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The Best Long Island Wineries to Visit Right Now

New York State is full of surprises. You know you’ve hit the rural bits of Long Island’s North Fork—and, therefore, wine country—when you see a giant inflatable strawberry jiggling in the wind, like the one outside Bayview Market & Farms in Riverhead. The hamlet of Flanders’s Big Duck, whose innards house a poultry store, serves as a similar landmark at the mouth of Long Island’s South Fork. They’re not official markers, of course, but there’s something delightful about a conspicuously oversized roadside attraction letting you know you’ve left the city far behind.

Comprising 1,400 square miles, Long Island is the nation’s largest and longest contiguous island. It consists, in large part, of sprawling suburbs and strip malls, but its East End, as it is known, is far more bucolic. Divided into the North Fork and South Fork by the Peconic Bay, this sliver of land birthed the region’s wine industry half a century ago.

Fifty years may be a heartbeat in a global wine context, but it’s a profound milestone for a region like Long Island, which is, in many ways, just hitting its stride. Wine grape farming is improving. As some vines come of age, others are being dug up and replaced with more climate-suitable clones and varieties. Meanwhile, second-generation producers—alongside new, internationally experienced winemakers—are getting their hands dirty in Long Island’s sandy loam soils.

Combine that with a multitude of new post-pandemic tasting room experiences and high-end restaurant openings, plus a summer of 50th anniversary celebrations, and there’s no better time to acquaint—or reacquaint—yourself with New York’s second-largest wine-producing region.

As Wine Enthusiast’s reviewer of wines from New York State, Long Island is near and dear to my heart. Below you’ll find my picks of some of Long Island’s top wineries, along with recent releases bound to delight even more than inflatable fruit and giant poultry.

The North Fork

Paumanok Vineyards


One of Long Island’s westernmost wineries, Paumanok Vineyards is also one of its most longstanding. Founded in 1983 by Ursula and Charles Massoud, who emigrated from Germany and Lebanon, respectively, Paumanok is now run by sons Kareem, Nabeel and Salim. A true family business, Kareem is winemaker and president, Nabeel vineyard manager and Salim the operation’s administrative manager. Charles and Ursula are still very involved in the winery’s day to day.

Paumanok’s winery and tasting room are housed in a renovated, turn-of-the-century barn clad in weatherboards. The interior is airy and calm, while the large deck provides expansive views of the vineyards, which parade over one of the few hills on the notoriously flat island. Paumanok hosts a sunset special of raw oysters, a Greek snack bar and $8 glasses every Friday in the summer. But it’s also worth snagging a seat at one of the Grand Vintage tasting dinners. Like other long-established Long Island producers, Paumanok is known for holding back stocks of their highly cellar-worthy Merlot and Bordeaux blends.

In 2018, the Massouds purchased nearby Palmer Vineyards, where they operate a second tasting room and hold various events, including live music performances and dinners featuring wood-fired pizzas made by Nabeel.


2022 Paumanok Vineyards Chenin Blanc

Fresh, fruity, lemonade-like, from the oldest Chenin vines in New York State.

2021 Paumanok Minimalist Cabernet Franc

Savory and al dente, in a lightweight style. Drink slightly chilled.

2022 Palmer Albariño

A lemony, salty, seafood-friendly island wine.

2021 Palmer Aromatico

Floral and spicy, clean and crisp, bone dry. Drink with spicy Thai or Mexican food.



Like Paumanok, Macari is a family affair. The winery began in 1995 when Joseph Macari Jr. and his father first planted vines on the 500 acres of fallow land—formerly a potato farm—that Joseph Sr. had purchased in the 1960s. Today, Joseph Jr. and his wife Alexandra still helm the ship, but daughter Gabriella and son Joseph M. are also intimately involved, the former as Director of Operations and the latter as Head of Viticulture.

Macari has long been a leader on the viticulture front, employing organic and biodynamic techniques and omitting herbicides. In 2020, Macari brought in a new winemaker, Byron Elmendorf, who has taken its operation in an exciting direction, one that sees more wild ferments, lees aging and a general uptick in experimentation and creativity.

