East End Oenophile

East End OenophileONE OYSTER. ONE WINE.
You’ve heard that cabernet is perfect with steak, and that sauvignon blanc goes well with fresh goat cheese, right? Well, Palmer Vineyards is taking the concept of the “perfect pairing” even further with its 2007 Pipes Cove Chardonnay, a wine made specifically for Pipes Cove Oysters in Greenport. The new endeavor, owner Bob Palmer says, will “create a new category—a wine specifically designed for a single food item.”

“I don’t think anybody thinks of ordering a wine just to go with the oyster,” Palmer says. “We hope that the restaurants will see it as an opportunity to increase the check while the consumer will find a new way to enjoy our wine.” And because Palmer Vineyards’ partner in the project sells oysters to many of New York’s top restaurants, the collaboration will help pry open a place for Long Island wine on these menus.

The wine will be released shortly after the New Year to take advantage of the winter oyster season. It is a variation on Palmer’s popular 41/72 Chardonnay. According to Palmer, it “provides the acidity necessary to work with the oysters.”

Chris Tracy, winemaker for Channing Daughters Winery, is already a master of sorts—a master at blending varieties and employing creative winemaking techniques. But, he wants to add the highly selective Master of Wine (there are only some 250 in the world) to a resume that already includes a sommelier certificate, WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) diploma and Certified Wine Educator status.

Tracy, has been taking formal wine education classes for almost a decade, saying, “I consider myself a constant student and enjoy the discipline of being tested at the highest level. I know these studies will increase the depth and breadth of my knowledge and will force me to communicate in a clearer way. This helps me be a better person as well as a better winemaker.”

He’ll begin the program, which includes independent study, seminars, exams and a dissertation, immediately. “It seems as if some people do it in as quickly as four to five years. Others as long as seven or eight. Many people never complete it or are awarded the MW.”

Why do it? “I want it. The MW is generally recognized as the highest distinction awarded in the wine industry. That can only help me.”

(Tracy will teach the first WSET 8-week intermediate course ever to be offered on the East End, starting April 1 at Stony Brook Southampton. See www.stonybrook.edu for details.)

Galluccio Family Wineries, on Main Road in Cutchogue, has been bought by Joe and Alexandra Macari, owners of Macari Vineyards in Mattituck. The Galluccio property, known formerly as Gristina Vineyards, includes 82 acres of land, 42 planted with vines, had been for sale since 2005.

As press time, further details weren’t available, but Ms. Macari did mention that they’d “like a presence on the main road.”