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.

(more…)
03/16/19 6:00am

As someone who writes about not only New York wine but also wine grown up and down the Eastern Seaboard — and even the Midwest — I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity lately.

Diversity takes many forms in the wine world. You have the grapes themselves, of course, and not just different varieties like merlot or chardonnay. There are different clones within each variety as well. Maybe we’ll talk clones in detail in an upcoming column, but you can think of a clone as a version of a grape variety that has specific characteristics. (more…)

02/12/19 6:05am

 

The outdoor space at Jamesport Vineyards in summer. (Northforker file photo)

When Jamesport Vineyards winemaker Dean Babiar arrived in 2014 as harvest was winding down — everything was picked except for riesling for late harvest dessert wine — it was, of course, news. Any winemaker change is news in a relatively small region like Long Island. Looking back, it probably should have been bigger news.  (more…)

11/03/18 5:55am

Over the past several months, much has been written — both in the local press and in response to those stories — about the idea of food at wineries. I’m firmly in favor of food being available at wineries. As I mentioned several columns ago, the New York State Liquor Authority requires licensed wineries — though not farm wineries, which is what most Long Island wineries are — to have food available for sale or service to customers if they pour wines for consumption on premises. That’s the legal side of it, but the logical side of it is even more compelling.  (more…)

10/20/18 5:55am

Bedell Vineyard (Credit: W Studios NY)

Every fall I find myself wanting to write a harvest column to share what I’ve heard from grape growers and winemakers about the grape-growing season. Often there is a lot of “spin” involved — no matter how bad the season, wineries still need to sell the resulting wine, so they don’t want to paint too dire a picture. I also think that winemakers are generally hopeful people. They have to be in a region like this one! (more…)