Dan’s Harvest East End



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This past Saturday I made another trip out East to attend the Dan’s Harvest East End taste of Summer wine and food classic. The last of the trio of food and wine festivals hosted by Dan’s Paper. While the other two festivals were held on the South Fork of Long Island, this one was held on the North Fork where the majority of the wineries out East are located. It was held under the big tents on the property of McCall Winery at 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue.

Co-hosted by Food Network’s Geoffrey Zakarian, it featured food from local restaurants and purveyors and wine from the local wineries. It followed the same formula as the other festivals, big tents with the food stands on the perimeter, wines in the center, and the outlier beer and spirits booths scattered around.

It was another beautiful Summer evening tasting good food and wine with a crowd that was having fun. My drink of choice for the evening was Sparkling Point NV Brut and the 2006 Sparkling Point Brut Seduction.

Some of what I sampled:


The Frisky Oyster: Cornell Oysters Friskafella (My favorite of the night)

Smitty’s at American Grill: Homemade Meatball Sliders

First & South: Green Gazpacho

SCGP Café: Cauliflower Beignet

The Ram’s Head Inn: Spice Crusted Tuna with Grilled Local Corn

Jedediah Hawkin’s Inn: Lobster Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage

Petulant Wino: Summer Corn Gazpacho

A Mano Osteria: Local Corn Ravioli

Perabell Food Bar East: Sriracha Hoisan Glazed Duck Steamed Bun

Mirabelle: Long Island Striped Bass, Shrimp and Local Watermelon Ceviche



Tap & Cork Brooklyn


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This past Saturday afternoon I attended the Tap & Cork Brooklyn Beer and Wine Festival held at Restoration Plaza located at 1360 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

I had attended the event a couple of years ago and it was a different event this year. The event I attended a couple of years ago took place in Brooklyn as well but at an indoor venue. There were many more wine (and beer) stations which were staffed by someone involved either with the importer or distributer of the product they were pouring.

This years event was more neighborhood block party and Summer festival than a wine tasting. It was held outdoors, under tents with less product and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers instead of salespeople. And a block party it was, a huge crowd of people were having fun enjoying wine, beer and the DJ on hot August afternoon in Brooklyn.

A couple of wines out of the ordinary were the 2014 True Wine Connoisseurs White and the 2013 True Wine Connoisseurs Red. These wines, made in Brazil, were from the Brooklyn duo of Will Davis and Sadat X who produce a wine tasting video series and the wines were nice and easy drinking.

Cider Saturday


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This past Saturday I attended the 2015 Summer Ciderfeast event which was held outdoors at the Solar One event space in East River Park at 24-20 FDR Drive in Manhattan. I’ve been to several events at this space and essentially its a parking lot under the highway overlooking the East River.

This event was from the producers of Pig Island NYC, Brisket King NYC and Hot Sauce Expo and co-produced with the United States of Cider and Copenhagen Street Dogs. They  had over 12 producers pouring over 30 regional, national and international ciders.

I enjoy a good cider but most bars you walk into have the usual mass-produced suspects that are too sweet for my taste. At this event, even the ciders that were “off dry” were dryer than the mass-produced ones with more character.

It was a young, casual crowd who came out to enjoy a sunny Summer afternoon, with some live music and nibbles from local restaurants. The Danish-style hot dogs, a “pølse” from Copenhagen Street Dogs were tasty, they were served on a mini bun slathered with various sauces and topped with chopped raw onions and pickles.

These are what I sampled in the order I sampled them:

Aval Cidre Artisanal 6% (France) Dark pale, very dry with tasty character.

Moa French Oaked Aged Cider 5.6% (New Zealand) Light pale, very dry.

Aspall English Cider “John Barrinton” 8.4% (England) Light pale, light body.

Aspall English Cider “Perronelle’s Blush” 5.7% (England) Blush pink, dry.

E.Z. Orchards “Poire” 5.9% (Oregon) Cloudy yellow, dry, neutral.

E.Z. Orchards “Hawk Haus” 6.6% (Oregon) Yellow, dry, neutral.

