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Wine

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By Bob Lipinski

The Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving Day in the autumn of 1621 to celebrate their first successful harvest season. Thanksgiving signifies family, food, drink, fun, history, and tradition, all wrapped up into one mid-week day.

Before you roast the turkey, check out my two cooking tips:

1) Roast the turkey with the back side up (except for the last hour of roasting). Fat from the fat glands in the back will melt and baste the turkey during roasting.

“Fill every beaker up, my men, pour forth the cheering wine: There’s life and strength in every drop, thanksgiving to the vine!”

— Albert Gorton Greene, 1802–1868, American judge and poet

2) Truss up the Thanksgiving turkey with dental floss. It’s cheap, it’s sturdy and it’s easy to work with. Just be sure you use unwaxed and unflavored floss.

Turkey is inherently dry, especially when overcooked, unless brined or basted. Before I recommend a few wines, let’s give some thought to what we often spread over or eat with pieces of turkey.

I hope that you said cranberry sauce! Cranberry sauce is sweet and tart, offering moisture, flavor and a berry character to the turkey. Therefore, we want to pair turkey with dry or even off-dry red, white, and rosé wines, providing they have plenty of fruit. My wine suggestions for Thanksgiving are:

Whites
◆ 2011 Cairdean Napa Valley “Unoaked” Chardonnay; California
◆ 2014 Rapitalà “Piano Maltese” (blend of Catarratto and Grillo grapes); Sicily, Italy
◆ 2014 Re Manfredi “Bianco” (blend of Müller-Thurgau and Traminer grapes) Basilicata, Italy
◆ 2014 Bodega El Esteco “Don David” Torrontés; Cafayate Valley, Argentina

Reds
◆ 2013 Elena Walch “Lagrein;” Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
◆ 2013 Amity “Pinot Noir;” Willamette Valley, Oregon
◆ 2012 Bethel Heights “Pinot Noir” Estate Black Label; Willamette Valley, Oregon
◆ 2013 Castello Banfi “Rosso di Montalcino;” Tuscany, Italy

If you like rosé wines, my recommendation would be a bottle of 2014 Maison Belle Claire Rosé, from Provence, France. It is light, dry and very refreshing, with considerable fruit and a pleasing hint of cranberry.

After the feast, complete your Thanksgiving holiday with a tumbler filled with ice and a heavy dose of Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey from Kentucky.

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple,” available on Amazon.com. He conducts training seminars on wine & cheese; sale;, time management; and leadership. He can be reached at boblipinski.com or [email protected].

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By Bob Lipinski

Wine has a long history of use as a medicine, often being recommended by doctors, including Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, and alchemists. It was consumed as an alternative to drinking often-contaminated water as well as to disinfect and dress wounds, as a digestive aid, to purge fever and sufferings from child birth, as cure-alls for man’s ailments, love potions and guarantees of everlasting life, for rejuvenation, and sexual potency, and even as an aphrodisiac. Wine was easy to make; ancient winemakers used whatever grapes were available and relied on the natural yeast on the grapes to ferment the wine. Wine was easy to drink (not high quality) and the high alcohol content made dissolving herbs and other medicines much easier.

Among the many ancient drinks was one called Hippocras, a highly spiced honey wine that was made more than 2,300 years ago by Hippocrates. Hippocras was quite popular in Europe until the time of Louis XV of France.

Wine, consumed in moderation, has long been thought of as heart-healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in wine, called antioxidants, may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — and protecting against artery damage.

During the past several decades, there have been hundreds of studies confirming the health benefits of consuming wine, especially red wine, in moderation.

Numerous studies have found that a powerful polyphenol known as resveratrol is found in the seeds and skins of red grapes, which has antioxidant properties. Red wine has a high concentration of resveratrol because the skin and seeds ferment in the grape-juice during the winemaking process. White wine also contains resveratrol, but seeds and skin are removed early in the winemaking process, reducing the concentration of the compound in the finished wine. Resveratrol can also be found in blueberries and cranberries.

Scientific research has suggested that resveratrol may have very desirable health benefits, from fighting cancer and heart disease to slowing aging. The amount of resveratrol in wine varies by the grape variety, country of origin, and the winemaking process.

There is some research showing that wine may have other health benefits as well, including slowing memory loss, preventing dementia, fighting weight gain, protecting against dental disease and reducing risk of depression.

As a part of a healthy lifestyle, we often find ourselves reading food labels, looking for the number of calories, grams of fat, sodium and so forth. Regarding wine, there are calories present, which vary depending on the number of ounces, alcohol content and amount of sugar present. With few exceptions, most red and white wines fall between 11 to 14.5 percent alcohol. In restaurants, the “standard” glass of wine is about 6 ounces.

