Icy cold wrapped its arms around Long Island a bit early this year, with an arctic blast settling in to chill the pre-Thanksgiving mood. In the midst of it, however, the wineries of Long Island continued full swing, offering barrel tastings, holiday cheer, and, of course, dinner pairings!
One of the recent dinner pairings was held at Monsoon Steak and Sushi in Babylon (a beautiful building and restaurant that once served as a bank), featuring a trio of wines from winemaker and GM Miguel Martin from Palmer Vineyards and an equally delectable set of dishes from Monsoon.
First up, the group was treated to a combination of Sea Scallop Cerviche coupled with 2013 Pinot Blanc, which had a sensational nose and a better taste…and proved a great way to set the festivities in motion. Korean Kalbi Ribs, featuring pickled kumquats and a wild mushroom congee, matched with the 2012 merlot, which Monsoon features regularly on tap at their bar. Finally, the meal wound up with a White Chocolate Cake paired with the just-released 2013 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer. The Gewurz was simply outstanding…and with its small production (only thirty cases produced) it will certainly be a fast sell-out at the winery!
But, aside from the food, the wine dinner, like all,of them, give the attendees the chance to chat with the winemaker about topics normally not on the agenda at a winery tasting. Miguel gave his views, among other things, on screwtop bottles, and the initial view of 2014. Screwtops, he noted, are very good for certain things…and he would put certain whites and rosés in the category…but not, he felt, all things. He said he appreciates that others feel it is better, but he prefers to stay with corks for more complex wines as it will allow the wine a better chance to mature and change in the bottle, whereas a screwtop will leave the wine the same as where it starts. This debate, it seems, is only just beginning!
As for the 2014 harvest, Miguel repeated what has been echoed throughout the region…the harvest was fantastic, and early indications point to a very good vintage.
And with that, the group was all smiles, and all headed back into the prewinter cold feeling a bit warmed by a fun night of good food and good wine. Many thanks to Miguel and the team from Palmer for a wonderfully enjoyable evening. See you at the winery!