“I can’t believe I am finally getting to see Long Island,” smiles Jamie.
Going away to college in upstate New York, the friends I had made there were from all over the state, some even from Maryland and Connecticut. In my sorority, everyone had always teased me about being from Long Island, saying it was “stuck up” and “guido”. Being that most of these people had never been to Long Island, this always infuriated me.
As we get into the car, I roll down the windows and blast Party 105, my favorite party music station. My first stop on our itinerary for the day is the Pindar Winery. I can not think of one girl from Delta Delta Sigma who did not love wine.
“Long Island has wineries?” asks Tammi, with a look of bewilderment on her face as she takes in the sampling building, grapevines, and live outdoor band catering to picnicking families and dancing couples. “I never would have thought that.”
I smile with satisfaction. “Yes, wine is actually Long Island’s staple crop. You can’t drive 10 feet without passing a winery.”
Inside, the place looks immaculate. Shiny wood counters make it look exceptionally clean while bottles of wine and gift bags adorn the room. A bar attendant hands us a sheet of paper with the various wines we can sample and explanations of what flavors we can expect. While Tammi and I hand over the required $4 for a flight of 5 wines, I notice Jamie handing over a $20.
“You don’t have any smaller bills?” I ask.
“I ordered us some cheese to go with our wine,” giggles Jamie, which makes me happy because it reminds me of the many nights the three of us spent on my ratty couch in college, drinking boxed wine and eating convenience store cheese. Of course, today we are performing this ritual with a bit more class.
Being scarred for life after an incident involving too much Merlot and an all-night vomit session, I opt to stick to whites. I choose the 2009 Sunflower Chardonnay, because, hey, who doesn’t like sunflowers? The wine promises flavors of French Oak, lush vanilla, notes of caramel, and a bit of apple and pear. While it is always fun to try to find all these tastes in a single glass of liquid I am lucky if I taste anything other than grape. Looking around the tasting area I begin swirling my wine around and sniffing for any scents that may be fruity or sweet. Closing my eyes, I take a small sip of the Chardonnay and swish the liquid around in my mouth, hoping a hint of caramel or a trace of Oak may somehow be detected by my taste buds. I sigh. Grape.
Nevertheless, the wine is delicious and I enjoy sampling the different varieties at Pindar. Tammi even gets more than her five samples worth as multiple attendants come over to ask her what she would like to try.
“You girls should try the Winter White,” suggests the blonde girl next to us. “It’s by far my favorite.”
“Thanks,” I reply, politely. “We’re actually going to Greenport now to see some live music on the docks.”
I turn to my friends. “So, what do you think of Long Island? Not as stuck up and low-class as you thought, right?”
“Anyplace with vineyards, beaches, and live music on the water is okay by me,” Tammi responds, as Jamie nods in agreement.