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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

Tasting Life at a North Fork Vineyard: Sherwood House

March 1st, 2011 · 3 Comments · Drinks & Cocktails, Wine

A Moment of Gratitude

I think that I, like many people, take my surroundings for granted.  Some of us may live in big cities like New York or Boston and never take the time to visit historical sites like the Statue of Liberty or the home of Paul Revere.   Or we may live in the country and never stop to gaze out upon the patches of pumpkins entangled in their vines or the morning dew glistening on the heads of cabbage in the autumn.

With my restaurant, Cuvee Bistro and Bar, on Long Island’s North Fork, I pass some of the most beautiful farmland every day.  Snow on the vines in the winter, harvest in the fall, and the greenery of spring and summer provide a backdrop for every season.  Somehow I, as a resident, forget what all those tourists come out here to do every weekend  — taste wine, enjoy the comfort of tasting rooms, and be surrounded by the beauty of the North Fork in rain or shine.

Photo courtesy of Sherwood House Vineyards



Last Sunday, I had a friend visiting and we decided to stop in at a tasting room I hadn’t seen yet.  Sherwood House opened a new tasting room in Jamesport, transforming a country house with a barn into an homage to North Fork wine and style.  I have always loved Sherwood House wines and often visited their outdoor tasting room at the vineyard on Oregon Road.  I found Sherwood House wines many years ago through a French friend and wine salesman who once showed up at Cuvee and said, “you have to buy this Chardonnay, it’s like a Puligny Montrachet,” and he was right.  Barbara and Charles Smithen are the founders of this vineyard and I have always loved their wine and Barbara’s ebullient personality.  We’ve had several of their wines our on wine list at Cuvee over the years and we are so excited to observe their expansion.  Their brand has grown and now includes partners Brian Sckipp and John Salvaggio and charming tasting room manager Ami Davey along with brilliant wine maker, Gilles Martin.

The fireplace, the outdoor seating, and the woodwork of the tasting bar with adjacent studio, designed by artisan-genius John Mazur, create an atmosphere for oenologic worship where I was lucky enough to find myself at the altar.

I remembered why I came to the North Fork in the first place and was filled with the gratitude of that moment. I came out here to be closer to nature; to have a garden and be on the water to fish and dig for clams.  I came to be close to the farmland that feeds us and the vineyards that make the wines I love to drink with friends while  leaving behind the stressess of city life.

I tasted five red wines during this excursion, since I am still buying for the winter.  However, if you are taking a weekend off, you’ll have time to try all of them by purchasing their flights ranging from $8 to $15 for three to five tastes. And you won’t end up leaving empty handed.

Tasting Notes and Prices

2003 Oregon Road $15, perfect food wine, medium bodied red
2003 Merlot $20, My personal favorite red — you’ll find on our wine list at Cuvee Bistro
2004 Merlot $25, dark fruit on the nose in French oak
2005 Merlot $25, Spicy black cherry and tobacco
2004 Cabernet Franc $40, earthy ripe fruit with perfect balance of tannins and acidity
2005 Sherwood Manor $55, traditional Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon finished with Petit Verdot.  Perfect for your wine collection.  Only 40 cases left!

Tasting Room Hours

Mondays 12 noon to 6 p.m.
Thursdays, 12 noon to 6 p.m.
Fridays 12 noon to 6 p.m.
Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Natalia // Mar 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Wonderful trip!

  • 2 Adirondack Joe // Apr 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I had the honor of going to Sherwood House just as they opened the new tasting room in Jamesport. As you mentioned it was not difficult to leave with several bottles. My favorite is the 2003 Oregon Road. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • 3 seasonedfork // Apr 8, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I agree! We’ve had Oregon Road on our wine list many times over the years. It’s so versatile. Great with our Arugula Pesto Pasta or great with a burger with Irish Cheddar! Thank you for your support.

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