Let’s not forget Hippocrates’ wise words on wine’s health benefits.

“Wine is a substance that is wonderfully appropriate to man, in health as well as in sickness, if it be administered at the right time, and in proper quantities, according to the individual constitution,” the physician once said.

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food, and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com OR [email protected]

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By Bob Lipinski

Burgundy, a historic wine-producing region of France, is located in the central eastern part of the country just southeast of Paris. Burgundy is one of France’s six major wine-producing regions, making red and white dry wines, along with dry sparkling wines. Most red wines are produced from pinot noir grapes and most white wines are produced from chardonnay grapes. Approximately 80 percent of wine produced there is red.

Burgundy has a lengthy wine-making history that dates back nearly 2000 years. Some of the world’s most famous wine villages and vineyards are located in Burgundy, and many can trace their origins back to the Christian monks of the Middle Ages. One district of great importance is the Côte d’Or or the “golden slope” of Burgundy. It is divided into two sectors: the Côte de Nuits (north) and the Côte de Beaune (south).

I recently had the opportunity to taste the wines of Domaine Faiveley located in the Côte de Nuits, which was founded in 1825 by Pierre Faiveley. The winery owns approximately 330 acres of vineyards and produces nearly 50, dry red and white wines. My tasting notes follow:

“The first duty of wine is to be red. The second is to be a Burgundy.” — Alec Waugh, 1898–1981, British novelist, “In Praise of Wine,” 1959

2013 Bourgogne Blanc: Clean, crisp bouquet of pineapple and citrus. Overtones of almonds and green apple in the mouth.

2013 Gevrey-Chambertin: Deep cherry-colored with a full, rich bouquet and flavor of black cherry, black currant and spices; powerful and structured with a firm tannic backbone and ever-present earthy notes.

2013 Mercurey Blanc: Light yellow in color with a bouquet and taste of citrus, apples and butter. A sort of minerally flavor is present with a great finish and lingering aftertaste.

2013 Meursault “1er Cru Blagny”: Light lemon color with a fresh bouquet of grass, almonds, lemons and green apples. Light-bodied with a pleasing flavor of pineapple, lime and pear.

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges “1er Cru Aux Chaignots”: Ruby-colored with a bouquet of blackberry, blueberry, violets and cedar. Dry, medium-bodied with plenty of fruit, hints of black pepper and oak.

Burgundy also produces some fine cheeses, most of which are considered farmhouse with strong, rustic aromas and flavors. Recommendations are:

Aisy Cendré: A thin disk-shaped cow’s milk cheese with a creamy white interior and soft texture. It is very strong smelling with a tangy flavor. The cheese is cured with marc and then stored in grapevine ashes (or cendré) until it matures.

Bleu de Bresse: A cow’s milk cheese with a dusty, white exterior, sometimes foil wrapped. Small wheels or cylinders with a velvety and creamy texture. In 1950, Bleu de Bresse was developed to compete with the Italian gorgonzola.

Bouton-de-Culotte: A goat’s milk cheese from the Mâcon area. It is made into shapes resembling “trouser buttons,” which is soft when young but becomes dry and crumbly with age. It has a grayish-brown exterior with blue specks and a pale yellow interior, with a strong peppery and nutty flavor.

Époisses de Bourgogne: A cow’s milk cheese with an orange-brown, edible rind (which is washed in white wine or marc); pale yellow interior; disk-shaped. It has a strong, spicy, pungent, tangy flavor, sometimes flavored with black pepper, cloves or fennel. When aged, hints of ammonia arise. The cheese has been made in the small town of Époisses since the late 1700s.

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on wine & cheese; sales, time management and leadership. He can be reached at boblipinski.com or [email protected].

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By Bob Lipinski

“A waltz and a glass of wine invite an encore.”
— Johann Strauss, 1804–1849

Although archeological evidence dates wine making and grape growing in Austria back thousands of years, its wines have always been overshadowed by those of Germany. Austria’s four major grape-growing regions are Burgenland, Niederösterreich, Vienna and Styria — each producing dry red and white wines, as well as semisweet and sweet whites, and even some very fine sparkling wines.

The major grape varieties are (whites) Grüner Veltliner, Müller-Thurgau, Welschriesling, Riesling and Weissburgunder (pinot blanc). Red grape varieties include Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Blauer Portugieser.

