Last night’s Brooklyn Uncorked at BAM Cafe was every wino’s delight. Not since honeymooning in Northern California have I had the opportunity to imbibe such a sweet array of wines.
The event, presented by Edible Brooklyn and sponsored by Uncork New York, played host to thirty wineries from Long Island, a majority located along routes 25 and 48, on the North Fork. And let me say, it was a bit of a life changing event. Who knew one could drink locally and jump a train east to spend days touring over 50 wineries? (Note to self: do not quit day job yet.)
Grown on the Island since the seventeenth century, wine grapes took root on the North Fork over 30 yearsago, when the Hargraves successfully planted vinifera vines (European varieties) on their potato farm on Cutchogue (Wines of the World p. 506). (Sorry, after badgering my students to credit their sources, I must give credit where it’s right.) Currently, grapes outgrow potatoes as Long Island’s most substantial crop (so much for New York ever becoming the Vodka State).
Vineyards on the Island produce approximately 38 different varieties of grapes, ranging from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to Riesling and Viognier for the whites; and such red varietals as Cabernet Sauvingnon, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, a few of which came together to spawn some lovely rosés.
Every spring brings a fresh crop of rosés–the bottled more preferable to buds with thorns–and last night’s tasting did not fail to represent. Waters Crest Winery poured a lovely pale pink rosé with a fruity bouquet and bone dry finish, as did Wolffer Estate, whileOsprey’s Dominionproduced a heartier rosé, ruby-pink in color, with red berries that danced around my nose. Since Channing Daughters Winery was visited at the end of the evening, I only remember that I liked it…
There were some interesting whites, including Peconic Bay Winery’s 2005 Riesling, which didn’t scream of flowers and fruit, but rather petrol. I’ve read about wines with bouquets of gasoline, but had never experienced the sense, so this certainly added to my feelings of accomplishment. The vendor claimed that German wine makers strive for, but rarely achieve this scent, something I hope to learn more about at tonight’s German Riesling tasting at the Tribeca Rooftop (liver–stay tuned…).
Another white that caught my attention was Channing Daughters Winery’s“Envelope”(this one I thought enough to note), which is a skin-fermented wine that was floral and somewhat reminiscent of white or green tea. Bedell also served an interesting white–“First Crush”-fermented in stainless steel, 82% chardonnay 18% viognier. Again, I can only write that I liked it.
And now for the reds.
It was fun to sample a couple of meritage wines (including one from Osprey’s Dominion and Pindar’s “Mythology”), after reading about these blends in last month’s Saveur, but I regretfully write that these tastings too took place at the end of the night, and so I have nothing to report, other than that they were good. (So…this is why I saw the owner of Brooklyn’s Sip spitting, rather than swallowing every mouthful whole?!)
However, I can write that the Cabernet Francs produced by Waters Crest Winery and Sherwood House Vineyards were both divine–full of dark cherries and spice, the former flavored a bit of tobacco, while both finished smooth on the palate. Martha Clara Vineyards poured a 2005 “Five-O” red, which while not as sophisticated at the other two, was heavy on the ‘Cigar Box’ stank, which I always like.
What a splendid event! I’m on the look out for more. Next year, which will be their third affair, I promise to better organize the troops, perhaps give my husband (who is NOT a wino) a breather, by bringing along a handful of boozer friends. (You know who you are!)
May 15, 2008