(This piece appeared originally in the 5/6 issue of Dan's Papers)
The 15th Annual Windows on Long Island Wine event, held April 25 at Capitale in Manhattan, has come and gone. Months of planning on the part of the Long Island Wine Council, Earth Pledge and participating sponsors, wineries and restaurants resulted in a great evening filled with great food, great wine and great people.
Because I’m one of only a few wine writers that cover our wine region extensively and regularly, few of the wines being poured were new to me. But, several winemakers and winery managers contacted me ahead of time letting me know that they were releasing some new stuff at Windows. I took the night off from taking my usually extensive tasting notes, but a few wines really stood out: Bridge Vineyards 2001 Merlot, Channing Daughters Winery’s new Sylvanus, The Old Field 2000 Blanc de Noir, Waters Crest Winery 2003 Cabernet Franc, and a barrel sample of Roanoke Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (probably released in the late summer/early fall) that was still a bit tight, but showed great promise.
And of course, how could I talk about the event without mentioning the food. Any time that you have so many top New York restaurants and food vendors in one spot, you’re bound to eat well. Some of my favorite nibbles of the evening included Abboccato’s beet and gorgonzola cheese ravioli, the warm truffled macaroni and cheese from Butter, Sapa’s papaya salad with hanger steak, spiced banana panna cotta from Tocqueville and of course the amazing cheeses from Murray’s Cheese Shop.
My fiancée and I really enjoyed ourselves and we look forward to next year’s event, but the evening wasn’t without at least one shortcoming.
I think a better job could have been done situating certain restaurants next to certain wineries. For instance, Broadfields Wine Cellars, they of the rich reds, was surrounded by Asian-influenced cuisine – not a great match. Why not put Waters Crest Winery or Paumanok and their crisp, aromatic whites there instead? At the very least, the restaurants should be more vocal about making wine suggestions. Poorly paired food and wine keep both from showing their true greatness.
Even though this was a little sticking point with me, I’m not sure many of the hundreds of attendees even noticed Everyone seemed to be having a great time. Not everyone is a wine geek, after all.