E.Z. Orchards “Roman Beauty” 6.1% (Oregon)

Big Apple Cider “Sour Cherry” 7.3% (New York State) Copper with some oak notes.

Big Apple Cider “Bourbon Maple” 7.3% (New York State) Very dry with cooked fruit notes on the finish.

Big Apple Cider “Hipster” 7.3% (New York State) Cloudy, medium orange, slight fizz, some sweetness but finishes dry.

Descendant Cider Co. “Pom-Pomme” (New York City) With Pomegranate and Hibiscus 6.5% (New York State) Rust color.

Descendant Cider Co. “Dry” Heritage Cider 6.9% (New York City) Pale rust in color, very dry and light bodied with some oak notes on the finish.

Embark Craft Cider Works “American Heirloom” 7.5% (New York State) Made with seven varieties of heirloom apple, pale yellow with crisp acidity.

Emabark Craft Cider Works “The Crab Series Vol. 1” 7.2% (New York State) Made from crabapples, pale rust in color, very dry, with lip smacking tannin.

Emabark Craft Cider Works “The Pippin” 7.8% (New York State) Light yellow, light body, crisp.

Reverend Nat’s “Hallelujah Hopricot” 6.7% (Oregon) Made with Cascade hops, Rust color with crisp orange notes on the fruit.

Shacksbury “Farmhouse” (Vermont) 6.5% Made in Vermont from apples grown in England, sparkling, light rust in color, crisp and earthy.

Shacksbury “Basque” (Vermont)  6.2% Make in collaboration with a Spanish cider house, cloudy, light rust color, tart with sour notes on the finish.

Doc’s Draft Dry Hopped Cider 6% ( New York State) Doc’s is pretty much available in a lot of supermarkets, unfortunately, most times they don’t carry this version. Dry and crisp with hoppy tannin notes on the finish.

Austin’s Eastciders “Original” 5% (Texas) Rust color, dry, drinkable.

Citizen Cider “The Full Nelson” 6.9% (Vermont) A good basic, drinkable cider.

Citizen Cider “Northern Spy” 6.9% (Vermont) A single varietal cider, pale yellow, bone dry with a citrus zing at the end.

Cocktails & Fairies


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This past Sunday I attended the Secret Summer food and cocktail festival. They promised “inventive mixology and farm to table eats while advocating forward thinking ideas about locality and sustainability”. Ok.

It was held a the event space, The Foundry at 42-38 9th Street in Long Island City down the block from the East River and in the shadows of the Queensboro Bridge. The Foundry is a 8 room ivy covered brick building with a large garden courtyard .

The theme of the evening was Shakespeare’s A MidSummer Night’s Dream. Winged Fairies pranced around the courtyard sprinkling rose petals and pixie dust on the guests while strolling troubadours entertained the crowd. Members of the Shrunken Shakespeare Company would break out in spontaneous performances of Shakespeare’s play, or at least I thought they were actors and not young couples have a rough day. There was also a “ginormous” beer pong to keep people busy.

In the courtyard were tubs of soft drinks, Heineken beer, Rekorderlig Cider and Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV Champagne to go along with grilled food and grilled cheese sandwiches provided by the Morris Food Truck. I was able to grab some sausage, vegetables and a grilled cheese sandwich before the line became impossibly long.

Indoors had live ragtime music by The Ida Blue Band and several cocktail stations.

I was happy to stroll around with a glass of Brut or a pear cider in my hand but in the interest of research I sample several of the cocktails which included:

Herradura Tequila

Pamplona: Herradura, blood orange, dry curacao and ginger beer.

Sundown: Herradura, clementine and house acai grenadine.

Templo Mayor: Herradura, jalapeno, cacao, cornmilk, agave nectar and lemon.

Cachaça 51

Cai Tai: Cachaca 51, house falernum, acai grenadine and dry curacao.

Morango: Cachaca 51, market strawberries, sage and aromatic.

ColaDA: Cachaca 51, bitter cola syrup, coconut milk and fresh pineapple.

