When I first started tasting Long Island wine in around 2001 or 2002 the tasting room experience was largely the same no matter which winery you visited. It was simple: you’d walk into the tasting room, stand at the bar and taste wines, usually one-by-one. There was a spit bucket there, but I quickly realized that I was one of the rare people who actually used it. 

A lot of things varied from winery to winery, of course. Things like how nice the glassware was, how many wines you got to taste, how much the person pouring actually knew about wine and how much it cost to do a tasting. Some of the tastings were even free in those days. 

Fast-forward to today and while that experience—or at least a similar one—is still available at most wineries, a new focus on hospitality and the “wine tasting experience” has completely changed the way that visitors taste wine on Long Island.

Read the rest of this story on Edible East End.

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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