An Unforgettable Wine Experience

Growing up in Brooklyn, NY made me almost unaware of the relaxing lifestyle New York can have. As a child beside going to New Jersey for holidays, I barely left Brooklyn. I do remember going to Long Island earlier in my years, but it was not as distinctive as this time around.

The thought of needing to drive for 2 and half hours and 5 hours including the drive back, made me anxious at first. But I am so glad I decided to go through with the plan.

After setting my mind to go to Shinn Estate Farmhouse, located on 2000 Oregon Rd, Mattituck, NY 11952, I was finally able to get my brother and sister in law to drive me there. My boyfriend was interested at the fact of going to Long Island too, so he accompanied along.

On our way to the vineyard, we passed by many other winery and vineyard. The site of all those vines and farmhouse made the drive relaxing and enjoyable. The feeling of the calm city was breathtaking and made me almost forget about my busy lifestyle back in Brooklyn.

Our GPS finally navigated us to make one last turn and we finally arrived to Shinn.

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Shinn Estate Vineyards

After deciding that we will have a wine tasting first, before touring around in the vineyard, we walked toward to the their tasting room. I had the most unexpected, yet warmest welcome from Panda. Panda ran out of the tasting room and down the path you see on the photo on top, to greet us. He walked around us and made sure we all knew to follow him, and there he guided us to the tasting room, making sure we didn’t get lost. He brought us into the tasting room where a lady greeted us with the friendliest smile and sat us down.

This is Panda

This is Panda

My greeting from Panda to the tasting room made me feel welcome and even part of the their family. It was definitely not expected, it’s different, but unique. Once I walked into the room, I realize most guest in the room are frequenters of Shinn, they come almost every Sunday. It’s like a big family having a gathering in the tasting room. I quickly felt like I was part of the family.

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Inside the tasting room

Wine storage

Wine storage

Wine tasting was $10 per person for 4 different wines, so we order tasting for the table. I wanted to order cheese, but they ran out. We order salami and crackers instead.

Picture 043We were each given a wine list with roughly 10-15 types of wines. The wine list was separated by red and white wines, like how wine list are usually in restaurants. Our table was set similar, but not exactly the same like we do in wine class. We were each given a glass of water, but only one glass to taste the four wine, and one large bain-marie for the table as the “spit cup.”

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Wine List

After seeing the wine list, we all wanted to try different wine, but we all started out with the same ones at first. Wine tasting was the highlight of my day. I went through the wine tasting with our class tasting note category in my mind. I was fortunate to lead my brother, sister in law, and my boyfriend through the wine tasting experience. My sister in law was a graduate of our Hospitality program in City Tech, and she was impressed of the words and description I used during the wine tasting.

To start off our wine tasting, clearing and getting our palate ready for the bolder wines, I picked a light cider.

Wine # 1: 2013 Wickham’s Pear Cider.

It is made from their local fruit and contains 6% alcohol. It was a correct choice to start with because the wine was light and low acid. It did not overpower the other wine I tasted after. The mouth feel was not as bubbly as I thought it would be, but it did make a light fizzing mouth feel. Pears was exactly what I tasted, but I also tasted a hint of apples. I will pair this wine with an appetizer such a zesty lime shrimp or oysters.

Wine # 2: 2013 Coalescence (Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling)

I choose this wine because it contain Riesling and I developed a love for Riesling through our wine tasting in class. So after tasting, I asked my my brother what he tasted.

His words was, “hmmm hmmm hmm.” My sister in law and my boyfriend laughed and said yes, it definitely tasted “hmmm hmmm hmm.”

I then explained to them, the reason why you felt that way is because of the mouth feel. The wine is tingling in your mouths and it gives you a watery mouth feel.

The wine was definitely had a refreshing taste, probably from it stainless steel, but the fruits was the main component to the wine. I tasted strong taste of apples and papayas, and a hint of honey. It pairs well with linguine and salmon drizzled with a green apple vinaigrette.

Wine #3: 2009 Nine Barrels Blend (Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec)

The transitioning of white wines to  red wine is always interesting because of its mouth feel. After enjoying the light, airy, and refreshing mouth and suddenly tasting a wine that is bolder and full of character was difficult.

Before tasting the wine, I had a clear look of the color of the wine. It was dark red with a hint of rim variation of orange. I saw a little hint of sediment poured into the glass.

I had to split twice before I had a real sense of what the 2009 Nine Barrels Blend was. But after the third taste, my mouth suddenly was able to distinguish the taste of dark fruits notes such as cranberry, plums, and prunes. In addition, I also tasted a hint of cloves and pepper. I tasted strong oak and the tannins coated my entire mouth leaving it dry and the dryness lingered.

As for the pairing of this wine, I will definitely go with the Rib-eye steak because of its fat content. Also a lamb stew or dishes with a bit more moistness to it will be a ideal pairing for this dry- full body wine.

Wine # 4: 2013 Rosé (Merlot, Cabernet franc)

For my last wine tasting, I wanted to try something different that I never tried before. I was glad I made that decision because I started to like Rosé and I even brought a bottle home for $16.

Transitioning from 2009 Nine Barrels Blend to the Rosé, I suggested to drink some water and even rinse a bit because I knew the Rosé was lighter than the Nine Barrels, and I didn’t want it to overpower the Rosé.

The Rosé was light red and pink in color. It tingled a bit in the mouth feel and it had some dryness, but it did not linger and it did not cough the mouth. It was refreshing with strong notes of fruits, like melons, papayas, apples, and note of honey and syrup.

After tasting the Rosé, my brother bursted out the words, “Cocktail Shrimp, Sushi, Live Uni,” and there he gave me the perfect pairing for this Rosé.

During this wine tasting, I not only did myself a favor and found a wine I enjoy, but I guided the wine tasting and made my family learn more about wine because “I study wine.”

After the wine tasting, we grabbed the maps and started our tour on the vineyard. Their were no grapes on the vines yet, but we saw some spurs on its cordons. As for wine storing and aging I saw stainless steel barrels. They use machinery in their harvest. Some varieties of grapes they grow are Sauvignon Blanc,  Pinot Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Semillon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Canernet Sauvignon.

Vineyard Map

Vineyard Map

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Picture 115This concludes my day at Shinn, but the experience was memorable. By going to class every week, I learned all the necessary technical and basic skills of wine and wine-making, but by going to the vineyard/winery I was able to connect and relate to all the background information I learned and applied it to a real world experience. This assignment has truly made an impact to my wine studying.

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