Despite having to navigate the notoriously strict regulations surrounding food service from both New York State and Southold township (where around 75% of the North Fork’s wineries are located), Macari offers a multitude of events that feature visiting chefs like Lauren Lombardi, whose beautifully prepared and ultra fresh seasonal dishes are worth the trip alone.

In 2022, Macari renovated and re-launched its tasting room in nearby Cutchogue as Meadowlark. With a beautifully designed wine bar, events space and a range of wines, Meadowlark seems set to become one of the North Fork’s top wine and wedding destinations.


2021 Macari Cabernet Franc

Aged in concrete egg, this is bright, succulent and savory. It’s from one of the first Cab Franc producers in New York State.

2022 Meadowlark Sauvignon Blanc

This wild ferment is Sancerre-like, vibrant, textural and flinty.

2021 Meadowlark Pinot Meunier Rosé

With notes of tangerine, pomegranate and botanicals, this skinsy, briny bottling is hugely characterful.

Lieb Cellars


With broader distribution than most Long Island wines, Lieb Cellars is a label you might find in a trendy urban wine bar or cutting-edge shop in New York City. Perched less than a mile from the Long Island Sound, the winery makes remarkably saline wines that speak of their maritime surroundings. This is thanks both to the careful farming of longtime vineyard manager Ildo Vasquez, and to Lieb’s Aussie-born winemaker Russell Hearn.

As if in subtle homage to Hearn’s homeland, the tasting room at Lieb nods to an outback station with corrugated iron on the bar and walls. It’s a cozy, classy space, especially during wintertime when live music accompanies tasting flights and cheese and charcuterie boards.


2021 Lieb Pinot Blanc

Super saline and subtle, this bottling is food friendly. It’s Hearn’s favorite variety and from some of the oldest vines on LI.

2020 Lieb Teroldego-Lagrein

This bottling delivers notes of grape jelly and white pepper, with a succulent, mid-weight style. It’s made with fruit from the former Southold Farm and Winery, one of Long Island’s most interesting plantings, which Lieb now leases.

Bedell Cellars


The tasting room at Bedell Cellars has a bright and airy modern appeal that pairs with its clean, textural, food-friendly wines. This is one of Long Island’s longest-standing wineries, dating back to 1980 (with a change in ownership in 2000). It also boasts a winemaker with arguably more regional experience than any other, Richard Olsen-Harbich. With 40 years of winemaking on Long Island under his belt, Olsen-Harbich is a creative champion of the region in search of purity and site expression. All fermentations are spontaneous, or kickstarted with self-foraged botanicals to capture the essence of Long Island terroir.

Corey Creek is Bedell’s second label. The wine is made by Bedell’s assistant winemaker, Marin Brennan. At Corey Creek’s Tap Room, the vibe is more artisanal, with a chic beach hut feel and live music on the front porch overlooking the vineyards.


2022 Bedell Melon de Bourgogne

Delivers notes of seashell and lemon with chalky texture and crunchy acidity. Not a typical Muscadet, but its own Long Island expression.

2020 Bedell Malbec

Expect notes of soft spice, plump red and blue fruit, as well as salty tannins. This mid-weight style offers excellent acidity and tucked-away oak.

2022 Corey Creek White Cabernet Franc

With tropical, peach, floral and fruity notes, this bottling remains bone dry and chalky, almost austere. Food-friendly, it’s quirky but clean.

Read the rest of the original article on Wine Enthusiast.

When you’re ready for a wine tasting tour, Main Street Drivers provides customized tours for wine enthusiasts of all levels in popular wine regions throughout the US including the North Fork Wineries on Long Island!


Long Island Wine Country Toasts to 50 Years of Winemaking

Long Island’s wine country will celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary at Peconic Bay Vineyards in Cutchogue on Saturday, Aug. 19.

