Art and Wine Pairing

In wine on 07/30/2011 at 6:59 pm

Walt, the owner of Channing Daughters Winery is a sculptor by avocation. He rescues tree trunks from destruction and re-imagines them as art pieces. Bhangra Master visited last week and signed up for the wine club. I wondered if the wine could be any good, given that my previous experiences in the South Fork were less than stellar.

So we came for the art, but stayed for the wine. It’s the first time we have liked all the wines in the flight, even the extra one the other half picked from the sales display. All have great noses, floral and light, especially the White Envelope, which is reminiscent of jasmine flower. Perhaps it’s the way the wines were blended, with the knowledge that the cooler temperatures in the South Fork required longer ripening time, or the smell of honest art in the air, Channing Daughters was quite the winner.

In the back of the winery is a massive lawn filled with Walt’s work. A workshop in the corner and a viewing treehouse smack in the middle, along with a white yoga tent were the only other accoutrements. It’s a mini-Storm King, but without the attention to landscaping and placement of the works. But it is a great injection of art into my otherwise currently culture-free life.

The sculptures are mostly whimsical, like the wine produced here. Our host took great care in explaining how the grapes were chosen based on the region in Italy that was sandy like the East End. The rosé was exceptional, just the right bridge between a white and a red. They also have a skin fermented white, which has a more rich, golden hue than regular whites.

The sculptures were made from recycled wood, but they don’t believe in reusing the grapes. Usually a first press becomes the reserve wines, i.e. the especially expensive ones, the second press becomes the normal priced and the third press the cheapest table wine. They pride themselves in the fact that they only press all their grapes once, and that you can squeeze them afterwards and still get a cupful of juice. This is all a roundabout way of saying, we make only good wine.

The other half inquired about layperson grape stomping a la I Love Lucy. The answer was: Keep asking.

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