Wine Tasting Fit For a FoodiePosted: November 10, 2014
Wine Tasting Fit For a Foodie
In preparation for my first trip to Napa, California (soon to come), I jumped on this offer from the Long Island Wine Council offering free shuttle service to many of the wineries in the “North Fork” area of Long Island.
This was my very first true wine tasting tour and I learned a lot. Prior to this trip I have done tastings at my local wine stores which is always fun!
First off the areas that these wineries are located in are quite lovely. I happened to be blessed with a gorgeous day which always gives a pristine, sharpened view of everything before the eye. Something else I learned, not everyone who takes a wine tour does it for the appreciation of wine but merely for the effects the wine offers (so many of my fellow passengers were less interested in the wine varietals as they were the opportunities to become inebriated and to behave self-indulgently).
What I learned about the free shuttle service is that it is best to just jump on and jump off and experience the various wineries without prejudging them. Some of my fellow passengers knew this right off and came away with experiencing 4-5 different wineries in the time span whereas I experienced two.
It was a definite fun learning experience. Some wineries offer free tastings and some offer a menu of 4-5 different tastings for a fee of about $10-$25.
My first and favorite winery (so far) was the Lieb Cellars or as they are currently known – the Tasting Group.
The staff were so welcoming after I announced that it was my first experience. They immediately put a small glass in front of me and filled it half way with a delicious blended, crisp white wine. They mentioned they were offering two more complimentary tastings and then went into descriptive detail of all their offerings as I tasted each. They asked where I came in from and I expressed my confusion about the area and they were helpful in suggesting places to eat and more importantly how best to walk there since I was not willing to wait for the shuttle pick up.
After leaving this lovely place, I walked quite a ways to a place called “Love Lane”, suggested by the Lieb staff (such a lovely name, how could I go wrong). I discovered a great Italian gourmet deli where I ate a satisfying spinach/ricotta calzone-type dish.
Afterward I caught a shuttle to another winery, Macari Vineyards, offering paid tastings for $12. I enjoyed one of the four I tasted. Many of the images posted here are from the Macari winery. I found the staff to be attentive, informative and friendly in the midst of a busy tasting session.
Shuttling back to the LI railroad, we stopped at a mouth-watering fresh produce stand. I was so tempted to get off and take my chances waiting for another shuttle back to the station to make the final train back to NY but my thoughts flashed to a scenario of a missed train and a stranded me out here in the cold darkness with little knowledge of the area and an earnest desire to accept the first invitation of warmth.
My next trip: by car with a designated driver.
I enjoyed this trip and was so ecstatic about being out of the city for a day.