Bedell Cellars: Varied Factors

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).

Even the parking lot is nicely landscaped.
The walkway leads directly to the porch.
Plenty of room today. Our friend noted it would be a nice venue for a big party or wedding.

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.

I noticed the plastic curtains, which should make the porch usable even on not so nice days.
  • 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.

We made friends with Barney, who was focused on a crumb I had dropped.

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.

Palmer’s Winery March 24, 2012

If you like the atmosphere of a British pub, you’ll like the look of Palmer’s tasting room.  We went there on an early spring afternoon, after stopping at Bayview for fresh local spinach and horseradish root, before I started this blog, so this is a catch-up entry.  The cozy room has comfortable booths and signs on the walls advertising British products, stand-up tables, and more outside room for the summer.  The tasting room is towards the back of the property, as the front building houses their cellar and production facility, of which you can take a self-guided tour.

The tasting menu offers six different flights of three wines each, for $8-$10.  They also sell a cheese and cracker tray and bags of North Fork potato chips for $3.  We opt for the Winemaker’s Reserve white and red tastings, planning as usual to share, and the server brings our glasses to a booth.  Generous pour!

1)  Pinot Blanc 2010          $19.99

This is a very nice white, aged on the lees.  It has a spicy aroma, with some hints of cinnamon or allspice.  We sense some peach taste, some minerality, and some acidity, with a back of the mouth sweetness.  Overall, this is a dry crisp wine and would pair well with oysters.

2)  Sauvignon Blanc 2010          $19.99

Calling Dr. Brown!  The aroma reminds us of celery soda or seeds.  Less acid than the Pinot, we taste a fruit salad of apple and grapefruit.  This somewhat interesting wine has a front taste that is a bit acid, and end that is flat and apple-y, and is, we decide, a food wine, not a sipping wine.

3)  Reserve Chardonnay          $18.99

Aged in French oak, this is a fairly typical Long Island Chard, with aromas of vanilla and toast.  We taste ripe peach as it opens up, with a citrus after taste. I’d like this with lobster or a chicken dish.

4)  2008 Cabernet Sauvignon          $24.99

This simple red has a blackberry bramble aroma and berry taste, a bit on the sweet side, though the aftertaste is dry.  Nice.

5)  2008 Cabernet Franc          $28.99

Nice sipping wine, we judge, with aromas of blueberry and other berries and a pleasant but unassertive taste.  A bit sweet for us, with not much in the way of finish.

6)  Select Reserve          $28.99

Bordeaux, here we come.  This is a classic Bordeaux blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, and Merlot, though the taste is not quite as good as a “real” Bordeaux.  The aroma is of berries, with some minerality, and the flavor reminds us of stewed prunes (which I happen to like).  Maybe given time?

None of the wines are bad, though we don’t choose to buy any.  If I did, I’d probably get the Pinot Blanc.

Reasons to visit:  Comfortable tasting room, if you get a booth.  Pleasant pub-like decor.  Generous pour, and we liked all the wines, though we loved none of them.