Sunday, July 19, 2009

Long Island Winin’

The North Fork of Long Island - a wild, untamed, wine-producing, tourist-bus-infested wilderness.

So it turns out that there are a butt load of wineries on eastern Long Island, generally concentrated on the island’s north fork – a spindly protrusion that further protects the Hamptons from the working class cities of coastal Connecticut.

It also turns out that visiting these wineries makes for one hell of a kickass day trip from Brooklyn. All you need to do is take the Long Island Expressway about 60 miles east, until it ends, and start sniffing around for fermenting grapes. It’s practically that easy.

They use those big ass steel vessels to make wine, or some shit like that. I wasn't really paying attention.

Of course, Jaimi did some research online before we headed out. We were armed with wine country maps, New York Times reviews, and a healthy ignorance when it comes to wine. As you may know, I’m much more of a beer guy. But I was happy to join Jaimi on a little adventure. And by the end of the day I had gotten a few beers into me anyway.

The whole idea of driving from vineyard to vineyard, drinking a glass or two of wine at each stop, seems like a very, very bad one. I wasn’t about to risk any damage to my vehicle, a suspension of my license, or smashing my sunglasses from the sheer force of the airbag detonating in my face. And oh yeah, I also didn’t want me or Jaimi to die because I was driving drunk. So let me just say that I probably had a total of 4 drinks over the course of 8 or 9 hours.

Jaimi had maybe ¾ of a glass of wine.

The vines of Corey Creek loom in the background. I actually let a stranger hold my iPhone in order to take this shot.

But we didn’t make the trip in order to get hammered. I could do that in the comfort of my own home, and save the gas for 50 trips to Costco to buy 10 gallon boxes of wine.

In fact, it’s rather frightening to think about how – as the sun moved across the sky – many, many assholes were making their way to many, many wineries. And after drinking their 1.5 oz. samples of 5 different wines, they hopped in the car and drove to the next place.

By 4pm we were ready to get off the North Fork - before it became a demolition derby.

If you decide to take a Long Island wine tour, do everyone a favor and hire a driver. We saw a number of limos and buses carting around groups of rowdy college kids. (Note: If you followed them to some of their later stops, it would probably be really easy to steal their iPhones and wallets because they’d be so unaware of their surroundings – like taking an iPod from a baby.)

Or get someone like me – who doesn’t really like wine anyway, and who is generally smart enough not to drive drunk – to drive you around.

As for specifics, we visited Corey Creek, Macari, and Jamesport wineries. I think we liked the Sauvignon Blanc at Macari the best. The dessert Riesling at Corey Creek was like a mixture of Dimetapp and a liquefied grape Jolly Rancher. In other words – it was awesome.

I contemplate the mechanics of liquefying Jolly Ranchers under low pressure and high temperature....Business idea beginning to form?

On the way home we stopped for cheese and produce at a farm stand, and spent 2 hours at a massive outlet mall (Tanger Outlets) without buying a single goddamn thing. I think that’s probably a story for an entirely separate, ranting post.

Overall, a rather relaxing day. The North Fork is a nice respite from the steaming asphalt and wall-to-wall crowds of summertime New York City. Next time, I’ll let someone else do the driving, and I’ll try a few extra Jolly Rancher wines.

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Anonymous said...

Next time you need a service call Long Island Vineyard Tours.. They are a great company that we have used in the past located in Freeport, NY. In fact we have been out to the Long Island Wineries twice with them. They provided a Lunch for us that was fantastic! Anyway I so suggest them...

The Mill said...

Nice. Thanks for the recommendation.

Mmmmm. Lunch.

Anonymous said...

Its nice when you get a limo company tooooting their own horn ..Not to obvious ___??? people do your home work ask questions