“This is a celebration of ourselves, to some extent,” said Kareem Massoud, winemaker for Paumanok and Palmer Vineyards and a member of Long Island Wine Country, formerly known as the Long Island Wine Council. “There will be a lot of industry insiders — winery owners, winemakers, vineyard managers, the growers as well as a lot of our hardcore supporters and best customers. It’s also a great opportunity for anyone new to Long Island wine to discover Long Island wine.”

In 1973, Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted the first wine grapes in Cutchogue. The soil, topography and climate proved to be the ideal place to harvest numerous varieties of grapes and soon farmers moved to the region to begin their own vineyards. Wine growers throughout the region have been dedicated to producing high-quality, environmentally sustainable wines and now, half a century later, Long Island boasts more than 50 different vineyards, most of which are located on the East End.

“My family has been here for 40 of the 50 years and we were able to witness the growth of the industry in real-time,” said Massoud. “We’ve seen the number of acres planted and tasting rooms grow. The quality has always been there, even early on, but in the past few years it has become very, very good.”

Attendees at the 50th-anniversary celebration will have the chance to sample the various types of wine from over 30 North and South Fork vineyards. Taste memorable wines like rosé from Croteaux Vineyards, award winning reds from Osprey’s Dominion and Coffee Pot Cellars and even canned wines from Bridge Lane Wines. Unlike other wine-centric events, wines will be sorted into styles rather than separated by individual vineyards.

“It’s not often you get to go to a unique tasting experience like this,” said Michael Falcetta, general manager of Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery and LIWC member. “We grow so many types of grapes and styles of wine and I think we are going to expose a lot of people to things they didn’t know were available on Long Island.”

At this event, guests can curate a personal tasting experience that highlights the different styles of the region. Local restaurants like North Fork Table & Inn and The Frisky Oyster, will provide locally-sourced farm products to pair with the wines.

“We are working closely with our restaurant partners to develop food pairings that are going to complement one another and showcase how food-friendly the wines are,” said Falcetta. “We want people to learn about pairings and understand how and why they work. It will be an opportunity for guests to speak face-to-face with winemakers.”

Louisa Hargrave will be in attendance, along with numerous other pioneers of the Long Island wine industry, including winemakers and vineyard managers.

This celebration will also include an auction, featuring special experiences like private cellar tours, a dinner at a Michelin 3-star restaurant and even a trip to France.

Read the rest of the original article and get tickets on Northforker.

Call Main Street Drivers if you need a professional designated driver to take you to the event, or explore all the vineyards with a personalized tour of the North Fork Wine Trail.



How to Write Wine Tasting Notes Like a Pro

When looking at a wine menu, it’s natural to feel somewhat confused. Not only are there varietals, vintages, and vineyard names to wrap your head around, but there might also be flavor descriptors that are hyper-specific and, frankly, don’t seem very appetizing. Maybe the Cabernet Sauvignon has leather on the finish, or  or that Sauvignon Blanc has an aroma that is overwhelmingly similar to cat pee.

While these characteristics may sound unappealing, they’re just a part of what makes a wine complex. And no, sommeliers don’t pull these obscure ingredients out of thin air – they thoughtfully taste and evaluate the wine in order to write tasting notes.

Understanding tasting notes is important for anyone who likes to drink wine. Essentially, they’re the key to knowing what you like and dislike about what’s in your glass, and can be critical to understanding what pairs best with the dish you’re cooking. For instance, some people prefer their white wine to be loaded with flavors of tropical fruit, like mango and papaya, while others prefer something more oaky and buttery. While some drinkers want big bold reds, others prefer something light and bright with notes of strawberries and red cherries. Once you know how to identify these characteristics, you can begin to understand how the wine’s varietals, growing conditions, and terroir affects the flavor and aroma.  As it turns out, writing your own tasting notes is easier than you might think.

During the 40th anniversary of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, wine writer and television host Leslie Sbrocco walked an audience of attendees through a blind tasting during a seminar called, “YOU Write the Tasting Note.” By the end, the group collectively created tasting notes for six wines, all thanks to Sbrocco’s four steps. “See, swirl, smell, and sip,” she says. “That’s the best way to figure out if you like a wine or don’t like a wine.”

