October 13, 2010

Martha Clara Vineyards

Not far from Briermere Farms is the Martha Clara Vineyard. ABF has been there before, and brought home a few of their wines, but he hadn't been there with me yet. We hit that spot, along with several others, on a jam-packed Saturday with Jen and her husband Alex.

It was around 5 in the afternoon, and the spot was jumping. I was surprised to see how vast the seating areas were: they had indoor, covered seating wtih benches, where you could enjoy a recently-purchased bottle, bring a lunch, etc, and an enormous outdoor area with more picnic tables, chairs, and green, green grass. I'm sure it's especially stunning in the summer. Even in the October chill, there was a big crowd, with live music going on, an outdoor drink stand, and plenty of people having a great time.

At 9 dollars for a tasting, Martha Clara is definitely pricier than most spots we've visited, and their wines are more expensive as well. Were they worth it? Let's find out...

The tasting area was buzzing with activity, but a spot on the far corner opened up just in time for us. I didn't realize the counter was pretty messy, and put my favorite silk wrap sweater right in a small puddle of red wine. Ugh. It took a few minutes, but I finally got someone's attention and got a wet paper towel. Yet even when I explained what happened, they didn't offer to wipe up the bar. I don't normally write gripy, cranky reviews (we won't speak of Boqueria), but this was something they could definitely have handled better. I would say they need to keep that area much cleaner--just a quick swipe with a cloth after each group leaves. Granted, the girls helping us were very young, but come on--would you want to keep putting your wrist in a sticky spot? Rant over. :)

I ch
ose the Reserve tasting, which featured one white and 2 reds. ABF & I had one of the Chardonnays a year or so ago and I really liked it.

The reserve Merlot was a bit too smoky for me. I only like so much smoke in my Merlot. ABF took a sniff and I think he would really like this one.

The final one was the Syrah, which was quite nice, but still not my favorite. If I had to pick one of the three, I would choose the Chardonnay (and I'm a red wine gal), but I didn't love any of these enough to bring one home.

Overall, I was not immediately bowled over by this spot-but I might come back and give them another try once the weather gets nicer. Our next stop,however, was well worth the trip.

Martha Clara Vineyards
6025 Sound Avenue
Riverhead, NY, 11901

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