The last few times we drove past Raphael Winery thinking about going in for a tasting, we noted they were “Closed for a Private Event.” It’s no surprise that that happens there fairly frequently, since they have a beautiful facility with plenty of room for large parties. But instead of us going there, Raphael came to us! We walked into our favorite Nassau County wine store to find a manager from Raphael busily setting up a free tasting. The tiny sips and short time were not conducive to an in-depth review, so here are just a few quick notes. At some point this winter we hope to get there when the room is not being used for a wedding or other event to do a more in-depth assessment.
We tried the cabernet franc, the merlot, the sauvignon blanc, and the Portico, an unusual white port. We like all three wines, but we especially enjoyed the 2013 Portico, made from a combination of grappa and sauvignon blanc grapes. It is sweet without being at all cloying, and I could see it as going well with paté or dark chocolate—a little taste of which the manager was able to provide. Mmm…yes, it did go well. We bought a bottle, planning to offer it as an after dinner drink on Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
P.S. The manager also gave us a schedule of their free concert series, scheduled for Sundays through January. Check their website to confirm: www.raphaelwine.com.