"Of white grapes and vine-leaves..." ~ Jane Eyre
The above images were taken at a small, unassuming vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island called The Old Field. Amidst all of the larger, more corporate wineries there lies this true gem that J. Sarah's parents took the Prince and I to this past weekend. They were gracious to have us out for the day on Saturday, and what a perfect summer day it was.
Our day began when the Prince and I picked up a late breakfast/early lunch to eat in the car en route east. As I sipped on my vanilla flavored iced coffee and he ate tuna with fresh tomato on whole grain bread, he set up a great playlist on the Ipod for some great music to cruise to. We opened the sunroof to my Mercedes and the first song we blasted was Clapton's Layla. Ironically, I feel the prince has turned my world both upside down and rightside up all at the same time.
We arrived at the house half past noon and greeted J. Sarah's parents and, much to the apprehension at first of the Prince, my former high school principal and his wife! J. Sarah's mom is an English teacher where we attended high school. It was great to see all of them, and as soon as we arrived I knew it was going to be one of the best days of the summer...and I was right.
After arriving, we all got into the car and drove out to Greenport. Greenport is quite an old community on Long Island and its ports used to be used by rumrunners during prohibition when ships would smuggle in alcohol from Europe. The town is lovely and we walked the streets going in and out of shops and art galleries. At one point I stopped at a small cafe for some gelato - coffee flavored - and it was most delicious. We walked to the docks and the cool breeze off of the water was as delicious as the gelato.
Once we toured most of the main street in Greenport, we went to the winery for some tasting. The photos show an oak barrel, ripe grapes ready for the picking, and an old corn crib on the premises. The wine tasting area was outdoors, set up on rickety tables with little jars of mustard out next to the menu for wine flights. Small plastic cups were used for the tastings, and we chose an entire flight of whites and reds. The grounds were beautiful, and the Prince and I walked through some of the rows of grapes, for I had never seen them right before they were ready to be picked and turned into wine. The Prince bought us two bottles to take home. One is a table red called Rooster Tail that we are saving for a night we get pizza (it was listed as a pairing and we totally agreed) and the other is a rich and fruity 2002 Merlot that I think will go well with some eggplant parmigiana.
And eggplant parmigiana is exactly what J.Sarah's dad - the good doctor - made for dinner that night back at the house! I have had it before, and it is probably one of the best dinners I have eaten. The family refers to it as EPP over Spag (eggplant parmigiana over spaghetti) for short. J. Sarah's mom is the best cook I know, but her father is also excellent. We got back to the house and sipped on a Channing Daughters white called Envelope and snacked on goat cheese and bruschetta that I prepared as an appetizer. The crowning culinary moment was the main course. As the Prince said, its not often you have the best dinner ever, so you need to get the recipe! Thankfully the good doctor sent it over the next day, with a request it appears on EpicureanEscapades soon! I told him to wait for next Thursday when the NFL season kicks off as my Giants play their first game.
The day felt like the hours flew by. Before we knew it, it was already eight in the evening. I didn't want to leave such perfection. What made the day perfect was not the food or the activities, but the company. J. Sarah's parents are my second set, and spending time with them and having them spend time getting to know the Prince made the day quite special. The beauty of the day was knowing that more days like it are to come...