At a recent press event, I had the opportunity to taste the wines of Stadlmann, a winery that dates back to 1780, located in Thermenregion, Lower Austria. My tasting notes follow:

2014 Gruner Veltliner: A dry white wine with a spicy, fruity aroma with a flavor of green apples, citrus and grapefruit.

2014 Zierfandler: A dry white wine with a fruity aroma of oranges and peaches, with hints of citrus, honey and spices.

2014 Rotgipfler “Anninger”: A dry white wine with a subtle aroma of apples and pears; light-bodied with a fruit flavor of apricots and peaches.

2013 Rotgipfler “Tagelsteiner”: A dry white wine with an intense aroma of apricots and melon. Flavors of mint, green olive and pears abound.

2013 Pinot Noir Classic: Crimson-colored with a distinctive bouquet and taste of blueberry, cranberry and wild cherries. Dry and soft in the mouth with flavors of cola, dried fruits, plums and spices.

While Austria produces many cheeses, most, unfortunately are not imported. I have three cheeses below, which can be found (not in a supermarket) in cheese shops that will easily pair with any of the above wines. Before serving the cheese, allow it to sit for 30 minutes to one hour at room temperature, which will soften the texture, release the aromas and maximize the flavor.

Mondseer: A soft, disk-shaped, cow’s milk cheese with a yellow-tan exterior and yellow interior with few irregular holes. It has a very pungent and robust flavor, and, when sold in small wooden boxes, it is known as Mondseer Schachtelkäse. It was first made in Salzburg in 1830 and named after the monastery of Mondsee.

Saint Michael: A wheel-shaped, cow’s milk cheese with a brown rind and no internal holes. It is smooth-textured with a pleasant, but mild flavor.

Tiroler Graukäse: A most unusual cow’s milk cheese made from sour-milk curds that are washed with Penicillium mold during the ripening period. Square-shaped with a gray exterior and a very strong, pungent odor and very sharp, piquant, tangy, sour taste. Graukäse translated means “gray cheese.”

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com or [email protected].

Society hosts 25th annual wine event

Huntington Historical Society Trustee Paul Warburg, right, presents Huntington Hospital Executive Director Dr. Gerard Brogan, left, with a plaque commemorating the hospital’s nearly 100 years of operation. Photo by Eric Santiago

By Eric Santiago

The Huntington Historical Society hosted its 25th annual “Evening of Wine Under The Stars” event on Friday night.

Huntington residents celebrated the town’s more than 350 years of history with a night of drinking, dancing and dining on dishes from local restaurants.

The historical society also honored Huntington Hospital, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary next year. Hospital Executive Director Dr. Gerard Brogan was presented with a plaque commemorating the hospital’s work.

Robert “Toby” Kissam, the historical society’s president, compared the hospital’s founding to that of the society’s, saying that both were founded by groups of concerned citizens.

According to an article written by Huntington Town Historian Robert Hughes, the hospital began to take shape as early as 1904 when Huntington residents were frustrated with their lack of a dedicated hospital. In 1911, citizens launched a fundraising campaign to build their own hospital, which was eventually completed by Christmas 1915.

Historical Society Trustee Paul Warburg presented the plaque to Dr. Gerard Brogan, the executive director of Huntington Hospital.

Brogan said the hospital’s staff was honored to be recognized.

“I speak for the entire staff at Huntington Hospital when I say we see it as a privilege and big responsibility to take care of you,” he said.

Expensive tastes
On Sept. 11, Suffolk County police arrested a 25-year-old woman from Bellport and charged her with petit larceny. Cops said on May 19 she stole six Prada and seven Versace sunglasses from Macy’s in Smith Haven Mall in Smithtown. On April 10 they said she stole various items from Victoria’s Secret in the mall. She was arrested at the 3rd Precinct at 3 p.m.

Charging through
Cops arrested a 34-year-old man from Commack on Sept. 9 for intentionally driving a 2013 Toyota Corolla into a framed metal outdoor canopy at 60 Veterans Highway in Commack on Aug. 26 at 4:45 a.m. He was arrested at the 4th precinct at 9:10 a.m. and charged with third-degree criminal mischief for property damage valuing less than $250.

Sunglasses saboteur sacked
Police arrested a 30-year-old woman from East Patchogue on Sept. 9 at the 4th Precinct at around 8 p.m. and charged her with third-degree grand larceny for previous incidents. On June 11 at 5:45 p.m. cops said she stole six pairs of Prada, three pairs of Bulgari and one pair of Tiffany sunglasses from Macy’s in Smith Haven Mall. On May 19 at 8:11 p.m., she stole six Prada and seven Versace pairs of sunglasses at Macy’s.

