Monthly Archives: August 2008

Goodbye to summer

Here’s a paean to one of my favorite summer wines, and my last chance to drink it before it becomes all red wine all the time. (At the restaurant, actually, the shift has already started. It’s cool enough now for the customers to want red with dinner, and red wine sales have gone back up.)

It’s delicious.

Right now the 2006 is open. It retails for about $18 and it has a screw cap, so you can have a glass with lunch and then put the rest in the fridge for later. But it’s hard because the wine only has nine percent alcohol and is so easy to drink.

It’s light and fruity with a little sugar (residual or süssreserve?) to mitigate the high acidity reisling achieves in the Rheingau. It’s almost like a peach wine cooler crossed with quality flinty lemonade. In a good way. Continue reading

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Classic roundup

It’s been a while but I wanted to do a post on the results of the New York Wine and Food Classic, which were resleased last week. As I posted when the results were resleased, the 2006 Bedell Cellars Musée won for best red wine in the state.

I have not tasted the 2006, but I just sold the last two bottles of the 2005 I had a the restaurant this week. I was interested to see how fast they went, given the news that the wine received a 90-point rating from the Wine Spectator. (It also got a bronze in the Classic.) But neither customer mentioned the rating. I think they were visitors on vacation and wishing to splurge. They were not disappointed, but had to be assured that the wine was not made in California. Elegance and subtlety are what thrives on the North Fork. Continue reading

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Licorella powered

Ted Ryder, owner of the Huntington institution Seaholm Liquors, was in the restaurant last week with his wife and Charles and Ursula Massoud, owners of Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue.

Where Ted dines, one can be sure to find good wines. For the meal he brought a 2000 Mas Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles, a Priorat.

This wine, complex and fruity, minerally yet powerful, is a Parker favorite. The 2000 was not rated but the following vintages, as Ted pointed out, all received scores in the high 90s. (The ’01 through ’05 got 98s.)

Pronounced “doysche” the ’01 was made with 45 percent grenache, 50 percent carignan and five percent merlot. Continue reading

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Gifts of rosé

The Frisky Oyster’s generous corkage policy is bringing in a range of wines for me to taste. This weekend I was able to sample the 2000 Carruades de Lafite, a second label from the Paulliac producer that focuses on merlot. (It was still ruby, young and juicy with that Paulliac austerity.) And some great wines that merit their own post.

Lower-end, drink-now wines are just as welcome, and this weekend I got to try two roses, one from a new customer with an obviously deep cellar and a love for California wines. The other from Virginie from the Cercle Rouge restaurant in New York. Both wines are 2007 and from the Cotes de Provence. Continue reading

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Palmer Vineyards

I’ve been opening about two cases of wine per night for the past six days and, guess what, I wake up feeling like I have the arthritic hands of 70-year-old embroiderer. I’ve got to loosen my grip, or switch over entirely to screw cap. There’s another argument for alternative closures to cork.

Also, my schedule is drifting towards the go-to-bed-at 3 a.m. and wake-up-past-10. It’s a shame because the weather out here on the East End has been beautiful for the past week. Dry, cool at night and in the low 80s during the day. Perfect at this crucial stage of ripening.

Miguel Martin of Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue was in the restaurant on Thursday showing me four of his white from recent vintages. The 2006 Pinot Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay, and the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc and the winery’s Select Reserve, a blend of chardonnay, pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc and gewurztraminer. Continue reading

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High season

Last night was winery night at the The Frisky Oyster as sweetheart Joe Macari Sr. was in drinking his usual, the 2004 Macari Bergen Road; Miguel Martin, winemaker at Palmer Vineyards, was there and got my last bottle of 2005 Ferrer-Bobet Priorat (he went to school in Spain with either Ferrer or Bobet); David Page of Shinn Estate was there with my favorite wine customer Mike Malter. Page had a bottle of his 2002 Six Barrel red, which Dennis tossed out before I got a chance to taste. And Chiara Edmands of Onabay was in with their newly bottled 2007 sparkling and a 2006 red , which was also tossed. The sparkling was not yet labeled, but was definitely chardonnay-based and lively and fresh. (I wish I took a picture of it.)

The 2004 Bergen Road won a double gold at the New York Wine and Food Classic, which means the voting was unanimous.

Also on Malter’s table was a 2005 white burgundy and 1992 Diamond Creek Gravelly Creek Vineyard, which I got a sip of amid a busy night that shows the rest of the summer is going to be like, well, Labor Day Weekend, which is next weekend.

Someday soon I’m going to sit down and drink some wine, rather than standing up and spitting it.

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More pictures of color change

Merlot grapes at the dry-farmed Wells Road vineyard owned by Bedell Cellars.

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