Before the weather got too chilly here on Long Island, the family Pusterla and I made venture out east to one of the North Fork’s famous vineyards. We went to Martha Clara Vineyards and made a day of enjoying Long Island’s agricultural heritage with the adorable animals at the vineyard and a bottle of wine. It was nice to experience a different side of Long Island, away from the traffic and aggressive driving of my day to day life and back to the rolling hills, open fields and general empty space I grew so accustomed to while living in South Carolina. You’re hard pressed to drive 30 minutes in any direction where I am now and find wide open spaces, so it was nice to get away from it all, if only for a sleepy Sunday afternoon.
I really enjoyed the pig. I know just how he was feeling. I always tend to bond easier with animals than I do with humans. I was immediately drawn to the pen of Highland Cattle upon our arrival, with their side swept bangs and spectacular horns. The fellow in the pictures above came right up to the fence, let us pet him and proceeded to scratch an itch on his neck by rubbing up against the fence, his horns inching closer to my face with every scratch. A little unnerving, but I’m always in awe when I see (and pet!) an animal I’ve never encountered before.
The interior of the main building at the vineyard had beautiful wood touches and antique strewn throughout as decor. I really loved the old Hello Dolly poster. Old movie and entertainment posters are a great place to draw design and artistic inspiration with color palettes long forgotten and beautiful typography. We grabbed a bottle of red and a bottle of white (sorry, Billy Joel is practically a religion on Long Island) from the store and reconvened outside for the taste test. We even saw a dog in a baby stroller and I realized that even though my pup is spoiled, I hope to never get to the point of wheeling her around in a stroller in a public place.
We sampled the 2010 Chardonnay at the vineyard and brought the Cabernet Sauvignon home with us. I found the Chardonnay to have an interesting flavor, certainly different from what I expected of a white wine. It had a sweet, almost mead-like taste to it with earthy after tones that reminded me of a nice mushroom. Maybe not everyone’s favorite flavor, but I don’t mind the taste. I feel that my wine descriptions are lacking as I’m not a huge wine drinker. I enjoy it with a fancy dinner on occasion, but for the most part wine makes me pretty sleepy or reminds me of the strong, red favored by the Episcopal church I attended as a child. This wine was no exception as I slept all the way back to civilization. Mike had a pumpkin beer with a delicious cinnamon sugar rim that seems to be a popular addition to all the fall beers on tap this season. Also not a big beer drink (I prefer hard cider myself) but I did enjoy the sweetness of the cinnamon rim. It paired well with the hearty pumpkin spice flavor of the beer.