Jack Daniel’s

Doc Brown: Jack Daniel’s, market cherry sarsaparilla and micro bubble soda.

Shiso: Jack Daniel’s, saiso leaf, raw cane and leaf bouquet.

Bless your heart, but….: Jack Daniel’s, summer peach, market fennel and lemon.

It was a fun way to spend a sunny, Summer late evening.

Chefs & Champagne 2015


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On Saturday, July 25th I attended the James Beard Foundation’s 25th annual Chefs & Champagne foodie event which this year honored Chef and cookbook author Carla Hall.

The event was held at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, on the South Fork of Long Island.

It was a gorgeous day with Chefs from over 40 restaurants cooking their specialty dishes served with free-flowing champagne from Tattinger, wines from Wöllffer Estate, beer from Belgium and vodka from Tito’s. And with an appearance from Miss USA, it was enjoyable day out in the Hampton’s.

I spent the day with a flute or two of Tattinger Brut La Francaise NV in my hand and sampling dishes prepared by these Chefs:

Noah Schwartz: Oysters with Soy mignonette and micro wasabi.

Titti Qvarnström: Allerum präst quiche with elderberry pickled green strawberries, kavring crumble and east end pea sprouts.

Jamie Leeds: Grilled oysters.

Marc Anthony Bynum: Octopus with yellow eye beans, picholine olives, tomatoes, lemon balsamic and paprika oil.

Georges Mendes: Portuguese fossil farms pork cutlet sandwich with piri-piri.

Jason Weiner: Smoked duck breast with silver queen corn and white miso.

Todd Mitgang: Local scallop tartare with black garlic, white soy and marinated broccoli.

Patti Jackson: House smoked bluefish pate with radish salad.

A.J. Schaller: Crab cakes with tomato jam and castelvetrano olives.

Christopher Lavey: Tomato sweet pepper gazpacho with grilled chanterelle and purple basil.

Shannon Shafer: Smoked pork belly with braised cabbage and mustard cream.

Leah Cohen: Chilled thai coconut lemongrass soup with shrimp.

Nick Wallace: Mississippi candy striped beets with preserved goat cheese and Mississippi honeycomb.

Harold Moore: Beer can fossil farms chicken.

Michael Vignola: Barrel smoked aged new york strip with sunchoke salad and sunflower sprouts.

Anthony Bucco: Barnegat lighthouse fluke with smoked yogurt, compressed peaches and pickled blueberries.  

Amanda Cohen: Tomato tarts with smoked feta.

Michael Ferraro: Fennel pollen dusted gulf shrimp with charred corn salad, tomato confit and smoked chili oil.

Harvest Restaurant: Vermont pork with watermelon, peaches, labneh and basil.

South African Sunday


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Sunday July 19th was a brutally hot day. During the afternoon the temperature shot up to 93° (about 34° for the metric folk out there) so it was as good as time as any to spend the time in a cool spot indoors, drinking some wine.

Wines provided by Babylonstoren, a winery/hotel and one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the country located in the Drakentein Valley in the heart of wine land about 60km from Cape Town, South Africa.

The event was held at the Silverstone loft at 58 Gansevoort Street. It was the type of event space that when the people walked in, they all thought out loud ‘gee, I wish this was my apartment”, brick walls, skylight in the kitchen and a killer sound system right smack in the middle of one of the hottest neighborhoods in Manhattan and the wines were tasty as well.

2015 Chenin Blanc. Green herbs on the nose, lime notes on the fruit, good balance and easy drinking.

2013 Viognier. Medium yellow, floral and earth notes on the nose with fresh green herbs on the fruit.

2015 Mouvèdre Rosé. Pale bright pink with notes of fresh herbs and cotton candy on the fruit.

2012 Chardonnay. The bottles are individually numbered, the first one I sampled, number 7232 was off with oxidized, sherry-like flavors. Another bottle was opened and that was a different animal altogether , floral and green herbs (which was a reoccurring flavor profile) on the nose, tight with good mouth feel with saffron notes on the finish.

