I mentioned it earlier in the week, but I thought you might be interested in hearing a bit more about the tasting I'm co-hosting this Sunday evening.
Basically, I've gathered samples of 1995 reds wines from several Long Island wineries (I think we'll have 11 wines total). It's a well-regarded vintage and because these wines are over a decade old, I think they will offer a peek into the potential longevity of local wines.
Originally, I was going to do this tasting on my own at home, but for such special wines, I wanted to do something more formal (but not too formal). I wanted to bring together local wine people so that we can taste them, discuss them and just plain enjoy the opportunity to taste these wines, which aren't easy to get your hands on. But, I certainly don't have enough glassware to host such an event myself--at least not if there are more than 4 people attending.
That's when Grand Cru Classes popped into my head. Jared and I had been emailing for what seems like an eternity but for a variety of reasons we hadn't crossed paths. So I emailed him, knowing that the North Fork's only wine education center would have plenty of glasses, to find out if he and Tracy would like to co-host the tasting with me. They graciously accepted, I dropped off most of the wines there last weekend (finally getting to meet Jared and spend a few minutes talking).
Our tasting panel has some fluidity to it because the two winemakers we've got on board are at the front end of harvest season, and could bail with good reason. But, we have the following people lined up:
- Yours truly
- Jared Skolnick, Grand Cru Classes
- Tracy Ellen Kamens, Grand Cru Classes
- Joe Watson, owner of Vine Wine and Cafe in Greenport
- Neil Dorosin of Brooklyn Guy's Wine and Food Blog)
- Chris Watkins, director of operations at Ronaoke Vineyards
- Juan Micieli-Martinez, winemaker at Martha Clara Vineyards
- Anthony Nappa, winemaker at Shinn Estate Vineyards
We have a couple more "definite maybes" but that's the core group.
It's very important to me that the panel remember that we're not getting together to rank or rate these wines. This isn't meant to be a competitive thing, it's meant to be an investigation.
You'll read plenty more about this next week. Stay tuned.