Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Taste Camp East: Initial Highlights

Taste Camp East 2009 may be over yet the good memories will not diminish. It was a wonderful weekend, filled with some excellent food and wine as well as great company and conversation. Besides all the fun, it was also informative and educational. I am already looking forward to Taste Camp 2010.

Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours spearheaded the organization of this event, bringing together about thirty wine bloggers and their spouses or companions to explore the wines of Long Island. Lenn deserves kudos for all of the work he did to make Taste Camp a success. Thanks must also go to everyone else who contributed to making this event possible, including some of the other bloggers who helped out as well.

Special thanks go to all the wineries, wine makers, winery owners and others who showed such great hospitality to all of us. We certainly were made to feel very welcome.

It was a pleasure to meet the other wine bloggers who attended, many who I had previously known only online. Everyone was very nice and personable, and it was comforting to hang out together. We shared wine and food, chatted and laughed, joked and smiled. I think it helped all of us grow closer, helping to solidify the blogger community.

Here is but a sampling of some of my memories of this trip:
  • The exceptional hors d'oeurves at Raphael
  • The unscrupulous and greedy van driver
  • The delicious sliced duck breast at Shinn Vineyards
  • Eric, the colorful winemaker at Lenz Winery
  • The seemingly endless line of wine bottles at BYOB night
  • Everyone spitting at the drain outside Lenz
  • Barrel tasting at Paumanok Vineyards
  • The bartender with an ankh tattoo at the Greenporter
  • The fact I enjoyed several different Cabernet Francs
  • Seeing the sun on Saturday afternoon
  • Merlot, merlot, merlot, merlot, merlot
  • Sandwiches at Farmstead Lunch
I will be posting many more details about Taste Camp in the coming weeks, discussing what I found on Long Island, my own thoughts about their wine industry. I know that the other bloggers who attended will be posting their own thoughts, and some have already done so.

Here is a list of the blogger attendees, as well as links to their Taste Camp posts if they have already written any. Please check out their blogs during the next couple weeks to see the additional posts they write about Taste Camp.


john witherspoon said...

nice write up Richard. Again great to meet you in person finally. I have some of the same great memories although i wanted to forget the cab driver incident. haha

who got the picture of us all spitting at the same time?


Lenn Thompson | LENNDEVOURS.com said...

Richard: Thanks for coming down to LI for TasteCamp. It was a pleasure FINALLY meeting you and Juanita, and of course finding a few cabernet francs that you'd enjoy. That was one of my little side missions, you know.

Hope to see you in the Finger Lakes in 2010!

Taster B said...

The duck was good...my favorite was the pasta salad and the pearl couscous salad!

Diane Letulle said...

Richard, thanks for mentioning me on your blog. I enjoyed several of the same memories you mentioned and put them into my write-up too (grate-spitting, the Lenz winemaker). I enjoyed meeting you and Juanita and look forward to seeing you two in the future.