The last event of Dan’s Taste of Summer for the season was something very special. There is no other occasion quite like it as guests had the opportunity to sample wine from approximately 38 wineries across the North and South Fork. As you may already know, it is very difficult to visit even half of the wineries on the East End in one summer. This event alleviates the exhaustion of traveling to the different wineries and liquor stores across the Hamptons and North Fork and gives you the chance to sample and experience wine pairings of your choice.
The event, which lasted from 7:30-10pm (VIP access began at 6:30pm), was held at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue, hosted by Food Network’s Geoffrey Zakarian. The event is a gathering of winemakers and the vineyard owners, the chefs and the local purveyors, and the Long Island Wine Council where everyone toasted to the beauty and bounty of the East End.
Featured wineries included Coffee Pot Cellars, Diliberto Winery, Duck Walk Vineyards, Lieb Cellars, McCall Vineyard and Ranch, The Old Field Vineyards, Osprey’s Dominion, Pindar Vineyards, Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard, and T’Jara Vineyards. Participating restaurants who offered wine pairing suggestions included Jamesport Manor Inn, Jedediah Hawkins Inn, Lombardi’s Love Lane Market, Noah’s, North Fork Chocolate Company, Satur Farms, The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe, The Frisky Oyster, and Touch of Venice Restaurant.
My favorite wines included Pindar Vineyards’ 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Select, Duck Walk Vineyard’s 2014 Pinot Grigio and Riesling, Clovis Point Vineyard’s 2013 Cabernet Franc, and Wölffer Estate’s 2012 Lambardo Merlot. In total, I tasted ten types of wine, which hardly put a dent on the wine selection available at the event.
Food offerings that I loved included The Frisky Oyster’s Cornell Oysters Friskafella with garlic and chipotle spinach, and parmigiano aioli; Montauk Yacht Club’s Fluke Taco; Fifth Season Restaurant’s Sweet Corn infused with ricotta with local honey and their house-made Sweet Corn & Ricotta Ravioli; Jedediah Hawkins Inn’s Lobster Ravioli with brown butter and sage; North Fork Chocolate Company’s artisinal Belgian chocolate and desserts handcrafted with local ingredients; and The Blue Duck Bakery and Cafe’s chocolate fudge cake, and lemon cake.
VIP guests were not only gifted with a VIP bag AND one hour early access to the event, they were also provided with a VIP Lounge during the entire event which offered older-vintage and special selection wines for tasting, but what was especially cool (and convenient) was that they were given lanyards that had wine holders. You could purchase your own here. I insist that for this event next year, you must go as a VIP guest ($275, per person as opposed to $125 per person). The perks are well worth it.
Geoffrey Zakarian was autographing his cookbook to the first 100 lucky guests. I received my personalized autographed copy as pictured above. I was also able to get a copy for my grandma, which will be a surprise gift. I was very thankful for that and I was able to speak with Zakarian for a short while. He was very sweet and took his time to speak with each guest on line.
The event’s sponsors were Blue Moon, Corona Light, Milagro Tequila, The Murph’s Famous Bloody Mary Mix, Rum Diplomatico, Solerno, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Sartori Cheese, Vines & Branches, and Woodford Reserve.
Auction items included New York Knicks tickets, an Insider Tour and Tasting at Palmer Vineyards, a two night stay and VIP Wine Tasting at Pindar Vineyards, and one North Fork Value Pack Book by the Hampton Jitney. A portion of the proceeds went to benefit HRHCares, Long Island Farm Bureau, and Peconic Land Trust.