Step 1: See

Before anything else, Sbrocco encouraged the attendees to pick up their glasses and tilt them slightly over their white placemats – an ideal platform since the white does not obstruct the wine’s color. If you are tasting multiple wines, Sbrocco suggests standing up and looking down into the glass from above in order to compare the wines’ colors. “When you’re looking at the color, it tells us a lot of things,” she says. “Maybe oak treatment or age.” Wine tends to change color with age due to oxidation. “You cut an apple or pear. What happens? It oxidizes. It turns brown. So over time a wine is going to oxidize.” With white wines that means the color gets darker and more golden, and with reds, the color gets browner over time.

You can also get a sense of the wine’s body – or viscosity –  just based on how fast or slow it drips down the inside bulb of your wineglass.

Step 2: Swirl

People don’t just swirl wine because it’s fun. The act of swirling a glass of wine exposes the wine to oxygen which allows it to release more aroma and open up its flavor. As an experiment, you can try smelling and tasting a wine before and after swirling – you’ll see how much easier it is to define tasting notes with a simple swirl.

Step 3: Smell

Don’t be shy. Stick your nose into the wine glass and take a whiff. Try to take smaller, short inhales to not wear out your nose. Then, simply see what scents come to mind. It could be something floral, something peppery, or even something funky. To help attendees identify these smells, Sbrocco gave them large pieces of paper, printed with common wine descriptors like “oaky,” “aromatic,” and “fruity.”

Step 4: Sip  

It’s time to taste! Take a sip and think about the flavors that hit your tongue. How do they compare or contrast to the smell? What do they remind you of?

Read the rest of the original article and lots of other great content on Food & Wine.

When you’re ready for a wine tasting tour, Main Street Drivers provides customized tours for wine enthusiasts of all levels in popular wine regions throughout the US.  Check out our featured location in June for Willamette Valley Wine Tours.


How The Tasting Experience Differs Between Sweet And Dry Wines

Everyone has a favorite wine or two, even if your favorite flavor is “boxed.” Maybe you’re a diehard dessert wine fan, or maybe you pride yourself on drinking wine so dry it makes your cheeks pucker. Either way, wine shelves span a continuum from extra dry (aka “brut”) to dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, and sweet — and the tasting experience couldn’t be more different with each type.

It all comes down to one key factor: acidity. A highly acidic wine will make you salivate, which depletes the moisture in your mouth and impresses the feeling of “dryness.” Dry wines might make it feel like the insides of your cheeks are adhering to your cheeks or induce a cannabis-esque dry tongue. On the flip side, sweeter wines might offer a syrupy mouthfeel, draping your tongue in a sort of viscous blanket of sugar. As a visual cue, a thicker sweet wine might even coat the sides of your wine glass. Indeed, wine tasting is essentially a sexy chemistry experiment and sweetness and acidity go hand-in-hand.

The sweetness or dryness of a given wine is determined by how much sugar it holds onto during its unique fermentation process. Dryness or sweetness is also heavily influenced by a wine’s tannins, which add bitterness and create a dryer mouthfeel. On a biological level, tannins actually reduce the taste buds’ ability to perceive sugar. It all comes down to one key factor: acidity. A highly acidic wine will make you salivate, which depletes the moisture in your mouth and impresses the feeling of “dryness.” Dry wines might make it feel like the insides of your cheeks are adhering to your cheeks or induce a cannabis-esque dry tongue. On the flip side, sweeter wines might offer a syrupy mouthfeel, draping your tongue in a sort of viscous blanket of sugar. As a visual cue, a thicker sweet wine might even coat the sides of your wine glass. Indeed, wine tasting is essentially a sexy chemistry experiment and sweetness and acidity go hand-in-hand.

The sweetness or dryness of a given wine is determined by how much sugar it holds onto during its unique fermentation process. Dryness or sweetness is also heavily influenced by a wine’s tannins, which add bitterness and create a dryer mouthfeel. On a biological level, tannins actually reduce the taste buds’ ability to perceive sugar.

