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.
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.
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…)
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…)
By the time this column is published, we’ll already be well into January, but my gym is still flooded with lose-weight resolutioners, so I think it’s still OK for me to write about some drink-related resolutions I’ve set for myself for 2019. (more…)
Even if you’ve only been drinking Long Island wine for five to 10 years, it’s obvious that — on the whole, region-wide — the wines have never been better. Not that long ago, there were local wineries whose wine I wouldn’t drink even if they were the last wines on earth. (more…)
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…)