2013 “Babel Red”. A Bordeaux blend, dark red to black in color with a muted nose of crushed red berries, silky tannin and astringent at the end.

2012 Shiraz. Black in color, fresh rosemary on the nose, chunky and chewy, nice tannin with some metallic notes on the finish.

2012 “Nebukadnesar”. Their flagship wine, another Bordeaux blend, dark, thick red in color, with crushed red berries on the nose, dried herbs, camphor and crushed black berries on the fruit.

Dan’s Taste Of Two Forks



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This past Saturday I attended the Dan’s Taste of Two Forks food festival. Dan’s Paper is a magazine that covers all thing Hampton’s. They co-sponsor several foodie events during the Summer and this was one of them.

The Taste of Two Forks was held under the big tents at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton on the south fork of Long Island and was co-hosted by Michael Symon of ABC’s The Chew and Katie Lee of Food Network’s The Kitchen.

With food from over 40 North and South Fork restaurants, wines from the North and South Fork wineries, cocktails from Tito’s vodka, Hendrick’s gin and Casamigos tequila and a tiki bar with brewskis from Blue Moon and Corona, it was a fun evening in the Hampton’s.

I stuck with white wines, rosé and the occasional margarita, the wines I sipped on :

2014 Jamesport Vineyards Rosé

2014 Macari Vineyards Rosé (3 Liter bottle)

2014 Bedell Cellars Rosé

2014 Pelligrino Vineyards Gewürztraminer

2014 One Women Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Lenz Winery Tete a Tete White Blend

Some of the nibbles I sampled:

Buoy One Seafood: Fresh Blue Crab Claw with roasted corn and black bean salad.

Nammos: Grilled octopus with tomato and olive salad.

Shuckers Lobster & Clam Bar: Dirty Lobster.

Smoking Wolf BBQ; BBQ pulled pork sliders.

South Hampton Social Club: Tuna Tacos

Bistro 72: Duck confit with soft herb cheese.

Moby’s:  Montauk Calimari with tomato, olives and Calabrian chili.

75 Main: Jerk spiced Long Island duck tacos.

Highway Restaurant & Bar: Lobster roll with lemon and tarragon.

Noah’s On the Road: BLT

Grana Tratoria Anitica: Fregola Sarda Pasta with Sardinian botarga.

668 The Gigshack: Ritz cracker crusted crab cake.

Fresh Hampton’s: Tuscan style seafood salad.

Ram’s Head Inn: Applewood smoked Crescent Farms duck breast.

Canal Café: Local Fluke ceviche.

Bastille Day Block Party


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This past Sunday the French Institute Alliance Française, (FIAF), held their 15th annual Bastille Day block party “celebrating the best of France”. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorker’s innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the diversity and richness of French cultures.

The block party was held on East 60th Street from Fifth to Lexington Avenues from Noon to 5pm. With plenty of food stalls plus music from Martinique’s Arpège Choir a French-American electro swing group, singer songwriter Benjamin Swax, DJ Stark, the Hungry March Band and can-can dancers. In addition there were free screenings of award-winning French children’s films. Of course there were food and wine tastings. The tastings were held at the FIAF building at 22 East 60th Street in Manhattan.

Champagne & Chocolate Tasting

Always nice to start the day of tastings with excellent sparklers. The event was held in the Le Skyroom with a view of E60th Street. Six Champagne, desserts and mini pastries by Le Cirque and fine chocolates by Neuhaus, Valrhona and Chocolat Moderne


NV La Caravelle Brut Cuvèe Niña

NV Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

NV Pommery Brut Royal

NV Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label

NV Moët Imperial

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut

Wine, Cheese, Cocktails and Beer Tasting

This event took place in the Tinker Auditorium. Summer cocktails made with the anise-flavored Ricard, cheeses from President specialty, whites, reds and rosés from Bordeaux as well as beer from Kronenboug.