There are also ways to tell whether a wine is going to be dry or sweet without even tasting it.

Acidity, ABV, and sugar content: The unsung orchestrators

Picture this: You’re browsing your local wine shop, or perusing the wine list at a fancy restaurant. You know what you like, and can therefore rely on a go-to Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon as a safe bet to please your palate… right? Not necessarily. Due to the processing-related reasons we just listed, any variety of wine has the capacity to be sweet or dry. What’s a struggling sommelier to do? How can you tell whether a wine will be dry or sweet without tasting a single drop? Enlist the guidance of a wine tech sheet. These can be found for specific types of wine and will provide stats on what’s inside, including dryness or sweetness, which is indicated by a percentage amount of residual sugars. As a rule, 1% indicates a dry wine, 2 to 4% indicates mid, and 5% or above is sweet.

Sweet varieties also often tote lower ABVs. Scientifically, this is because sugars are converted into alcohol during the fermentation process. Therefore, as alcohol content becomes higher, sugar content becomes lower. A wine with an 11% ABV or less is generally going to be pretty sweet.

Read the full article and other great wine tasting content on The Tasting Table.

When you’re ready for a wine tasting tour, Main Street Drivers provides customized tours for wine enthusiasts of all levels in popular wine regions throughout the US.  Check out our featured location this month for Willamette Valley Wine Tours.

Wine Typicity and Changing Tastes

When talking about grape varieties – specifically in the realm of tasting, and particularly blind tasting – it’s only a matter of time until the notion of typicity comes up.

However, numerous factors, including climate change, regionally synonymous grape varieties being planted elsewhere (Sangiovese in California, Nebbiolo in Australia, etc.) and the rise in certain winemaking styles (carbonic maceration, more natural/low-intervention methods), has caused the notion of typicity to become slightly hazy.

What is typicity?

Dan Petroski, founder and winemaker at California-based Massican, explains that typicity is a word defined by the wine industry. “I don’t think it is actually an English word, just a translation of the French word that means, typical,” he says, adding that this notion of “typical” can have many diverse meanings, ranging from being typical of a variety, place, or style.

Robin Wright, beverage director of NYC-based Ci Siamo, builds on this, sharing that Wikipedia defines typicity as “a term in wine tasting used to describe the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal origins and thus demonstrates the signature characteristics of the grape from which it was produced”.

Miguel de Leon, general manager/wine director at Pinch Chinese, describes his definition of typicity as the quality of a wine to be expressive in the essence of a grape’s expected characteristics. “It’s the tell of the wine to show that it’s made with a particular variety, and how that changes through the canvas of geologies available to the grape,” he says.

On a similar note, Catherine Fallis, Master Sommelier of Bright Cellars, notes that the notion of typicity is rooted in a grape type showing its DNA, such as Sauvignon Blanc‘s signature green, herbaceous, and grassy notes. “Where the grape is grown will impact alcohol level, and where it is allowed, winemaking may change it even further,” she explains. “However, in the end, a quality Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, Coastal Chile, California, or Marlborough, New Zealand, will all have the greenness.”

Embodying typicity

Petroski says that a red or a white grape can be of its type – that is, true to its variety – even if it’s planted all over the world. “The climate, the fermentary process, and the choices of the winemaker will then add another layer of typicity,” he says. Similarly, for de Leon, good examples of wines that are expressive of typicity are those that provide hallmark flavors, regardless of where they are grown – which for him, are international varieties such as Cabernet SauvignonSyrahGrenache, and Riesling. “The more international a variety, [the more] it opens up the idea of compare and contrast,’ he says, describing said comparisons as useful for academic purposes, as the rest of the terroir can inform how that variety will express itself. He also highlights that oftentimes, a loss of typicity is process driven. “I think wines that require a certain kind of manipulation lose the notion of typicity quickly – think pét-nat and rosés, for example,” he says.