Unlicensed driving
A 55-year-old man from East Farmingdale was arrested on Sept. 9 and charged with grand larceny in the third degree. Cops said he was driving a Ford F-150 on Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset at 6:30 p.m. with a revoked or suspended license. He also stole a 2003 Keystone trailer at 6:30 p.m. on July 26.

I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby
On Sept. 12 a pair of Commack teens were arrested and charged with petit larceny. Cops said a 17-year-old man and a 16-year-old woman were arrested at 4:05 p.m. for stealing assorted merchandise from a Walmart in Commack.

Card thief caught
Cops arrested a 50-year-old Central Islip woman on Sept. 13 and charged her with petit larceny for using someone else’s debit card to withdraw money on multiple occasions. Police said the first incident was on July 15 at 1:50 p.m. and the second was on July 20 at 1:48 p.m. She was arrested at 11:05 p.m. at the 4th Precinct.

Bling begone
Two residents from Terri Drive in Smithtown reported a stolen engagement ring and band from their home between 1:30 and 2 p.m. on Sept. 11.

Home ransacked
An unknown person entered a home on Maplelawn Drive in Smithtown and stole assorted items including computers, necklaces, rings, perfumes and colognes between 3 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Uphill battle
Police pulled over a 59-year-old Setauket man who was speeding down Route 25A near The Hills Drive in a 2006 Ford on Sept. 13 to find he was intoxicated. He was arrested for driving while ability impaired. It was the man’s first offense.

No toking for you
A 19-year-old man from Miller Place was arrested on Sept. 10 for selling tobacco to a minor. Police said the incident happened on Route 25A in Port Jefferson Station.

Diamond in the rough
On Sept. 13 police arrested a 29-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station for criminal contempt. Police said the man went into the Kohl’s in East Setauket and stole jewelry.

Welcome home
Around 5:45 a.m. on Sept. 12, a 27-year-old man from Brookhaven in a 2002 Ford drove into a house on Michael Court in Centereach. The man was driving while ability impaired and police arrested him at the scene of the crash.

Hit-and-run times two
Police said a 19-year-old female from Farmingdale was arrested for leaving the scene of a Sept. 12 car crash, after the woman was driving along Portion Road in Ronkonkoma and hit two vehicles before fleeing the scene. Police arrested her soon afterward on Route 25A in Selden.

No paz here
A 36-year-old Pennsylvania man was arrested on Main Street in Port Jefferson on Sept. 11 around 4:54 a.m. for criminal mischief, after police said the man broke a window at La Paz restaurant. Police said the defendant is the same man who was found in possession of cocaine and threatened a group of people with a razor blade the day before, but a police spokesperson was unsure if he was arrested that day for criminal possession of a controlled substance and menacing, as it was not documented.

Electrical enthusiast
On Sept. 10, police arrested a 35-year-old man and a 26-year-old man from East Patchogue. They were each charged with petit larceny — the older man after stealing electrical switches and wall plates from the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook, and the younger man when he tried to return the stolen merchandise to the store.

Petrus pants
Police said an unidentified man took a bottle of Petrus Bordeaux wine from Hamlet Wines & Liquors store in East Setauket on Sept. 12, putting the bottle down his pants and fleeing the store on foot.

Unique break
Police said an unknown person broke the front window of Unique Cleaners in Miller Place on Sept. 10 at 4:31 a.m. Nothing was stolen from the store.

Denny’s disappearance
Around 1 a.m. on Sept. 12 a woman reported that she had lost her handbag at the Denny’s in Centereach Mall. The handbag contained jewelry and money.

Disturber of the peace
On Sept. 10 around 4:45 a.m., a man reported that an unknown person had stolen money from his 2013 Toyota, located on Peace Court in Selden.

Giving and taking
Between Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. and Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m., an unknown person broke into a clothing donation bin and stole clothes. Police said the door of the bin, in a parking lot near Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station, was broken.

Vehicle violation
A woman reported that a rear window on a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban was vandalized on Sept. 13 around 2 a.m. on Maple Road in Rocky Point.

Making a dry clean getaway
Police said an unknown person broke into a dry cleaner on North Country Road in Mount Sinai. The person threw a rock on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. and broke the front window of the business and stole cash.

Phony caller
An unidentified person on Hearthside Drive in Mount Sinai received a phone call from a scammer on Sept. 8. The person who called the victim wanted money but it was unclear what for.

Roll credits
On Sept. 12 a man and a woman reported that a pocketbook, which contained a Social Security card, was taken from a 2009 Dodge Charger. Clothes were also stolen from the car. Police said the car was parked in the AMC Loews movie theater parking lot on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook.

