Tag Archives: NY Wines

Unscrewed – Wine on Tap

 

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Not your parents’ keg party!

If you missed my Unscrewed article covering wine in kegs, here is your second chance…

The practice of serving wine from a keg or cask has long been a tradition in Europe, where what grows together, goes together. Imagine sitting down to a plate of Coq au Vin in a little village in Burgundy and being offered a glass of Chianti — l’impossible! Your glass would be filled with the local stuff, out of the cask in back.

But in New York, the notion of regional eating and drinking has only recently taken hold.

Fueled in part by the New York market’s embrace of the locavore lifestyle, as well as by young drinkers who aren’t prejudiced towards non-traditional bottling and varietals, the trend of local, tapped wine is catching on.

In 2010, the Gotham Project, a wine-keg company from the Finger Lakes, made inroads into the NYC restaurant scene by introducing a New York Riesling. With the success of the Gotham Project has come the next wave of regional winemakers selling their drink in keg. Paumanok, Channing Daughters, Raphael, Shinn and Red Hook winery, to name a few, are embracing this effort. Wineries and restaurateurs are realizing cask wine makes environmental and economic sense, and offers value to us.

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Wine taps at Southfork Kitchen

Just think about the reduction in cost to the winery: no more corks, labels, foils, bottles, and packing materials that add a few bucks on to each bottle; and the same reduction in restaurant waste, having to no longer recycle or throw all that material out. The cost savings, sometimes as much as 25%, is then (hopefully!) passed on us.

Also, the flexibility of a keg program allows restaurants to sell wine in different sizes, guarantees freshness using inert gas, and most importantly, allows us to buy a glass for $8-$10, rather than for what seems like the going rate of $14 in Manhattan these days. Sounds like a win-win, right?

If you’re looking to get a taste of local wine on tap, you can visit The Breslin, The John Dory, Terroir, DBGB, Burger and Barrel, and City Winery, all in Manhattan. In Brooklyn, check out Arthur on Smith, Buttermilk Channel, or Seersucker. And the list keeps growing: Swine, a new spot in the West Village, emphasizes locally made and sourced goods, and is dedicated to all things porcine and vinous. Can’t think of two things I love more.

Now if only our antiquated alcohol laws would take another cue from Europe and let us fill our growlers with wine instead of beer. That would be tres magnifique!

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Where I am going- Harvest East End

HARVEST EAST END

Let’s make a list of our favorite things: Wine (Always #1). Food (Close 2nd). Sunshine followed by Sunset. Charity. Tented events held in the Hamptons. Yes, that sums up the potentially fabulous event on Saturday, August 25th, 2012 from 6-9 pm in Bridgehampton that is Harvest East End.  Nearly 40 wineries from Long Island will showcase 200 plus wines, including unreleased barrel samples; 30 restaurants will provide tastings of their latest creations; and all of this bounty will be offered in the spirit of charity to benefit East End Hospice, Group for the East End & Peconic Land Trust.  A few tickets are still available online and at the door for $150. See you there!

Sunset over Long Beach, Sag Harbor (another favorite!)

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Unscrewed: 5 New York Rosés to drink before they are gone

If you didn’t see my Village Voice column “Unscrewed” last week, here’s another opportunity to find out 5 of my favorite New York rosés from Long Island to catch before summer ends. Hurry, only another week before Labor Day! Of course, you can drink rosé all year in my opinion.

rose_collage.jpgAs summer winds down (or up, depending on your plans), it’s time to celebrate the pink drink that fuels fantasies of seaside, Provençal retreats. If I had a garden hose that spouted such watermelon-hued berry bliss, I would fill a pool and host a fête. Alas, no such aquifer exists; the best we can do is visit the gorgeous vineyards of Long Island or pick up some chilled bottles and take the party to Sheep Meadow — discreetly, of course.

A chilled glass of rosé appeals to drinkers of white and red — it refreshes while offering fruit and body to pair with all manner of foods. Wolffer Estate in Bridgehampton might be the most prolific and well-known rosé producer out of the East End, but there are many others to seek out. Below are my five favorites to enjoy right now, before summer’s end.

Keep in mind that though our demand for rosé has grown, local production remains small. A helpful note on finding my five picks: You can buy them directly from the wineries (in-person or on their websites), try your local wine store like Astor Wines and Spirits in NYC, or check out Empire State Cellars (the only all NY wine shop) which ships to NYC for a flat $10 fee.

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Lauren Mowery

Channing Daughters (South Fork) 2011 Rosato di Lagrein ($20). Purplish-pink and brimming with flavor, this dry, 100 percent Lagrein rosé is crisp, floral, fruity, and spicy, all in one sip.

Channing Daughters made eight variations of rosé, both from well-known grapes such as Merlot to more esoteric varietals (at least for Long Island) like Lagrein. Hues range from pale tangerine to pink flamingo, and are as pretty sitting on the table as they are in the glass. Tastings are inside at the bar, but there is a shaded patio that faces the vineyards with several benches. About half the rosati are sold out, so check their website. Channing Daughters focuses largely on Northern Italian varietals and has an intriguing lineup of whites, reds, and orange wines to explore, should you (gasp) tire of rosé.

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Lauren Mowery

Peconic Bay (North Fork) NV Nautique Esprit de Rosé ($9.99). 50/50 Cab Sauv and Cab Franc, this dry, medium-bodied wine is redolent of muddled strawberries, dried herbs, orange peel, and tea leaves.

Peconic features an indoor tasting bar and outdoor, shaded patio with plentiful seating, and live music on weekends. In addition to the Nautique rosé, a great value at $9.99 (or $99 a case), I highly recommend their whites. The Riesling and Gewurztraminer are exceptional North Fork examples of these grapes.

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Lauren Mowery

Paumanok (North Fork) 2011 Dry Rosé ($17.99). A blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Pale persimmon in color and highly aromatic, with pronounced strawberry-rhubarb notes on the refreshing, zippy palate.

Paumanok has a large deck overlooking the vineyards and allows outside picnic food. They have a well-regarded lineup of whites and reds, including a Chenin Blanc. Their Tuthill Lane reds are great examples of the depths Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can reach in Long Island in an excellent vintage, albeit pricey at $60 a bottle.

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Lauren Mowery

Mattebella Vineyards (North Fork) 2011 Dry Rosé ($18). Mostly Merlot with a splash of Cab Franc. This dry, pale pink, lighter-bodied wine smells and tastes like a garden in full-bloom showing herbs, flowers and plump, red fruits with balanced acidity.

Mattebella evokes a lawn party at a friend’s rustic country cottage, with a smattering of tables scattered outside. The owners are hands-on and friendly, and will happily share with you the joys and frustrations of owning a vineyard. They make several other wines, including Chardonnay and old-world-style red blends. The 2011 rosé was picked up by Jean-George Vongerichten’s flagship restaurant as the house pour.

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Lauren Mowery

Croteaux Vineyards (North Fork) 2011 Merlot 314 Rosé ($19). Salmon-hued, medium-bodied, and dry, this juicy, merlot-based wine shows notes of melon, apple, dried lavender, and roses, with sea-salt woven throughout.

Specializing in rosé only, Croteaux made 12 versions for 2012. Their tasting garden is gorgeous — think romantic French countryside. Prices range from $19 for their signature merlot based wines up to $30 for fuller-bodied versions. Croteaux is releasing a new rosé at the end of summer called Voyage for only $16. Yay, rosé in the fall!

Dog owners should note that Croteaux Vineyards, Peconic Bay, Paumanok, and Mattebella Vineyards are all dog friendly!

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