However, de Leon finds that the notion is bunk when discussing grape varieties that are, in his opinion, “completely underserved” (hybrid varieties, backyard indigenous varieties, etc.), as there hasn’t been a large enough sample size or benchmark to place said wines within any sort of comparable category. Emphasizing de Leon’s process-driven point, Wright looks at Sauvignon Blanc, which generally shows notes of grapefruit, gooseberry, and pyrazines, though can often lose its typicity when vinified in specific ways. She reveals that according to the CMS, Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley is often riper and aged in new oak. “I find it very interesting how I’ve seen master-level candidates absolutely stumped when blinding this wine,” she reveals, attributing the difficulty to the ripeness and oak characteristics masking the grape’s classic notes.

Wright also uses Sauternes as an even more striking example. “The wine has so much botrytis and oak that the typicity of the grape is nowhere to be found,” she says.”But do we still love it? Absolutely!” Wright feels that beyond varietal typicity, we should be celebrating the way in which a grape can show itself in a variety of regions and styles. “Instead of celebrating only grape typicity, let’s celebrate stylistic and regional typicity which can be different from vineyard to vineyard.”

The relevance of typicity

For de Leon, the relevance of typicity comes down to usefulness. He explains that if we’re trying to explain how to identify a grape variety to someone, then yes, typicity is important. However, he finds that when talking about a variety in the context of being a global product – particularly with the rise of natural wine and low-intervention practices – then typicity generally isn’t the leading question surrounding the framework of a wine.

Wright ponders whether the notion of typicity has ever been relevant. She equates the recent trends of natural winemaking and carbonic maceration to the fashion of using 100 percent new oak in the past, which can also cover the notion of grape typicity. (Wright also cites botrytis, fortification and intensely ripe grapes as other influences that could mask the notion of typicity.) “There are trends that influence and change wine styles in every region and with almost every grape; I think the older we get the more natural it is for us to shun new trends when the reality is we have been a part of all sorts of trends, and many have come before us,” she says.

For Petroski, the notion of typicity is still relevant, mostly because it is malleable. “I talk about Massican as wine being in a ‘typical’ style,” he says. “When I do blending trials, I ask myself: does this wine smell and feel like Annia? Is it typical of the Massican style?”

Though for others, the relevance of typicity is much more concrete. “Yes, yes, yes!” exclaims Fallis, when asked about her opinion on whether typicity is relevant or not. She says that while there are thousands of grape varieties in the world, consumers would be happy to know just four to 10, rendering typicity important in helping the majority of wine drinkers to figure out what they like. “Trends come and go. Grape DNA stands still,” she says.

Typicity in natural wine

Despite their popularity, Fallis finds that it is more difficult to find grape DNA under natural winemaking styles, which she cites as often having the “familiar funk of craft brew or kombucha”. Petroski disagrees. “There are so many wines made naturally that are pristine examples of grape and place,” he says. “I believe they represent red or white grapes very well, regional climate, and style typicity.”

Read the rest of the article on Wine-Searcher.

When you’re ready for a wine tasting tour, Main Street Drivers provides customized tours for wine enthusiasts of all levels in popular wine regions throughout the US.  Check out our featured location this month for Finger Lakes Wine Tours.

Why A More Expensive Wine Won’t Necessarily Taste Better To You

There’s no shame in admitting you’ve perused a restaurant’s wine list, opting for the most expensive glass to impress a date. Or perhaps you’ve headed to a dinner party with a bottled gift that you or the liquor shop owner deemed was within an acceptable price range. Even wine connoisseurs fall prey to the price point paradox. The more expensive the bottle of vino, the more sophisticated the grape juice, correct?

A few factors determine the price point of a bottle of bold red or crisp white: The wine region, vineyard, and quality of grape; what the wine was fermented in and whether or not it involved oak; and how long the wine was aged.

The perfect storm of what’s in the bottle and what you think is in it makes relying on the sticker price alone a precarious move. Your brain might trick you into thinking the wine tastes better if you happened to have spent more money on it. So why won’t the pricier bottle of wine necessarily taste better to you? The answer is two-fold.

