One great advantage of having family out east on Long Island is the chance to escape the concrete jungle of NYC for a while and spend a few days out there. This past Christmas week I had off from work so we crashed at their place for a few days to enjoy the holiday together. Where they live also offers a quick drive over to the North Fork of the island to hit the wine trail. What better way to spend an off day from work than partaking in numerous tastings of delicious vino! I love craft beer but also enjoy a taste of the grape too. I’m not a discriminating booze hound. If it offers a nice buzz, and tastes good, I’m all for it! Paired with some cheese, crackers, grapes, and assorted charcuterie it makes for a groovy afternoon of imbibing. This wino loves his vino! Check out the vineyards we happened upon during our afternoon wine tasting excursion the day after Christmas –
One Woman Wines & Vineyard
Wine tasting in a little shed! No, really, it is a little shed. Look at the pic I put up. Inside the decor is nicely done in a country farm kind of way. There were already about eight people in it when we got there so we had to squeeze in and wait our turn. Only room for one person serving the wine tasting behind a small bar area and he was very friendly, while also offering suggestions on other wineries to check out along the way.
Different options and price points for tastings here. Two for $6 or three for $8. The reserve merlot is really good as were a few of the Gruner white wines. Bottles are a bit pricey but I splurged on that reserve melot as it had great flavor of chocolate and a hint of leather. A bit dry with a nice finish.
Very unpretentious and simple spot to taste some vino. If it gets too crowded as this closet sized place can quickly become, there is a nice outside deck with seating to relax on when the weather is nice along with some picnic tables on the lawn. Very cozy spot that I’ll return to in the Spring and enjoy some wine boozing outdoors.
Pro tip – Check in on Yelp for a free reserve wine tasting!
One Woman Wines – http://www.onewomanwines.com/
Sherwood House Vineyards
It’s like doing a wine tasting in an old Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post painting.
When we rolled up on this place it was all decked out in classic and tasteful Christmas decorations. White lights twinkling on the outside and when we walked into the main tasting room we were greeting by a beautiful rustic scene. Lit up Christmas tree in the corner, roaring fire in the fireplace, pine wreaths and garland hanging on the walls, a tray of peppermint chocolates to munch on. So simple but such a warm cozy ambiance. To top it off there was a family of multiple generations gathered around the fireplace sitting on the couches drinking wine participating in fun conversation and laughs. If Norman were alive today this would have resulted in his next great masterpiece.
Along with the picturesque tasting area here there are also a plethora of different rooms to grab a bottle and chill at. This is actually a very large place and each area seems to have it’s own personality. Some rooms feature a more rustic feel while another had a more brighter shabby chic look. The outside grounds also features seating and must be wonderful in the summer to enjoy some wine and bites to nosh on. Oh, and live music on Saturday afternoons make it a worthwhile visit and relaxing environment.
The lady pouring the tasting was very nice and personable. She went through each wine with us and even offered a free tasting on another wine we were interested in. I really enjoyed their 2011 Oregon Road Blend table wine and their 2007 Merlot. Bought a bottle of both to take home. As I was in a red wine mood today I pretty much stuck with those. A tasting flight here will run around $10 – $15 and will vary based on how many wines you want to try. Can’t wait to come back here on a warm Spring day to sit outside and enjoy life with some tasty vino!
Sherwood House Vineyards – http://www.sherwoodhousevineyards.com/
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards
Fantastic winery to enjoy a tasting at. If you enjoy the bubbly stuff this place is a must!
Wow – this place is fancy looking. All white interior, modern art adorning the walls, large crystal chandeliers hanging overhead in the large main room, fireplace crackling with a roaring fire, plenty of seating, and large doors that open up to a view of the vineyards. Another cozy room to step up into with more seating and couches. Now this is the way to do a tasting. I can see this place being the setting for many bridal parties, weddings, upscale events, and even featured in those foo-foo magazines to show off the architecture and surroundings for those who drink with their pinky sticking out. They also feature live music, tasting events, and dining soirées. Very elegant and chic looking. Not really an intimate type tasting room but very well done and inviting to all.
That being said even though we are a bit more low-brow we loved this winery! They feature nothing but exemplary sparkling wines. Sure, it’s basically their version of Champagne but because it’s not from that region of France it can’t be called that, yet we found their sparkling wines to be just as enjoyable. The lady who helped us out today, Kelsey, was outstanding. She was very knowledgeable and really knew her stuff. Answered any questions we had and also gave us a lesson in sparkling wine making. What’s even more impressive is that after we walked in and up to the main bar area she told us to take a seat and she would come by to take care of us. Tableside service right at our table in front of a roaring fire was so winning!
A tasting flight here is $17. She came by every few minutes with each different wine to taste and explained each one. It was set at a leisurely pace so we never felt rushed. Along with the cheese, crackers, and fig & onion jam spread we purchased it made for a wonderfully casual nosh to go along with the chilled sparkling wines. They feature a locally sourced food pairing menu set up to enhance the wines and partner the tastes to them. Be prepared to spend some coin here as the wines are not cheap but the quality is worth the higher price.
Even better – buy two bottles and the wine tasting is free! Which I did. Got me a bottle of their Brut and Blanc De Blancs which are now both chilling in my fridge getting ready for us to gulp down while sitting on our couch watching TV and munching on Doritos.
Yeah, we fancy.
Sparkling Pointe – http://www.sparklingpointe.com/