I feel sad about this, but we don’t live in Maui, and there is no endless summer in our future (at least the immediate future–who knows about the long term with global warming). And even though we New Yorkers generally get to enjoy warm days until late October, when the weather turns like clockwork to freeze all the wannabe strippers at Halloween, we should still celebrate the close of another season with–you guessed it–an outdoor blow-out wine and food bacchanal.
This Saturday, August 24th, McCall Vineyard & Ranch in Cutchogue on the North Fork of Long Island will host Harvest East End, a one-stop shop for the sybaritic pleasures of food and wine. The event is perfect for people who don’t want to plan out independent winery visits, go on an organized tour, or just plain drive between wineries after forgetting to spit. Over 40 local vintners and 30 local restaurants convene at this annual festival to show off their vinous and edible wares. The tasting celebrates the zenith of harvest, and it also serves as a charity fundraiser benefiting four important regional charities: East End Hospice, Group for the East End, the Peconic Land Trust, and, new for 2013, the Long Island Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Foundation.
The event is presented by Wine Enthusiast magazine and organized by the Long Island Wine Council with support from Merliance. The Festival-level tasting runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $150, and you can either purchase tickets in advance online or at the door (assuming there’s still availability–might not want to leave it to chance if you’re going to head out there from the city). Ballers can splurge on the $250 Vin-IP experience, earning them advanced entry at 6 p.m., table seating, access to the Library Lounge showcasing selected older vintages, and a stocked insulated tote courtesy of Whole Foods. Oh, and up-front parking–always a plus anywhere in Long Island during these final summer days.