One man plus one man equals oh man
Two 22-year-old men were arrested in front of the Paramount in Huntington on Sept.11 for engaging in a fistfight on a public sidewalk, within ten minutes of each other. One man, from Huntington Station, resisted arrest when he was commanded by officers to stop fighting and then refused to place his hands behind his back. He was also found to have marijuana in his possession. He was charged with disorderly conduct, fighting and violent behavior at 11:20 p.m. The other man, from Mastic Beach, punched and wrestled with officers and fled the scene on foot for a short time until police caught up to him. He was arrested at 11:29 p.m. and charged with disorderly conduct, fighting, engaging in violent behavior, and intent to cause physical injury to a police officer.

Slice, slice baby
Police arrested a homeless man on Sept. 12 at 156 Depot Road in Huntington Station for attacking a man with a knife. The man suffered lacerations on his neck and required medical attention at 5:05 p.m., and the attacker was arrested a short time later. The man was charged for assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon.

Don’t take me out to the ball game
A 21-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested on Sept. 11 for an incident police said occurred earlier. On Sept. 6 at 4:10 a.m. on Broadway and Biltmore Circle in Huntington Station cops said he struck a man multiple times with a baseball bat and the victim was taken to Huntington Hospital. He also slashed a second man with a knife. The assailant was charged with assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon.

Drive-through
At 7:40 p.m. on Sept. 11, a 26-year-old woman from Huntington Station was arrested for causing damage with her vehicle. She was driving a 2006 Nissan Altima on New York Avenue in Huntington when she struck a parked 2002 Lexus that was unattended. She failed to stop afterwards and was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and property damage.

Someone’s not on Nationwide’s side
At Nationwide Insurance on High Street in Huntington on Sept. 10, an unknown person entered the location at 4:00 p.m. and stole two payroll checks.

By Rita J. Egan

Wine lovers can enjoy a fun night out as well as a bit of history at the Huntington Historical Society’s 25th annual Evening of Wine Under the Stars on Friday, Sept. 18.

Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano, executive director at the society, said the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year will honor the 100th anniversary of Huntington Hospital.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know your hometown a little bit more,” Fortunato-Napolitano said.

In addition to a selection of fine wines available for tasting, Blind Bat Brewery will be offering its craft beers. The historical society has also planned a night filled with gourmet food tasting from neighboring restaurants including Black & Blue, The Culinary Studio, Christopher’s Crew, Cinque Terre, IMC, Old Fields, Reinwalds and XO. With business owners from the local area participating, Fortunato-Napolitano said, “It’s always fun to try the new restaurants. It gives you a great idea of where you want to go and get dinner.”

The event, which takes place outside on the property of the Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House at 434 Park Avenue, will give guests the opportunity to view the historical society’s museum. The director said, in the early part of the evening, attendees will be able to tour the house, which on an everyday basis is only open by appointment.

Maria DeLeo, public relations manager at the society, said there will be plenty of opportunities to dance under the stars, too. Local band The Modern Age will be on hand, and the society is planning to include a floor so partygoers won’t have to dance in the grass.

Rounding off the night will be a raffle with an array of items including restaurant and spa baskets and a silent auction that includes an item donated by Disney World.

The public relations manager said in prior years guests have traveled from out east, Nassau County and Queens, but the majority of the wine and gourmet food tasters are locals interested in preserving the history of the community.

“We’ve had people in the past who are new to Huntington so they want to meet other Huntonians. So it’s a great place for people to meet other people from the neighborhood,” DeLeo said.

Evening of Wine Under the Stars will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18. For more information, contact the Huntington Historical Society at 631-427-7045 or visit its website at www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org. Tickets are $70 for society members, $85 for nonmembers and $100 at the door.

 

Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano. Photo from HHS
Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano. Photo from HHS

Meet the new director!
This year’s Evening of Wine Under the Stars will be the first one Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano will be attending as the society’s executive director.

Fortunato-Napolitano stepped into her new position on June 1 of this year. The Huntington Station native is no stranger to the society having worked there as the special events coordinator from 2009 to 2010 and then taking on the role of director of operations from 2011 to 2012. She left the historical society for a couple of years to work for the Seamen’s Church Institute and in the past has worked as a former assistant historian for the town of Huntington and at The Long Island Children’s Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and the Huntington Rural Cemetery.

