New York Cork Club: May 2016 Selections

With summer just around the corner — despite the cool, grey weather blanketing most of the northeast right now — I wanted to pick some wines this month that are well suited to warmer weather occasions and foods. I think I’ve done that with these wines even if they don’t offer the same sense of discovery as some other picks have. These aren’t obscure producers or grapes or wines that you haven’t seen before. Instead, I’ve chosen two delicious wines from two of my favorite producers — one in the Finger Lakes and one on Long Island. My first pick is…

Southold Farm + Cellar 2014 “Counting Stars” Sparkling Petit Verdot

With Southold Farm + Cellars 2014 “Counting Stars” ($28) — a sparkling red wine made from 100% petit verdot grapes — co-owner and winemaker Regan Meador has created what might be the most food-versatile wine available on Long Island today. That’s not a declaration that I take lightly, either. A lot of people thought he was a little crazy (maybe he is) for making sparkling wine from petit verdot — a late-ripening variety most often used to add color, tannin and acid to red wine blends — but ultimately, it’s petit verdot’s character that makes this wine such a great complement to so…

Corks of the Forks: Let the Meadors Farm

Tomorrow, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m., Carey and Regan Meador, owners of Southold Farm + Cellar, will go before the Southold Zoning Board of Appeals for what they — and a whole lot of wine lovers — hope will be the last time. I’m a wine guy who has little interest in local codes or politics — and even less knowledge about them. I’m not going to pretend that I know the ins and outs of what the Meadors and their family have dealt with: being forced to close their tasting room, wondering if they’ll be able to stay open without…

Corks of the Forks: The Last Thanksgiving Wine Story You’ll Ever Need to Read

When considering your Thanksgiving wine choices, here’s the only advice you need: Drink good wine. Don’t complicate it any more than that. OK. You probably want to know why it’s that simple, and I’m happy to explain it. I’ve written Thanksgiving-related stories for at least a decade, just like every other wine writer — from local guys like me to national columnists in the big, glossy magazines. Some feel compelled to do so, but often we’re told to write these stories because they’re apparently popular, though I don’t actually understand why. None of my friends or family members stress about…

Uncork the Forks: The Physical Side of Winemaking

Two weeks after I spent the better part of a day picking and processing grapes at Southold Farm+Cellar, parts of my body still ache. Yes, that’s a commentary on my present level of physical fitness — and no one would ever suggest that picking grapes is work meant for someone who stands 6 feet, 3 inches — but it’s also a reminder of all of the hard work that goes into the wines we love drinking so much.   Most people picture the life of a winemaker as an artistic, romantic one spent walking through vineyards, examining the grapes, perhaps…

Inside Copake Wine Works, aka “Frankly Wines North”

The first Saturday tasting at Copake Wine Works felt slightly subversive: Standing behind a table in the front window, co-owner Christy Frank splashed Greek white and Moroccan syrah into the glasses of customers who were possibly more used to tried-and-true Chardonnay and G&Ts on lazy August afternoons. The wines were quenching, though, and well-priced, so many left with bottles of Semeli “Mountain Sun” Moschofilero and Ouled Thaleb Syrah cradled in their arms. On Instagram, Frank has called Copake Wine Works, the three-month old wine shop she and her husband, Yanai, run in this sleepy upstate village, “Frankly Wines North,” and its shelves offer a mashup…

New York’s Next Wave: A New Generation is Earning Attention With Quality and Experimentation

Editor’s Note: This is my latest New York-focused piece for Beverage Media Though they haven’t satureated the metropolitan New York market by any means, New York wines aren’t the new kids on the block anymore. Rather than look to distant lands for “the next big thing,” enough intrepid buyers have looked in their own backyard to raise the profile of New York State wine to at least a known quantity. Many of the top — the classic ones, really — are known quantities. Wines from stalwarts like Hermann J. Wiemer, Paumanok Vineyards, Dr. Konstantin Frank and Channing Daughters Winery hold…

Regan Meador, Southold Farm + Cellar: We Are Closed, But Not Finished.

Editor’s note: The following was written by Regan Meador, co-owner and winemaker at Southold Farm + Cellar, a true family-run small business that does not deserve the trouble the town and one over-zealous neighbor are causing his family. This probably won’t be the last post I write about this. More soon. As of July 9th, 2015 we have been asked by the Town of Southold to cease all operations or face fines and/or jail time. We are heartbroken, to say the least. Prior to purchasing the property in 2012 we had sought guidance with the town and have been completely…