October 21, 2022
The experience of doing a wine tasting can be affected by many factors, not all of them related to the wines themselves. For example, the last time we went to Palmer the lackadaisical service made the experience less pleasant than in the past. On the other hand, the lively presence of Laura Klahre makes every visit to Coffee Pot Cellars a pleasure. In this case, our feelings about Bedell were colored by the fact that it was a beautiful warm fall day, we had a great seat on the porch looking out at the vines, and we had one of our favorite people in the world with us. We also had the capacious porch almost entirely to ourselves (no worries about having to vacate our seats, as the sign on the table warned).
We entered the porch from the prettily landscaped parking area, and were greeted by a young man behind the bar, who provided us with menus. Bedell offers a basic flight of three of their wines for $15, or you can assemble your own flight from their menu of 19 wines for $6-$10 per taste. Since we wanted to compare notes, we decided to each get the basic flight (with my husband and me sharing, since I was the designated driver), with the idea of getting an additional taste of something else if we wanted it. The server poured our three tastes, and we carried them to a corner table where the afternoon sun made a nice warm spot. We hadn’t had lunch, so we ordered a cheese and one of the salumi and some crackers, which were brought to our table.
The snacks came wrapped, with plates and those little wooden knives—which were quite inadequate for slicing the cheese, a nice wedge of Beemster. It would be helpful to get a real knife. We also were given little wooden picks for picking up the slices of Napoli salami, which fortunately came pre-sliced. The crackers were…inoffensive.
As we sipped and chatted and enjoyed the view, soft rock of the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel variety played in the background. The pour, by the way, was fairly generous, and we felt no need for more wine.
- 2021 Rosé $25
The weather was doing a pretty good imitation of late summer rather than early fall, so the rosé felt quite appropriate. It has an interesting aroma of tropical fruit and minerals, with tastes of guava and minerals. Nice, dry, and light; our friend notes it would be “nice on an August afternoon,” to sip on its own.
- 2020 Pinot Gris $30
Like the rosé, this has a more interesting aroma than many wines of this variety. I say mossy and a bit funky, and no one disagrees with me. The taste is also more complex than many North Fork whites, with some tart Granny Smith apple taste. We decide that it is best with food, and make some inroads on the cheese and salami.
- 2019 Malbec $45
But the cheese goes best with this wine, an intense red with crushed berry taste which our friend compares to her favorite soda, Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry, except not sweet. She starts fantasizing about drinking it with some matzo ball soup, a knish, and a pastrami sandwich. Maybe! It is good, though not $45 good, we agree, and I remember that one time when I wrote about Bedell I discussed the issues of price and value in wines. They still have some very pricey wines, including Musée, at $125 per bottle. Wow.
Reasons to visit: in warm weather, a pleasant outdoor covered porch with a view looking out over the vines; all three of the wines were good, though not good enough that we bought any; they allow dogs, at least on the porch, since as we were getting ready to leave we had a little visit with Barney; you can build your own tasting from their extensive menu of wines.