The director said growing up surrounded by Long Island’s rich history she cultivated an early appreciation for the subject. Her interest in history as well as preservation was solidified when she attended a summer program at the University of Oxford in England. She explained that while studying abroad after learning about history in the classroom, she was able to go outside the university and actually experience it. Something she recognized as being capable of doing in her own hometown.

Fortunato-Napolitano said she enjoys playing a part in educating residents about their community, and Huntington is a great example of how most people don’t even realize how much history is practically right in their own backyards. The director said there have been many times while leading the society’s pub crawl that many participants were surprised to learn historical facts about buildings that they passed every day.

The new executive director said she looks forward to increasing awareness of the town’s history, creating new exhibits and programs and having the historical society return as a mainstay in the community.

“My overall vision is to have the Society become the kind of integral part of the community that it was in the first half of the 20th century. Just to really increase awareness, to offer new public programs and try to get more people involved,” Fortunato-Napolitano said.  

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By Bob Lipinski

Quotes are like recipes for our happiness. We enjoy their wit and often cite them; they inspire us, guide us, and often make us laugh. And sometimes, we need them just to keep our sanity. Below are 20 of my favorite cheese quotes.

■ “A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk’s leap toward immortality.” (Clifton Fadiman, American writer and editor; New Yorker book reviewer)

■ “A dinner which ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.” (Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755–1826; French politician and writer)

■ “Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.” (Helen Hayes)

■ “Apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze.” (Old English rhyme)

■ “Cheese complements a good meal and supplements a bad one.” (E. Briffault, French gastronome)

■ “Cheese has always been a food that both sophisticated and simple humans love.” (M. F. K. Fisher, “How to Cook a Wolf,” 1942)

■ “For lovers of wine or beer, cheese would have had to be invented had it not grown up with these two drinks.” (Edward and Lorna Bunyard, “The Epicure’s Companion”)

■ “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” (Charles de Gaulle, 1890–1970, president of France, 1962 speech)

■ “I don’t want the cheese. I just want to get out of the trap.” (Spanish proverb)

■ “If I had a son of marriageable age, I should say to him, Beware of young women who love neither wine nor truffles nor cheese nor music.” (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette “Colette,” 1873–1954, French novelist, “Paysages et Portraits”)

■ “Never commit yourself to a cheese without having first examined it.” (Thomas Sterns “T. S.” Eliot, 1885–1956, British poet and critic)

■ “Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate.” (Gina Barreca)

■ “The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.” (W. C. Fields, American comic and actor, 1880–1946)

■ “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” (Stephen Wright)

■ “The only way to learn about cheese is to eat it.” (Ernest Oldmeadow, English gastronome)

■ “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” (Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 1874–1936; English poet)

■ “There were cheeses from the North, there were cheeses from the South. There were dozens of one which melted in the mouth.” (T. A. Layton)

■ “What is a harp but an oversized cheese slicer with cultural pretensions?” (Denis Norden, English comedy writer)

■ “Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures.” (M. F. K. Fisher, introduction, “Vin et Fromage”)

■ “You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.” (Anthony Bourdain)

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food; and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com or [email protected].

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“I made a mental note to watch which bottle became empty soonest, sometimes a more telling evaluation system than any other.” — Gerald Asher, “On Wine,” 1982

By Bob Lipinski

As an author and professional taster, I generally sample and evaluate more than 50 alcoholic beverages — wine, spirits, beer, and sake — per week. And no, I don’t need an assistant. Some are good, some are very good to excellent; while others are, how do I say it, not very good. I prefer to talk about the beverage rather than assign it an arbitrary number rating.

For many, the wines of France evoke pictures of lush vineyards filled with ripe grapes, huge fermentation tanks and rows of barrels filled with some of the world’s finest wines. France’s reputation as a great wine-producing country is solidly based on centuries of winemaking experience and the country’s climate and soil, which are ideal for growing the world’s great wine grapes. France is divided into six major wine-producing regions. They are Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire Valley, and the Rhône Valley.

Here are my French wine picks:

2010 Frédéric Mallo Riesling, Réserve Spéciale, Alsace, France. Pale yellow color with a fresh aroma of stone fruit, citrus, pears, and red apples. Medium-bodied with a good balance and flavors of apples, cantaloupe and peach nectar. Serve it chilled with softshell crabs, raw clams or oysters, or just a dish of spaghetti with white clam sauce.

2010 Domaine Charles Baur Riesling, Grand Cru Brand, Alsace, France. Bright golden-colored with a lush, full bouquet of honey, apricot jam, dried fruit and nectarines. Full in the mouth with citrus, Granny Smith apples, and some minerality. I would pair with smoked salmon, smoked cheddar and Gouda, or some honey-cured ham.