Some of what I sampled included:

2014 Rosé de Chevalier (Pessac-Leognan)

2013 Chateau Fage (Graves de Vayres)

2012 Chateau Au Grand Paris (Bordeaux)

2009 Chateau Duc De Broglie (Cotes de Bourg)

2009 Chateau Coudreau (Lalande de Pomerol)

1995 Chateau Rouget (Pomerol)

Southold Farm + Cellars Long Island


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This Sunday afternoon I took a road trip to the North Fork wine country on Long Island. I had read an article about the North Fork wine country in Wine Enthusiast magazine country and they mentioned a winery, Southold Farm + Cellars that was “pushing the envelope”, from it’s “cutting edge labels” to the release of a carbonic wine. The winery is located on the southern edge of the North Fork at 860 Old North Road in Southold.

This was intriguing since I’m always on the lookout for something new in wine country and this winery had been off the radar until I read about in the magazine. I also remember reading an article that said the winery bottled a Chardonnay Pét-Nats, short for Pettilant Natural which is the old style of making sparkling wine where the wine is bottled before finishing primary fermentation and allowed to continue fermenting in the bottle resulting in a slight fizz. I have never drank one of those wines that was produced in Long Island.

Southold Farm + Cellars is a family owned farm and winery that has 9 acres of vines planted with unusual for Long Island, Italian varietals such as Toroldego and Lagrein. The tasting room was on the East end of the North Fork, off the beaten path which is how owner and winemaker, Regan Meador wants it to be. Unfortunately, they were out of the Pettilant wine but these four wines are what are being served in the tasting room at this time. Production is tiny with less than 200 cases produced of each of the wines.

2014 “Artful Dodger” Sauvignon Blanc. Creamy with some grassiness and a nice balance.

2013 “The Devil’s Advocate” Old Vine Chardonnay. Deep gold and slightly cloudy with a nose of honey and dried mushrooms, thick and chewy with nice balance.

2014 “Flying & Falling” Cabernet Franc. Whole cluster Carbonic Maceration with organic fruit, dark purple with a big nose of cooked berries, juicy with earth and slate minerals on the fruit. Low acid. I thought it would be nice with a slight chill on it.

2014 “Counting Stars” Sparkling Petit Verdot. Inky, dark purple and lightly sparkling with slate and wet stone on the nose, rustic, dry and refreshing, reminded me of a nice dry Lambrusco. I bought a couple of bottles to sip on during this Summer.

Rosé Cruise


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The La Nuit En Rosé wine event which was billed as “the world’s first rosé festival”, returned to New York City on June 25th to Saturday, June 27th. I attended the Saturday evening event where more than 150 rosé wines from 120 wineries in 9 different countries were poured on three floors of the Hornblower Infinity Yacht on the Hudson River. The event also featured food stations and a DJ with music to dance to. The weather was miserable but we spent a couple of hours at the dock and then set sail for a couple of hours cruising the Hudson River. It was an open bar and there was more than enough rosé to go around. It was a fun evening.

Some of what I sampled:


NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut (Champagne)

NV Michel Gonet (Champagne)

NV Veuve du Vernay (France)

NV Ferrari Brut (Trentino)

2008 Ferrari Vintage (Trentino)


2014 Domaine de la Mordoree (Rhone)

2014 Domaine le Vieux Moulin (Rhone)

2014 Chevelier d’Antelme (Rhone)

2014 Domaine Amido “Les Gourmandines” (Rhone)

2014 Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc (Languedoc)

2013 Bernard Magrez Bleu de Mer (Languedoc)

2014 Chateau Grand Boise (Provence)

2014 ViveVité (Provence)

2014 ViveVité “Extraordinaire” (Provence) 3Liter Bottle

2014 Saint Aix (Provence)

2014 Barton & Guestier Passport (Anjou)

2014 Remy Pannier (Anjou)

2014 Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre (Loire)

2014 Chateau de Lardiley (Bordeaux)

2014 Mulderbosch Limited Edition Magnum (Stellenbosch)

2014 Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (Chile)

2014 Torres De Casta (Spain)

2014 Azyul y Garanza (Navarra)

2014 Bodegas Otazu (Navarra)


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