We’ve already established I’m a huge fan of Long Island wines. All New York wines. And while the trip isn’t that far mile-wise (hey, we’re all part of the same island) a two-hour trip can easily double or triple come summer. All Hampton goers, heading out to their beach houses, crowd the LIE so much you’re left with miles of parking lot. And once you finally make it to your destination, things don’t improve that much. Tasting rooms are overflowing. While the wine will never run out, the intimacy is lost. My husband and I are pretty firm about our North Fork expeditions. Summer weekday day trips only. Otherwise, we avoid the area like a plague between May and October. While the Hampton’s crowd may calm down post Labor Day, the harvest season is just ramping up. So you can imagine how excited I get when Brooklyn Uncorked rolls around each year. Rather than schlepping up to the North Fork, traveling from winery to winery, the North Fork comes here. Dozens of wineries, all under one roof, for one fantastic evening.
Being a New York Locavore means not only eating locally but drinking locally too. Which means spending ample time sipping local wines. New York has three major wine regions–the North Fork of Long Island, the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley. We get out to the North Fork a few times a year. A quick day trip, courtesy of Zipcar or a leisurely train ride and we’re there. And the Hudson Valley is practically a stone’s throw from our parents’ homes, so getting out there isn’t a problem. That only leaves the Finger Lakes. There’s no easy way to get there besides renting a car and driving the 5.5 hour trek. To make it worth it we stay at least three nights, meaning a long weekend, meaning using an extremely coveted vacation day. We take our time off very seriously and if it comes down to spending an extra day in Ireland or a weekend in the Finger Lakes, Ireland wins hands down. So, the moral of the story is, we don’t get up to the Finger Lakes too often. Though when we finally make the trek earlier this month for the first time in 4 years it made me wonder what kept us away for so long.
I’m back! I know, you missed me terribly. I can tell. I just know these things. If you weren’t in Long Island this past weekend, let me tell you, you REALLY missed out. Absolutely amazing fall weather. I wish I had brought a light jacket, but I survived. 70s and breezy, it was just beautiful. But you don’t want to hear about me and the weather, you want to know about the wine.
I love Brooklyn, but I love the fall and harvest much more. As we get into September and October, you’ll rarely find me in Brooklyn or any of the five boroughs on the weekend. I try to escape the city as much as possible, get out to the country, see the leaves and enjoy the fresh air. This weekend, we’re off to Long Island.
Now, it depends how much time I feel like cooking this week, but I hope to at least include some, if not all of the 8 highlighted ingredients in this year’s Eat Drink Local Week. First to check off the list: Rose Wine. Now, you might not know me that well, but I can promise wine is never something I can’t include in my diet. My husband and I have our own Brooklyn “wine cellar”, which is really a section of our walk in pantry closet and an excel document to organize it all. Yeah, I know, we’re kind of nerds. We try to visit NY state wineries a few times a year, especially the North Fork, since it’s so close. It go to the point that we’d bring home so much wine, that we weren’t able to keep track of what was good and what was really good. We’d have take out on a weekday night, pop open a bottle and comment how good it was, before realizing it was a more expensive bottle that we really should have saved for a few years. Thus, our wine archive was born. It’s also helpful in reminding us what wines we REALLY liked and ones that were so so for future trips.
Now I’ve only been going to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket for a few weeks now (formerly an avid Fort Greene Greenmarket shopper), and was excited to learn Castello di Borghese visits every other Saturday. Perfect for finding a new local rose! Borghese is the North Fork’s oldest winery. I’m a big fan of their Cabernet Franc and Merlot wines, but have never really tried their roses. The one that caught my eye was a 2009 Pinot Noir Rose. Just as promised, it was rich and spicy and held up well for my steak dinner that night. The saleswoman mentioned since it was pure Pinot Noir grapes, it could easily be as delicious served room temperature in the winter or chilled and crisp in the summer. I will certainly become a regular of Borghese’s stand! One local ingredient down, 7 more to go!