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Long Island Wine Tasting Tour 2016

Long Island Wineries: Sparkling Pointe_Macari_Raphael_Grand Ole_Osprey Dominion

For the most part, I would much rather spend each day close to home celebrating and doing something I enjoy, instead of making a one time trip to a far-off locale, though that too has its place. So breaking up this anniversary by exploring something new (to us) locally, made awakening each morning a lot more exciting. Once our getaway destination was decided, the wine tasting tour of course had to be included on the itinerary. Given that one of our favorite pastimes is to explore different wineries (mostly on the west coast), we thought it was time we gave our own hometown a chance to see if we could finally discover a wine that we can also claim as one of our favorites, or really one of my faves now that the hubby is allergic to wine (such a bummer).

Our personal limo tour started at 10am and lasted till 5pm, so we had a good amount of time to stop at quite a few wineries. After all, Long Island boasts well over 50 wineries (considerably more than ten years ago when we lived there) and is the 3rd largest wine growing region in America. There's definitely a wine or two or three for every taste bud. Out of them all, there were certain ones that stood out, but only one made the favorite list. Obviously everyone's palate differs, therefore my picks might not be to someone else's preference. As someone who is into a buttery smooth Malbec or a refreshingly sweet white wine like, Reisling and Gewurztraminer, I'm sure you'll understand what swayed my wine choices listed here. 

Also bear in mind, that my picks are based on only the few wineries we did get to stop in and visit, which means we only scratched the surface. For me, aside from discovering a great tasting wine that can be added into my repertoire of favorites, the entire experience is equally as important. Wineries with staff that are friendly, fun and leave you wanting to return make the entire experience memorable and worthwhile.

Osprey Dominion, a very understated winery with limp service. 
From the wine mixture tasting we did, the one that stood out to me and I would recommend is the Sauvignon blanc late harvest. It would pair nicely with savory food - think goat cheese and foie gras.

Macari Vineyards, aside from the pretty bottle displays upon entering into what feels like a supermarket, this place was uninviting. Between, the flies everywhere and the unfriendly staff, it was a dreadful experience that forced you to gulp down your wine flights as fast as possible. The only reason why I remember the one red wine that I liked, was because I made sure to write it down after we left the place. Which red you ask? The Collina Merlot. It's close to a Malbec in taste and body.

Sparkling Pointe, we stopped at this particular vineyard to indulge the hubby's preference for sparkling wine. The decor of this place was totally unexpected and a breath of fresh air. The glitzy modern decor complemented by the scenic views of the vineyards out back in the garden captured our heart. Though we didn't find or come out with a favorite sparkling wine, we were captivated by the sights nonetheless - making it a memorable relaxing spot where we enjoyed sipping on a few bubbly's with caviar overlooking the grounds. 

Raphael wineryhowever,  was the highlight of our tour and comes in at number one! I highly recommend this winery for its good wine, great tasting food, friendly service and overall charm. From the architectural Mediterranean style building (makes you think you're in Italy) and the friendly servers, to their excellent marguerite flatbread (and I'm not into flatbreads but I've been craving theirs since...that's how good they are), this place certainly delivers an unforgettable wine tasting experience. My favorite wine pick from their white wine flight is their 2013 late harvest Riesling. I really enjoyed that.

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