On May 28, top local vineyards — Bedell Cellars, Channing Daughters, Lenz, Macari, Mattebella, McCall, One Woman, Paumanok, Raphael, Shinn, Sparkling Pointe, Suhru, and Wölffer — and Brooklyn wineries, Brooklyn Oenology and Brooklyn Winery, as well as a table of wineries from upstate — joined with some of Brooklyn and Manhattan’s best eateries at 26 Bridge in DUMBO for Brooklyn Uncorked, a tasting event of epic proportions. From 6–9 p.m., amid fine wine and hors-d’oeuvres, bottles and guests uncorked. The event showcased how far the wine region has matured after 40+ years of dedication, a regional journey recently canonized in Eileen M. Duffy’s Behind the Bottle: The Rise of Wine on Long Island.
The East End is a “wonderful backdoor to Manhattan,” says Roman Roth, partner and renowned winemaker at Wölffer Estate Vineyards, and yet it’s often a “new discovery for people.” Many in the city have not traveled east in general, let alone know of the world-class wines in their own backyard. “You can make the best wines in the world, but if you don’t have regional respect,” he adds, “you have nothing.” A rising tide raises all boats in a wine region; in Bordeaux and Burgundy, for instance, the wine is so tied to the region’s terroir that, independent of the chateau or domaine, a return on investment is guaranteed with every vintage. On the East End, between the interplay of the winemakers with their climate, years of dedication, and regional advocacy by groups such as the Long Island Wine Council and the Long Island Merlot Alliance, the region as a terroir — what Roth calls “a mosaic, when many little stones come together” — has come into its own.
It was a night of wine for food and food for wine.
Glass in hand, fork in pocket 26 Bridge, a large, old factory, was filled to the brim with guests and feasts. It was a night of wine for food and food for wine, whether it was pairing Wölffer’s Cabernet Franc with a chocolate ganache tart from The Chocolate Room or Lenz’s Merlot with duck pâté crostinis, There was more wine to taste than possible in total, and more than enough food to enjoy alongside. Some deserved trips back for seconds (and thirds). The wines showcased the full gamut and range of complexity for East End vineyards and could not have been better. Great company, fine wine, and the most delicious food. Be sure to check out the 10th annual Brooklyn Uncorked next year; it’s well worth the wait!