2014 Grange des Dames, Ventoux, Rhône, France. A blend of grenache, carignan, and cinsaut grapes. Salmon-colored with an explosive, fruity, spicy bouquet; quite floral. Light-bodied, grapy and somewhat citrusy. Flavors of Red Delicious apple with an aftertaste of red cherries. Serve it with lobster, crab, or shrimp salad. It would be perfect with paella or jambalaya.

2013 Château d’Aquéria, Tavel, Rhône, France. A blend of grenache, syrah, cinsaut, and clairette grapes. Rich, deep rosé color, from brief skin contact with the grape juice. Red berry aromas, including cranberry and raspberry. Medium-bodied with flavors of musk melon, peaches, and red cherries. It drinks like a red wine, so don’t over-chill. Match this wine with grilled sausages, eggplant, and zucchini. Wonderful for light, red-sauced foods.

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “Italian Wine Notes” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple,” available on Amazon.com. He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits, and food, in addition to sales, time management, and leadership. He can be reached at boblipinski.com or at [email protected].

Musican Bryan Gallo performs for winery-goers. Photo by Chris Mellides

By Chris Mellides

Beyond a gravel-strewn parking lot, a weathervane perched atop a rustic old potato barn stands tall and shines in the warmth of the weekend sun at Clovis Point winery and vineyard.

The neatly trimmed lawn below is home to a number of red tables and chairs that are occupied by families whose children play on the green grass beside the expansive grapevines that stretch for yards.

With the sunlight gleaming on high, I wipe the sweat from my forehead and casually pull down the brim of my hat to allow my eyes to adjust to the brightness of the outdoors. A gray oak barrel once used to age red wine now serves as a makeshift table and a temporary resting place for my camera equipment.

I pull a barstool close to the aged barrel and wait patiently to meet Kelly Bruer, Clovis Point’s general manager, for a chat and a tour of the facilities.

Kelly Bruer, Clovis Point’s general manager. Photo by Chris Mellides
Kelly Bruer, Clovis Point’s general manager. Photo by Chris Mellides

Bruer makes his way from the tasting room nestled inside the 150-year-old building. As I stand to face him, he greets me with a smile and a firm handshake. He asks me if I’m a wine enthusiast, but to his surprise, I tell him that I’d much rather prefer a stout beer or a frothy IPA.

“Sit down, sit down. Be relaxed, it’s a winery,” says Bruer. “Do you want some wine?”

“No, thank you, but I appreciate the offer.”

“Are you sure?” he asks. “I’ve got a nice, light wine that’s good to introduce beer drinkers to.”

After some more convincing I finally accept, and Bruer arranges for a glass of white wine to be brought to the table. At first sip, the effervescent blend tastes crisp with clean fruity notes, rounding out an overall full-bodied flavor.

“The wine that you’re having there is fermented and then it goes to the bottle and it rests a bit; it’s kind of a seasonal wine and we do it every year,” says Bruer. “It’s crisp and it’s light and it’s chardonnay, and if I didn’t tell you it was chardonnay you probably wouldn’t know it.”

A high-ranking vineyard and winery located on the North Fork of Long Island, Clovis Point first opened its tasting room in 2007. Much of the walls and beams of the tasting room and surrounding property remain unchanged since the 1920s and were preserved during the eventual repurposing of the structure.

Long Island’s long, warm summers and cooling breezes permeating from the neighboring Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean make for the perfect maritime climate. And the glacial soils unique to the East End have allowed vineyards like Clovis Point and the other 56 Long Island winemakers to be the largest producers of European grapes in the Northeast, according to the Official Website of the Long Island Wine Council, www.liwines.com.

“It can be a difficult balance for the musician and I do respect that, because I know it’s not just a matter of walking in the door and putting a guitar over your shoulder…these guys practice and
put time into it and that’s an important part for people to realize.” — Kelly Bruer, Clovis Point’s general manager

While the well-versed general manager of Clovis Point has held many titles in the past, including working as a journalist, a sous chef and a commercial lender, he admits to having always been drawn to the North Fork and its vineyards.

“I grew up here on the North Fork, and when I was 12 years old I started working at vineyards over the course of a few summers,” said Bruer. “I never thought I’d come back, but it’s exciting. I wake up in the morning and come to work, and I work in a beautiful vineyard.”

When he took the job as general manager in January of 2011, Bruer was thrust into taking on multiple roles, including a position in operations and in event planning.

