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.

Caesar’s Wines Liquors -Jennifer Lin

Located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn at 6715 Bay Parkway, Caesar’ Wines Liquors is a remarkable wine retail store that has been around for almost 25 years.

Business Card

Business Card

The store front made the shop seem to be more focus on spirits, rather than wine. The pirate right in front of store was appealing to me, since a sign that says “Price Cutters” was right above it. The pirate almost made it felt like it was there to help their guest demand reasonable prices for their wines and liquors.

Store Front

Store Front

After being astonished by their store front, making entry to the store marked my favorite “moment of truth.”  I was quickly mesmerized by all those wines that the store carried and originally I thought their spirits section must be bigger than their wine section. A staff working their quickly asked if I needed help, but I politely told him I will look around first.

The floor spacing seems to be approximately 2500 square feet or even more. But at that moment I cannot tell because there were boxes and boxes of wine stacked on top and right next to each other.

As I slowly maneuver to the big sign on top of the ceiling that says, “wine,” I start to see wines that I recognize such as Bordeaux blends. Finally making my way to the wine aisle, the first thing I noticed was how the aisle was sorted with three flags hanging on top of the ceiling, as the photo below show.

 Wine aisle sorted by Place

Wine aisle sorted by place

I was not surprise that the first flag was the Flag of Italy, then France, and lastly the United States. Right in mind I knew those were the top places that wines are being produced. The shelves are marked with prices ascending downwards, so the less expensive wine was on the bottom shelves.

As I was wandering around the bottles of the wine in Italy, I quickly was able to recognize some of wines in the region of Chianti and I knew Chianti was a DOCG. I looked at the band on the capsule and I found the green band that says DOCG.

As I continued onto the wine of France and United States I recognized some of the top region of France I studied in class, such as Burgundy and Rhone Valley. As for the wine of United States, not being surprised I noticed most of the wine was from California, because I knew California made the most wine in the United States. I also was able to recognize some of the AVA’s I studied, especially the ones in New York such as Hudson River Valley, and Long Island.

Finishing with the wine aisle, right in the middle between the spirits aisle was the sake section. Although I have not yet learn about sake, I found it interesting and fascinating to see all different assortment of sake.

Assortments of Sake

Assortments of Sake

At the liquor aisle, as for the arrangement it was not much different than the wine section. On top of the ceiling it hang a poster that sorted all the different kind of spirits they offer. The arrangement went from “Bandy and Cognac,” “Cordials,” “Gins and Aperitifs,” “Rye and Bourbon,” “Rum and Tequila,” “Scotch,” and lastly “Vodka.” On the shelves it was also labeled from the highest prices assenting down to the lowest.

Spirits Aisle

Spirits aisle sorted by types

Walking back out to the front section of Caesar’s, there was a refrigerator that stored all the sparkling wines. Right on the top, I noticed the winery Moët & Chandon and I knew those were Champagnes because it comes from Champagne.



Fridge at Caesar’s

Moët & Chandon (Champagne)

Moët & Chandon (Champagne)

Right beside the fridge was a cabinet that was locked up, and those were their higher quality and more expensive wine. I did notice some that said Medoc on the labeling, and that made me reference to the region France. Beside having a wine cabinet, they also have a liquor cabinet that contained some of the higher quality of whiskey. I did recognize the Hennessy X.O. Reserve and the Johnnie Walker’s Gold and Blue Labels.

Cabinet @ Caesar's

Wine cabinet @ Caesar’s


Liquor cabinet @ Caesar's

Liquor cabinet @ Caesar’s

Overall my experience at Caesar’s was pleasant. The staffs their was friendly. I definitely recommend this wine shop because they have a huge sections of wines and liquors. I find the the prices are reasonable and lower compared to a wine store that my friends work at in Redhook, Brooklyn. Even if you do not personally drink wines or liquor, they offer miniature collector’s bottles. I find it great to be souvenirs or collectibles for homes.

Miniature liquor bottles @Caesar's

Miniature liquor bottles @Caesar’s

Lastly, for something extra I will like to share my home’s Miniature liquor section. Now that I know Caesar’s sells it, my dad can finally add to his mini collection.

My mini collection at home

My mini collection at home




Italian Wine Tasting: 2006 Barolo DOG, Viberti Giovanni, Piedmont, Italy

Group Members: Moemu Seo, Nykkeicha Mcewan, Rizk Zouad, Jennifer Lin

Piedmont Region: Located South-west of Alba in hills of an area known as Langhe. Piedmont is the second largest region in Italy. It produces powerful, structure red wine that is aged for decades.

(The minimum aging requirement of Barolo is 3 years, and 2 of the 3 years must be aged in a barrel. There is a minimum alcohol level of 13%.)

Grape: The Grape variety of Barolo wine is Nebbiolo, which is the dominant red grape in Piedmont. (Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian word nebbia which means “fog.”)

Climate Conditions: Summers are warm, leading to a foggy fall during harvest time, and cool-snowy winters, and mild springs.

Historical Perspective:  Barolo wine has been made over 100 years ago. Prior to the mid-19th century, Barolo was a sweet wine, but after the 19th century, a French winemaker Louis Oudart made a technique that enable the Nebbiolo grape to be fermented till its grape is completely dry.

DOC of Interest: Dolecetto D’ Alba (Dry red wine noted for its juicy fruit character, low levels of acidity and mild tannins.) Barbera D’ Alba (Red wine with low tannin, but high in acidity, noted for its dark fruits and berry taste.)

DOCG of Interest: Barolo and Barbaresco (Similar to characteristic of Barolo, it is made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes, but the wines of Barbaresco is more fruity, less structure, and contains softer tannin than a Barolo. The minimum alcohol level of Barbaresco is 12.5%. The aging requirements is 2 years, and if it is aged for 3 years or longer, its label can be call Reserve.

IGT: None

Question for the exam: Why is the Barolo and Barbaresco appellation so significant in the region of Piedmont, and note the different and similar characteristic of their wine and wine making process.

Answer: Barolo and Barbaresco is the two most important DOCG of Interest in the region of Piedmont. Barolo and Barbaresco shares similar characteristic in their wine since they are produced with the same grapes. But the characteristic of the wine differs because their aging process and requirements are not the same.

 2006 Barolo DOG, Viberti Giovanni, Piedmont, Italy

The wine has a earthy, oak,  mushroom, and truffles characteristic, with high tannin and a hint of spice. The appearance of the orange-red in the rim variation shows the aging of the wine, but the wine can most likely be aged for another 5 years, so the fruitier characteristic may form.

Paring: Meat dishes (Steak, stew), heavy pastas and rich risottos




Sarget De Gruaud-Larose 2003 Saint-Julien

WINEFor tonight’s dinner, my father asked
me to choose a bottle of wine, and I randomly chose this Bordeaux. I just
thought this was interesting to share. This is the first Bordeaux I ever tasted,
and it was too acidity for me. It had a strong spicy taste. The spice reminds me
of pepper, but the wine itself smells like tobacco and oak. This seems to be
like a medium body wine and the wine looked clear in the glass.