free run juice

bring in the north fork, bring in the funk

I love hitting up emerging wine regions in the US. The North Fork is especially fun because you get to clock some relaxing water time, usually with some Croteaux rosé on deck (their sparkling Merlot rosé is especially delicious, though sold out).

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Once I was thoroughly soothed by the bay, it was off to wine country. First, I hit up Dan’s Harvest East End on Saturday night. They have a ton of Long Island wineries and restaurants that serve up their goods at McCall Vineyards. A few highlights:

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lush black plum and very smooth, $28

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named after a lighthouse that’s affectionately called the Coffee Pot because of its handle on the bottom, this Bordeaux blend was well balanced, $26

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Rare to find Gruner on Long Island, and One Woman makes two! One they experimented with by aging it in new French oak and therefore giving it a fuller body, but I really liked this stainless-steel aged one that was much truer to what Gruner normally is – grassy and fresh. $23

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McCall Merlot and handmade tacos: so bueno

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Huge silent auction of Jeroboams. One guy won two – a LOT of glasses of wine are in his future.

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incredible summer sky

On Sunday, we went to the Winemaker Studio which is run by Anthony Nappa Wines but sells a bunch of other local wines too. You can get small tastes of the wines for only two bucks each, and since it’s attached to a delicious little sandwich shop called Provisions you can have good eats to go with.

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This is a play on “Bordeaux” since that’s what most people make on LI. This one’s all Cab Franc and has that North Fork funk to it (which I actually like). $20

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White Pinot Noir – looks like a rose but a bit less acid and a little more ripe strawberry. $20

After that, we headed over to visit Regan Meador at Southold Farm + Cellar. I did a post on them last year when they were raising funds via Kickstarter to grow weird grapes on the North Fork (read more about their mission here). Basically, most people on the North Fork have been growing Bordeaux varietals for the past 30 years (still in complete infant years compared to the rest of the world) so Merlot and Cab Franc have become the North Fork’s most popular varieties. But there hasn’t been much experimentation outside of that, and therefore they don’t know if other grapes would do as well or even better than what they have now.


So Regan is planting Syrah, Teroldego and Lagrein for reds, and Albarino and Goldmuskateller for whites. Nope, definitely not your usual LI Merlot. They’ve also just released their first vintages of four wines (from purchased grapes) which you can sample at their tasting barn and are all really good.

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Mostly Pinot Noir and a little Chardonnay – my fave kind of bubbly. They inherited these cases when another winery closed before releasing it, hence the stepdaughter French name. Really liked, $36.

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Check out the unfiltered fun in this bottle. This is Chardonnay but made from a clone (Musque) that’s usually just used in a blend to give it aroma and florals. Was super fruity and tasted more like a Gewurztraminer than a Chard. $26

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This is a sparkling red, and the heaviness/lightness dance of it will make you think of Lambrusco but it’s actually made from Merlot, Petit Verdot, and some Finger Lakes Pinot Noir. Wacko but cool! As they describe it, it’s like “that crazy girl from high school everyone had a crush on.” $28

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All Cab Franc, this was the most LI-traditional but wound up being my fave of the bunch. Had a hint of that Franc funk but a funk that was super elegant – think James Brown vs Count Basie. Highly recommend, $28.

You can read more about Southold’s wines and buy them here. Can’t wait to try their weird grape wines when they come out next year!





3 thoughts on “bring in the north fork, bring in the funk

  1. Pingback: bubbly while waiting, with anna kendrick | grapefriend

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