Sharing similar responsibilities is Alicia Ekeler, the tasting room director at Lieb Cellars, another North Fork winery with a tasting room located on the estate. Like Bruer, the duties she undertakes can be tiring, but Ekeler believes those duties are rife with their own rewards.

“Three days of my workweek are spent planning all the tasting room events, managing the ongoing music schedule, staffing and scheduling,” says Ekeler. “On the weekends, I am in the tasting room making sure everything is operating smoothly and that our guests are leaving happy.”

And when her guests leave happy, Ekeler is happy. She says that she’s been in this role for just more than a year, but that she’s been with Lieb Cellars for almost two.

The crowd lines up at the counter of Clovis Point winery and vineyard. Photo by Chris Mellides
The crowd lines up at the counter of Clovis Point winery and vineyard. Photo by Chris Mellides

Something else that Bruer and Ekeler share  outside of their study of the culinary arts is their enthusiasm towards working with local musicians and affording them the opportunity to perform at their respective vineyards.

When selecting artists to feature at Clovis Point’s tasting room events, Bruer says that while originality and playing skill are important, it is vital for scheduled performers to understand that their live music should only add to the warm atmosphere rather than become the main focus of the day’s event.

“Explaining the wine and introducing people to the wine, that’s the more important thing,” says Bruer. “It can be a difficult balance for the musician and I do respect that, because I know it’s not just a matter of walking in the door and putting a guitar over your shoulder … these guys practice and put time into it and that’s an important part for people to realize.”

No stranger to Long Island’s winery scene, local musician Bryan Gallo shuffles into Clovis Point’s tasting room patio and examines his playing space. While sipping wine from a tulip-shaped glass he turns to face his audience.

Donned in black horn-rimmed glasses and a plaid button-down shirt, Gallo cheerily greets the crowd at Clovis Point. The Suffolk County native has performed at the vineyard several times over the last three years, so for many of the vineyard’s guests, this wasn’t the first time they’ve been introduced to Gallo and his music.
After tuning his jet-black acoustic guitar, he begins to play original song selections from his 2014 full-length album titled “Party Guest.” Gallo’s playing style combines alternative country-rock with wistful pop music elements.

As he strums his guitar, he’ll occasionally pepper in a bluesy harmonica to accent some of his songs. A sheet music stand faces Gallo and just beyond it are CD copies of his first major album release, along with a mailing list and tip jar that rest on the floor by his feet.

Friends and family joined together to share in Sunday’s performance at Clovis Point. Among those in attendance were vineyard club member and Setauket resident Steven Krinsky.

“We’ve been members of Clovis Point for the past seven or eight years, and we love the wine, we love the owners, and we love the staff. It’s a perfect trifecta,” says Krinsky. “The live music just adds another dimension [and] I think Bryan’s music goes perfectly with the wine and the whole experience of being at a vineyard.”

“It’s a very artistic feel in that you have the chance to spread your wings and do what you need to do and the people at the wineries are incredibly responsive to it.” — Bryan Gallo, Musician

At Lieb Cellars, live performances were first introduced in the winter of 2012 with the launching of the Friday Night Music Series. The series sticks to a rotating schedule featuring local musicians preforming a range of diverse genres from folk rock to opera sung in duet, according to Ekeler.

“We launched it as something for locals to do in the off-season; a chance for them to enjoy the space when it is not bursting at the seams as it tends to be in the high season,” says Ekeler. “We really try to explore different genres so that there is something for everyone every month, and it does not get repetitive.”

Like Clovis Point, Lieb Cellars receives many requests from musicians who are interested in performing at the winery, but those that are booked to play are often chosen because their playing styles are quieter and more relaxed to better suit the tasting room atmosphere.

For active musicians like Gallo, wineries are the perfect venue to learn how to engage with different kinds of audiences, while maintaining authenticity as an artist and receiving deserved compensation for live performances.

“I’ll always reach out to the wineries. Whether the [guests] plan on me being here or not, I feel like it’s always a really good synergistic relationship,” says Gallo. “People have picked up albums of mine because they’re interested, and they ask me ‘Well, when are you playing at Clovis again, or when are you playing at any of the wineries again?’ There’s a relationship there that just works.”

The unique relationship struck between musicians and the vineyards that embrace them is one that remains strong, and one that Gallo believes will endure well into the future.

“We don’t live in a small place, [Long Island] is a hundred plus miles back and forth from either end, so you can play a show out east and go out west the next day and you’re covering brand new ground,” says Gallo. “But out here, it’s just good. It’s a very artistic feel in that you have the chance to spread your wings and do what you need to do and the people at the wineries are incredibly responsive to it.”