Price is not always indicative of quality

If you’re a novice in the wine world browsing the daunting aisles of stacked reds and whites, your eyes probably first go to the label and the sticker on the shelf. While it’s tempting to pick a price tag, pretty illustration, or catchy name, assuming the liquid inside will follow suit is risky. It’s worth remembering wine is an industry-selling product that entails branding and marketing.

A study published in the Journal of Wine Economics in 2008 concluded a lack of correlation between the overall rating of a bottle of wine and its price. In other words, a higher price does not always equal a higher quality wine.

Much like it’s imprudent to judge a book by its cover, choosing a bottle of wine based on its price is ill-advised (though, by all means, go for that cool label if that’s your jam).

Your palate may not be up to par

This one might hurt the ego a bit, but if you’re not a sommelier or anywhere near that realm, you may be unable to detect the subtle nuances separating good from a great wine. Often, the higher the price point on that bottle, the more intricate those nuances will be. Your palate may not be a fan if you’re an amateur imbiber.

Moreover, inexpensive wine usually has more residual sugar to compensate for the lower-quality grapes. Since sugar makes just about anything taste better, you’re probably used to the sweeter taste if you’re not a habitual or finicky wine drinker. A more expensive wine without that higher residual sugar content may come across as bitter or boring to your taste buds.

Read the rest of the article on The Daily Meal here.

When you’re ready for a wine tasting tour, Main Street Drivers provides customized tours for wine enthusiasts of all levels in popular wine regions throughout the US.  Check out our featured location this month for Willamette Valley Wine Tours.




Wines of the Finger Lakes at Saratoga Performing Arts Center Event

Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces the latest CulinaryArts@SPAC event, Eric Asimov: Wines of the Finger Lakes, featuring The New York Times chief wine critic and author, Eric Asimov. Asimov, a connoisseur and champion of the growing region, will lead guests through an expert guided tasting of six different wines from New York’s Finger Lakes region including Riesling, the signature wine of the region, as well as a selection of reds from Ravines Wine Cellars, Forge Cellars and Bloomer Creek Vineyard, in addition to a sparkling wine from chëpìka. Hors d’oeuvres to complement the wines will also be served. The event is slated for April 20th from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs.

“Our Culinary Arts initiative was created to celebrate our local farmers, chefs, and the overall culinary bounty of the region. With this special event, we are expanding our radius and inviting The New York Times chief wine critic Eric Asimov to bring the wines of New York’s Finger Lakes region to Saratoga. Wine connoisseurs and social wine drinkers, alike, will be both enthralled by his insights and tantalized by the spectacular wines and tastings,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times and the author of “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto,’’ published by William Morrow, and “Wine With Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes From The New York Times.’’ His column appears in the Food section of The Times. On his participation in the upcoming CulinaryArts@SPAC event, he states, “The Finger Lakes is the most exciting wine region in New York and one of the most interesting in the United States.”

Eric Asimov: Wines of the Finger Lakes will include a sparkling wine reception with hors d’oeuvres and a guided tasting led by Asimov and the vintners from each winery, followed by a Q&A. Asimov will share his expertise on the wines with tasting notes and insights, and also discuss the viticulture of New York’s Finger Lake region and why it belongs in the national conversation alongside other famed wine regions like Napa. Kim Klopstock of Lily and the Rose along with the Culinary Arts team will provide bespoke hors d’oeuvres designed to complement the wines.

Beyond its amphitheater stage, SPAC has become a year-round gathering place celebrating the artistry of food in building community while empowering individuals to understand how what we eat influences our communities and our planet. The CulinaryArts@SPAC initiative, founded in 2020, combines culinary excellence and education with exquisite food that emphasizes socially conscious cultivation and consumption, local procurement, and fair wages.

Read the rest of the article and event details on here.

Main Street Drivers also provides customized tours for wine enthusiasts of all levels. If you are traveling to the area, check out the details on our affordable Finger Lakes Wine Tours.