A Perfect Pairing

PHOTO BY DAVID KORCHINLieb Cellars takes wine tasting to a whole new level with their newly opened tasting room located on Oregon Road in Cutchogue. Here you not only taste wine but you get to experience it as well. Along with upcoming events like a cookbook signing, Cabernet Franc release party and a session on cheese making their In-House Epicurean masterfully combines locally sourced food products, cheeses from Goodale Farms, breads from Blue Duck Bakery, jams and preserves from The Garden of Eve, then pairs them with their house labels. It's a total sensorial experience. More on Lieb along with our recommendations here >

Northfrkd Itineraries: Winter Edition

Don't let the cold north winds blowing across the sound fool you...The North Fork is still the hottest ticket in town when it comes to weekend getaways. Escape the frenzy of holiday madness with a quiet, 3 day retreat complete with fireside wine tastings, a relaxing hot stone massage and the best farm to table dining experiences. Don't sweat the details. Our 3 day Weekender Itinerary navigates you to the most interesting and notable places on the North Fork. And don't worry about getting lost, we've added Google Maps to help keep you on track. Plus with our NORTHFRKD VOUCHERS you get to save money along the way with special savings on wine, food and specialty items. The cost of your itinerary actually pays for itself! It's easy and portable. Print out or download all you'll need to your computer or mobile device. Find out more about NORTHFRKD ITINERARIES here  >

Top Grapes: Red, White, Sparkling and Spirited

PHOTO BY DAVID KORCHINGifting, toasting or to accompany a holiday meal here are some of our top picks worthy of this holiday season.

Macari Block E Viognier 2009. This ice wine is made from grapes that have been in the cold freeze for 3 months making for a concentrated sweetness full of bright, grilled pineapple, mango, and honey notes. Perfect for desserts or with cheese.

McCall Ben’s Bordeaux Blend. Velvety richness made from four distinct grapes, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and their best estate Merlot. Perfection.

Shinn Cabernet Franc 2009. This light but lush red with spiced orange and cherry notes is a perfect partner for duck. And if you can find any of the 2007 vintage consider it a Christmas miracle. It’s one of the best.

Sherwood House X.O. Brandy. Using one of their award winning chardonnay’s Sherwood House teamed up with LIV Distillery to create Long Island’s first artisan aged brandy. Smooth and velvety with hints of nuts and spices.

Lieb Cellars 2008 Blanc de Blancs. This sparkling wine is made from 100% Pinot Blanc grapes using the French Methode Champenoise and winning (90 points) in New York Wine & Food Classic. Slightly dry, crisp and bubbly. The perfect bottle for a celebration and worthy of any toast!

In Search of the Perfect Holiday Tree

PHOTO BY DAVID KORCHINIt's not just about the tree, it's also the hunt so it's important to know where to go for the ultimate holiday hunting experience. For the Christmas trifecta, wine, antiques and trees it’s the Sherwood House’s Tasting Room and Material Objects located in Jamesport on the Main Road. A glass of Merlot, a Douglas Fir and a gift for Aunt Martha makes the season bright. Or for a bit of Dickens charm head to Dart’s Christmas Tree Farm in Southold where not only the outdoor fire but the old wooden barn and fields of beautiful trees will warm your soul. Lastly, Strawberry Fields Farm on Sound Avenue in Mattituck, where you’ll not only find a great selection of trees but a picturesque farm on over 10 acres complete with rolling hills and grazing horses to boot. Happy Hunting!

* Dart’s Christmas Tree Farm - 2355 Main Bayview Rd., Southold - You cut and pre cut trees
* Sherwood House/Material Objects - 1291 Main Rd., Jamesport - Pre cut trees
* Strawberry Fields Farm - 4300 Sound Ave., Mattituck - You cut and pre cut trees

Winning Chowders

PHOTO BY DAVID KORCHINWe love a bowl of hot chowder on a cold crisp afternoon. One of the best can be found at Blue Canoe in Greenport. A traditional New England clam chowder with just the right mix of simple, hardy ingredients. The other takes you across the bay to Shelter Island and is served at Salt. A sweet corn and clam New England style chowder that’s both creamy and tangy. But don't just take our word on it, these two chowders were deemed award winners at this years Maritime Festival's chowder contest.