Harbor Island Beer Fest

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The past Saturday afternoon, September 24th I attend the 3rd annual Harbor Island Beer & Cider Festival. They say it’s the worlds largest beer festival with over 200 breweries pouring 400+ beers and ciders along with food vendors and live music.

The event was held under the big tents at Harbor Island Park in the town of Mamaroneck which is about a 40 minute train ride North from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

Rain threatened the day when I woke in the morning but by the time I got to the event the sun came out for a beautiful day of beer and cider drinking. It was a huge event and I concentrated on the ciders and any interesting beers I could find including sours, gose, stouts and porters.




Chardonnay With Some Oak On Long Island

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This past Sunday afternoon I took a drive out to the  wineries on the North Fork of Long Island. It was a beautiful day with moderate temperatures and no humidity, the perfect day to be at a winery sitting on the deck with a glass of wine in hand while looking at a sea of vines with a blue sky above.

Chardonnays are the star of the whites out on the island and my focus this afternoon was to sample Chardonnay that had saw some oak treatment to it whether during fermentation or aging. .


2013 Laurel Lake Vineyards Chardonnay “Reserve” (North Fork)  3165 Main Road, Laurel, NY

Estate bottled and 100% fermented and aged in oak. Old school Chard, gold in color, honey-peach on the nose, spicy cinnamon and mouth filling buttery fruit, oak notes throughout the finish.


2014 Bedell Cellars Chardonnay (North Fork)   36225 Main Road, Cutchogue, NY

Barrel fermented and steel aged, yellow with greenish tints, lemon-lime custard on the nose, medium fruit with clean, tart lime notes on the finish.


2012 Lieb Cellars “No Label” Chardonnay (North Fork)  13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue, NY

Only available at the tasting room, partially barrel fermented, yellow with greenish tints, bubblegum and tropical fruits on the nose, mango notes followed by toast on the fruit with firm acids on the finish.




Pig Island 2016

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This past Saturday afternoon, September 10th I attended the 7th annual Pig Island Porktacular BBQ festival.

Pig Island was created in 2010 to support New York pig farmers with hogs sourced directly from small farms. This year the pork was provided by Flying Pig Farms in Shushan New York.

The outdoor festival was held on the waterfront at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn which is surrounded with plenty of reminders of its industrial past with monolithic cranes and rotting piers.

Over 25 Chefs served pork-centric dishes for us to sample along with craft beer, artisan spirits and cider, and the beer and cider came in handy since this Saturday was brutally hot, with temperatures atypical for this time of year in the mid 90’s (34°). I have to give Kudos to the pitmasters who practiced their craft over a hot grill in these temperatures.



Wine Fest At The Golden Nugget

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On Saturday August 27th I attended the International Wine Festival at the Golden Nugget casino. The Golden Nugget is one of a handful of casinos in the marina district a couple of miles off the boardwalk in Atlantic City New Jersey. They have held a wine fest in August for the past several years the theme of which was Cal-Ital which showcased wines from Italy and Italian heritage wines from California. This year the event was changed to an international wine fest with wines from several new and old world countries.

Atlantic City has been going through some tough times lately with several casinos closing down and the city on the verge of bankruptcy. But on this Saturday night, the city and the casinos were alive with gamblers and partiers.

The event had plenty of wines to keep everyone busy for the night along with a live band and a buffet table. Not as many Cali wines as I would have liked but Italy provided a nice selection.


Some of what I sampled:

2015 Chateau D’Esclans “Whispering Angel’ Rosé (Provence). Light pink, strawberry on the nose, tart strawberry fruit.

2013 La Crema Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). Yellow with green tints, toasty tropical fruit on the nose with toast and tropical fruit, crisp finish.

2015 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Blanc (Rhone). Light yellow, lime and slate on the nose, clean and crisp with lime notes on the finish.

2014 Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fusse (Burgundy). Toasted oak on the nose with toasty, lime notes on the fruit.


2013 Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel (Amador County). Medium red with crushed black fruit on the nose with spicy red fruit.

2013 Chloe N° 249 (North Coast). Medium red with warm, smoky dark berries on the nose, jammy and juicy.

2014 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Medium to dark red, green herbs on the nose, tight and concentrated, medium to long finish.

2013 Robert Mondavi “Maestro” (Napa Valley). 50th anniversary bottling, Bordeaux blend, primarily Merlot, medium red, green herbs on the nose, tight with mouth filling tannin.

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). Light red, cherry nose, tight with smoky, cherry fruit.

2014 The Prisoner Wine Co. Zinfandel “Saldo” (California). Medium to dark red, stewed red fruit on the nose with juicy cherry fruit balanced with firm tannin on the finish.

2013 Penfolds  Cabernet Sauvignon “Bin 407” (Australia). Dark red to black, close nose of cherry-mint, firm balance.

2013 Penfolds Cabernet-Shiraz “Bin 389” (Australia). Dark red to black with crushed black berry on the nose, cherry fruit followed by firm acids.

2012 Masi “Campofiorin” (Veneto). Medium red with sweet blueberry and tar on the nose, tight bitter cherry fruit.

2011 Masi Amarone “Costasera” (Veneto). Medium red, forest floor on the nose, tight and tannic with bitter cherry fruit.

2013 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany). Light red, earthy, barnyard notes on the nose, deeper fruit than what the color suggests, nice balance.

2011 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red with cherry leather notes on the nose and fruit.

2012 Castello di Banfi Chianti Classico “Riserva” (Tuscany). Medium red with fresh herbs and tar on the nose, tight with moderate light fruit, leather notes on the finish.

2011 Castello di Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium to dark red, crushed dark berries on the nose with mint undertones with dusty, silky red fruit, great balance.

2013 Tenute del Cabreo (Tuscany). Cabernet, Sangiovese blend, medium to dark red, crushed black berries on the nose, tight and tart finish.

2013 Nozzle Chianti Classico “Riserva” (Tuscany). Medium red, violets on the nose, dusty red fruit with silky tannins.

2011 Tenute La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red, sweet nose, silky fruit with bitter red cherry fruit.

2013 Ramon Bilbao  Tempranillo “Limited Edition” (Rioja). Dark red with leather and tar on the nose, tart cherry on the fruit.

2013 Argento Bonarda (Argentina).  Dark red, sweet red fruit on the nose with green herb notes on the fruit.

2012 Carmen Petite Sirah “Gran Reserva” (Chile). Medium red, herbs on the nose with chunky, dusty fruit.

2013 Famille Perrin Chateauneuf du Pape (Rhone). Medium red. fresh herbs and tar on the nose, tight and brambly on the firm finish.

2012 Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques “Moulin a Vent” (Beaujolais).Medium to light red, closed nose of crushed blueberries.rambly on the firm finish.