benthal)

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in November 2015

When considering your Thanksgiving wine choices, here’s the only advice you need: Drink good wine.

Don’t complicate it any more than that.

OK. You probably want to know why it’s that simple, and I’m happy to explain it. I’ve written Thanksgiving-related stories for at least a decade, just like every other wine writer — from local guys like me to national columnists in the big, glossy magazines. Some feel compelled to do so, but often we’re told to write these stories because they’re apparently popular, though I don’t actually understand why. None of my friends or family members stress about what wines they’re going to pour with their turkey dinner. You shouldn’t either.  (more…)

01/26/16 6:07am
The cover of Forager's Cocktails.

The cover of Forager’s Cocktails.

A bristly, irritating stinging nettle plant might be unwelcome in most homeowners’ yards, but for Amy Zavatto, it’s a great bitter root to balance the sweet agave syrup in a “Swizzle.”

“The weed is kind of in the eye of the beholder,” said Zavatto, a part-time Greenport resident and author of the new book “Forager’s Cocktails,” which features more than 40 recipes using foraged and grown ingredients. Drinks made with fresh components like elder flower, wood sorrel and lovage are accompanied by tantalizing photos of the finished products.  (more…)

11/04/15 6:01am

A bottle of 2012 Merliance, the cooperative blend created by members of the Long Island Merlot Alliance. (Credit: Chinese)

Long Island merlot has and always will have a place in my cellar and in my glass. I drink it a few times a week, usually with dinner. It’s dependable and consistently good — even in all but the most horrid of vintages.

For many, that’s the point. That’s why so much of it is planted in the ground and why several producers have hung their hats on a grape that isn’t very sexy these days. One local writer has gone so far as to say, “Merlots are now considered the highest expression of the Long Island appellation.” (more…)

05/18/15 6:00am
Merliance scrimshaw

2012 Merliance poured during the  dinner at Scrimshaw on Saturday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Six different clones of merlot, all expressing different characteristics of this Bordeaux-originating grape, are grown on more than 800 acres on Long Island.

But of all the tons of fruit those acres yield every year, there is only one wine that combines the thumbprints of some of the region’s best winemakers. (more…)

05/14/15 11:59am

A bottle of 2012 Merliance. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Grab a bottle of Long Island’s only cooperative merlot blend and taste the collaboration of some of the region’s most renowned winemakers.

Merliance wine, made by winemakers of the Long Island Merlot Alliance, is perennially a testament to the quality of the Long Island merlot grape. The 2012 vintage will first be available at a dinner at Scrimshaw restaurant on Saturday, May 16. (more…)