The vineyard that I traveled all the way to was Head of the Harbor, in Long Island. The destination was Harmony Vineyards, a small vineyard with a small selection of wines, it took awhile due to the long train ride but as the scenery changed from the concrete jungle of New York City seeing the natural beauty of Long Island which is rare in New York City. Going to this vineyard was going to be a new adventure for my friends and I but only being 20 this will be a sober day.

We entered the country home that served as both tasting room and lounge. The tasting room was located on the left side of the house, via a partition. On the counter, there were bottles of the house wines, already opened, but sealed, meant for immediate use. The back wall held a window, that allowed you to see a part of the picnic area outside, and the bottom half of the wall held unopened wine bottles. There were three ladies at the tasting room, working as bartenders. One of the ladies was Ms. Nita Simoes, the tasting room manager. As we introduced ourselves, as well as our purpose for coming there, I could tell that their service carried a sense of genuine hospitality. There was nothing forced in our encounter with them, as they made every guest who walked into the tasting room feel welcome.

As we took a space at the table, we were given menus, which contained a section each for small plates, starters, red wines, and white wines. There were far more red wines than white wines from what I noticed. In order to make the best of the situation, we chose to go with the Flight option three vintages for one low price. Luckily for good friends they drank on my behalf and maybe taking a few sips here and there. Some of the wine they drank and was presented to us were 2011 reserve had notes of citrus, fruits, and pineapple on the nose. The wine itself was bright, clear, had low viscosity, and had a yellow tint to it. On the palate, I could taste no acidity, however it did linger. The wine was fruity due to the pineapple was smooth, very refreshing, and contained hints of citrus like a grapefruit as  the dominant citrus taste. The usual food that a white wine would pair well with would apply here, such as a salad, fish like salmon, and my personal favorite: chicken parmesan. The other wine was a 2009 vintage Bordeaux we had near the end of our visit for tasting, but for the sake of chronological order via vintage year, it seems fitting to discuss it now. The wine appeared to have a bright garnet color, medium viscosity, some room variation, causing a light watery red outer rim. The wine had hints of a smoky oak, dark cherries, a slight hint of granite, and citrus fruits. When we tasted it, the wine lingers on the tongue, being slightly dry yet smooth at the same time. The taste is strong, due to the higher level of alcohol, yet is pleasant to the palate. Once again, a grilled steak, or char broiled burger would be a fitting companion to this lovely wine.

Harmony Vineyards has four acres of land, so their production is actually small, with a production of 750 cases a year. Chardonnay is their main focus, as the red grapes that they grow are cabernet franc, sauvignon, and merlot. Harmony Vineyards donates their profits to charity, which they have a list of in the tasting room. Some of the charities include: Stonybrook foundation, pink crop foundation, NYC and Long Island Harvest. The red wines are aged in French oak barrels, while the white wines are aged in stainless steel barrels. Due to the elevation of the vineyard, which happens to be below sea-level, the growing period is shorter, and they use less drying agents due to that.

If there is one thing I will not forget about Harmony Vineyards, it is the picnic area that they have available. There was a group playing live jazz music that day, as well as tables all around the backyard of the house for wine tasting, and a picnic. There is a path that will allow you to walk next to the grape vines, and reaches all the way to the waterfront. We did actually manage to make it all the way to the beach, which could have used some upkeep. The path itself has been marked via the obvious flattened grass from previous visitors. This was an incredibly enjoyable trip for me, and I would definitely return just to buy a few wine bottles.

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Retail Wine Shop Analysis- Richard Buren

¬†¬†¬†¬†Doing this retail wine shop was interesting, ¬†I ended up going to 3 wines shops, two being in the city and one in my home town Queens. The first wine shop I went to was Chelsea Wine Vault, located within Chelsea Market in the Lower Westside. This wine shop had a semi old school ¬†due to being made out of brick yet had hipster vibe to it. The wines that they had were separated by region. Some of those regions are Spain, Chile, Germany, South Africa, ¬†America, ¬†and many more. The employees were friendly and informative by telling me that they have wines aged in Oak and steel barrels. He told me that oak aged wines were more popular in America. He also showed me two different wines one aged in Oak and one aged in steel. The one aged in steel was the Natura a Chardonnay saying Un-oakes on the bottle from Chile and the aged in Oak was Rombauer also a Chardonnay. In the stored, they had their cellar which people were allowed walk in and look at what they have stored. The cellar is temperature and humidity controlled room, where they hold their more expensive and older wines which is also arranged by region. I wouldn’t know all of this if it wasn’t for the helpful and informative employees.

     From a hipster old school  wine shop to a modern and more inviting wine shop located on 38 st and Madison, called Park Avenue Liquor Shop. Recently moved to this new and more spacious location about a year ago,  walking in felt more inviting and welcoming , due to how chill and friendly the employees were. As soon as I asked to take pictures, one employee showed me  wines that might me cool yet interesting to take a picture of like a Opus One a Napa Valley red wine which is favored by the Asian population and also Opus One was mentioned in a Jay Z song. Another cool and interesting wine to take a picture of was their  Bordeaux section where they had some of their pricier wines shown on display. Their wines were also arrange by region where the prices ranges from inexpensive to high priced wines due to popularity. They have a cellar which is located down stairs  with more expensive wines arranged by region. Besides the cellar, they have a another room with more higher end and rare wine as far as late 1800s that you need a special key  to get in there.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Last but not least was the Hunter’s Point wines and Spirits in Long Island City Queens, ¬†their logo was my favorite, it was unique and sophisticated and modern red and black sign , but the inside had the sophisticated classy feel yet eerie due to I was the only customer there and the employees didn’t really have that welcoming feel. Their wines were arrange from region and prices and some were aged in steel and oak. The wines that were displayed had a description about the wine and what you would expect from that wine to taste and also a food pairing that will match the wine.

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  • the one aged in steel barrel was the Natura ,a Chardonnay¬† saying Un-Oaked on the label of the bottle from Chile and the one Aged in Oak was the Rombauer

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  • Opus One a Napa Valley red wine which is favored by the Asian population and also Opus One was mentioned in a Jay Z song
  • Bordeaux section where they had some of their pricier wines shown on display

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  • unique and sophisticated and modern red and black sign
  • The wines that were displayed had a description about the wine and what you would expect from that wine to taste and also a food pairing that will match the wine.