“My summer wine is really made from all these things.”
I’ve done quite a lot of traveling this summer. I’ve gone to new cities in different countries, tried new foods, and learned about other cultures. Believe it or not, I’m not tired of traveling. My trips to England and France have only made me want to continue to explore places I’ve never been to before. As exciting as it was to go to other countries, it’s not always doable. Time, money, and prior commitments don’t always allow for me to jet off to another continent whenever I feel like it. They don’t even always allow for me to jet off to somewhere in my own country. This is why local travel is the best type of travel. You get to explore a new place, new foods, and possibly even a new culture. Not enough people take advantage of exploring a new town that’s close to where they live.
This past weekend, Adam took me to vineyards on Long Island to celebrate our one year anniversary. Before then, I had never been to Long Island, and I hadn’t been to a vineyard since parents took me to one as a kid. Our day trip last weekend was a wonderful experience filled with lots of delicious wine. It was a beautiful day, which made the experience even better. We were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful sights.
Here are the vineyards we went to:
The first vineyard we went to was Paumanok Vineyards on North Fork of Long Island. Adam and I ordered the White Label flight for $20. This flight included the 2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, the 2017 Dry Riesling, the 2014 Merlot, and the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. We sat outside on the patio to enjoy our wine and the view. While all of the vineyards we went to were beautiful, there was something about this one that made it absolutely gorgeous. The patio was very close to the grape vines making me almost feel like I was drinking my wine in the vineyard.
The 2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay was aged in a French oak barrel and had notes of melon and apple. The finish had a bit of a popcorn taste to it, making it very interesting on the palate. The 2017 Dry Riesling was my favorite of the whites. It was aged in stainless steel tanks and had aromas of lime, green apple, lilies, lilac, and other white flowers. I liked it because it was drier and less sweet than the Chardonnay.
I’m a Merlot kind of girl, so I knew the 2014 Merlot was going to be my favorite out of all four wines. Aged in neutral French Oak, this wine had a crisp taste with notes of fruit. I also got hints of vanilla in each sip. I very much enjoyed this Merlot. I also liked the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a strong floral aroma to it and notes of tannins, black fruit, and cherry flavors. I usually prefer my wines with notes of vanilla rather than floral notes, which is why I preferred the Merlot to the Cabernet.
One other thing I really liked about this tasting was the presentation of the flight. Look how cute that little flight tray is.
Adam chose the next vineyard based off of its excellent reviews. Sparkling Pointe specializes in sparkling wines. The winery also featured patio seating close to the vineyards. Unfortunately, Adam and I weren’t able to sit close to the vineyard, like at Paumanok Vineyards, because this place was packed. Another unique aspect about Sparkling Point is that waiters come to your table to take your drink or flight order. And, when you order a flight the waiter delivers your sparkling wine glass by glass.
We ordered the Grand Tasting Flight for $20, which included the 2015 Brut, the 2014 Blanc de Blancs, the NV Cuvée Carnaval Rosé, and the NV Cuvée Carnaval Blanc. I usually don’t like sparkling wine because of the bubbles, but I was actually very pleased with this flight.
The first two sparkling wines we were served were the 2015 Brut and the 2014 Blanc de Blanc. The 2014 Brut had aromas of lemon rind, apple, and pear, giving the wine a sort of sweetness to it. The 2014 Blanc de Blanc had aromas of tree blossoms, green apple, and melon. It was 100% Chardonnay and had a toasty crispness to it. I preferred the 2014 Blanc de Blanc over the 2014 Brut because it tasted like Chardonnay.
The next two wines were the NV Cuvée Carnaval Rosé and the NV Cuvée Carnaval Blanc. The Carnaval Rosé was a mix of Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Because it was a red and white blend, it had a pretty pale pink color. It had notes of red fruit, brioche, and sugar cookie. I definitely tasted and smelled the sweet notes and aromas in this glass. The Carnaval Blanc was the sweetest sparkling wine in the flight. It had flavors of strawberry, tropical fruits, and cherry blossom. Even though I usually don’t like my drinks sweet, I actually liked this better than the Carnaval Rosé.
My favorite sparkling wine of the whole flight, though, was the 2014 Blanc de Blanc. That’s a sparkling wine I would enjoy popping open.
Laurel Lake Vineyards
As we were driving back towards home, we decided to stop at one more vineyard, Laurel Lake Vineyards. This was a cute little vineyard with a huge selection of red and white wines. My favorite part about this vineyard is that I was able to choose my own flight of three wines for $11. Obviously, I decided to try all red wines for my flight.
The first wine I tried was the 2014 Merlot Estate. It was aged in an oak barrel and had flavors of dry plums and vanilla. I really enjoyed the soft vanilla notes in this wine. This was a good, flavorful wine that had just a hint of sweetness. It ended up being my favorite wine for this flight.
My second favorite wine of the flight was the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. It was highly recommended by the tasting room employee. It had flavors of ripe berries and toasty oak. It had just a hint of smokiness to it, which gave an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the berries. I can definitely see why this wine was highly recommended.
The final wine I tried was the 2015 Syrah. I’ve only had Syrah a few times before, which is why I think it was my least favorite of the flight. I’m not quite used to Syrah yet, but it was still a great wine. The 2015 Syrah had flavors of pepper, berries, and toasted vanilla. The notes of pepper gave this wine more of a bite to it. It also had a more intense smokiness to it than the Cabernet. The 2015 Syrah tasted very similar to the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, but I think its intense bite and smokiness is what made me like it the least of the three.
I really liked the vibe of this tasting room. It had a really homey, local feel to it, which gave me an added appreciation for the local wine I was tasting.
I really loved our day trip to the Long Island Vineyards. It was a new experience for me to both visit Long Island and to visit a vineyard (while of drinking age). Now that I’ve been to a few vineyards, I want to find more. There are a lot more local vineyards than I thought there were. See if there are any near your house and make an afternoon of it. If possible, try a number of different vineyards. It was interesting to not only taste wines from different places but to also experience the different cultures in each individual vineyard.
Save me a pour, my Dolls!
My favorite thing to do is pop open a glass of wine and have some me-time! Read more about me-time in “Real Talk: Alone Time.”