I’m back in New York after six wonderful days in Northern California. While I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma (more about that later, I promise) there is something quite wonderful about sleeping in your own bed sometimes. Anyway, as my body begins to adjust to “normal” sleeping hours (and I stop watching 80s-era Stephen King horror movies at 2am), I’m getting back into the swing of things here on the Long Island wine-eratti scene. Here are my picks for this weekend (only some of which are actually related to wine):
Friday Happy Hour
It’s supposed to be rainy and generally yucky today. I know… bummer. For that reason, I’d like to send you to the city to try something a little different: a salsa-dancing-wine-tasting-class (er, of sorts) at Zack’s Dance Loft. I have to admit that the schedule on the website was a little perplexing so I’ll let you figure out when to go on your own, but it does sound like fun! According to the write-up, this is some sort of non-traditional wine tasting that includes a dance class (swing, salsa, tango, or dance on a pole) prefaced by an opportunity to swirl, sniff and sip your way through 10-12 wines accompanied by cheeses and fresh bread. Apparently there is an open wine bar throughout the evening, perhaps to masque the fact that everyone in a beginner class dances like drowning robots. Please take lots of pictures. Tickets start at $30 and classes are ongoing, so if you can’t make it into the city tonight, try again next time!
If you’re staying on Long Island, keep in mind that Alive After Five is happening in Patchogue Village (rain be damned!) Stick around the Brickhouse Brewery and see The Rock Stars from Mars play at 9:30. Make sure to shout really loud for my friend Rob on drums!
I love heading out to the vineyards on weekends, but it can get a little crowded in the summer months. One of my favorite “low-key” wineries to visit, regardless of season, is Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck. If you have the slightest interest in horticulture or the winemaking process, join Barbara Shinn as she opens the vineyard for a walking tour and wine tasting every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM. The walk highlights the growing cycle of the vines and educates guests about the sustainable farming practices of the estate. The tour is $20.00 and includes a wine tasting.
Not into watching the clock? Visit Shinn when it is convenient for you and take a self-guided tour instead. Check in at the tasting room, pick up your tour booklet, and stroll through the vineyard, stopping at markers that explain the growing cycle of the vine, sustainable, organic and Biodynamic winegrowing, the natural habitat of wildlife and beneficial insects, and “our living soil.” The tour is complimentary with a purchase. Check the website for more details about the tours or to download your tour booklet in advance.
To top off your day of wine tasting, why not “stand up for stand-up?” That is, attend the seventh annual Long Island Comedy Festival at Martha Clara Vineyards ($30 at the door, $25 in advance) and enjoy the art of live (and local) stand-up comedy by supporting talented comics, like Paul Bond and Michael Somerville, that call Long Island their home. The show starts at 8:30pm.
Ok so I’ve heard about wine and cheese pairing events, and I’ve also heard about wine and chocolate pairing events… but I have never found out about BEER and CHOCOLATE pairing, which is just enough to pique my interest for THIS really cool event: South Bay Paddlewheel Cruises has teamed up with the Fire Island Beer Company and Exotic Chocolate Tasting to host a Beer & Chocolate Pairing Cruise aboard the Lauren Kristy, a 65 foot turn-of-the-century style riverboat that sails from the Bay Shore Marina located at the end of Clinton Ave. in Bay Shore. The 3-hour tour begins with a buffet dinner, then guests will enjoy local summer ales paired with handcrafted chocolates from Costa Rica, Grenada, Bolivia and the Philippines. This guided journey will be hosted by New York’s only “Chocolate Sommelier”, Roxanne Browning, and a representative from the Fire Island Beer Company. The event is $75 a person and reservations are required, so check the website or call 631-750-5359.