So happy we went out to the Island a day early – today was so wet and rainy and went by way too fast! I started the day with coffee in the rain on the beach. There was an oyster farm next door to our lodging, so I watched an old oyster-man clean cages and sort the contents while a boat loaded new cages to place back in the water. It was so peaceful.
Breakfast was at a 80+year old landmarked local diner, the Cutchogue Diner – I had the most delicious old-fashioned banana pancakes. A perfect breakfast before wine tasting! First stop, Paumanok Vineyards. We tasted 8 different wines, all quite lovely – the one I want to note is their Chenin Blanc. They are the only winery on Long Island making wine from this grape, as far as I know… Vouvray it is not, but it is intensely fruity and refreshing enough to drink all summer long. The 2007 is sold out and the 2008 is just coming available. Save some for me!
Next stop, Peconic Bay Winery. Again, the wines were very tasty. Especially the barrel sample of the ’07 Merlot we were treated to. Apparently ’07 is the vintage to look forward to. Peconic Bay has a great set up with high service standards, great snackies, and live music – would have liked to hang out longer to enjoy it, but we were moving on.
I should note, this day was hosted by the generous people at Mercer Cutlery for the chef instructors at FCI… it was a spectacular day that even rain could not dampen! OK, bypassing the bad pun – the highlight of the day was the beautiful lunch (paired with a great selection of wine) prepared for us by the talented chef/owners of the North Fork Table and Inn in Southold. Foie gras, truffle-crusted grouper, lamb with homemade smoked merguez & beluga lentils, and the most amazing dessert I’ve ever eaten (Claudia Flemming is a genius)… Creamy, sticky, gooey, but very grown-up Chocolate Caramel Tart with a delicately salted caramel ice cream.
What a way to end the perfect North Fork Wine Adventure Weekend!