Making Memories at Harvest East End 2016

Harvest East End Host Geoffrey Zakarian
Harvest East End Host Geoffrey Zakarian, Photo: Daniel Gonzalez

Dan’s Taste of Summer 2016 concluded in an epic way on Saturday, August 20 with Harvest East End, the food and wine classic at the beautiful McCall Vineyard and Ranch. More than 50 local wineries and restaurants turned out in fine form with fabulous offerings, from delicious wine tastings to tasty treats. Here are just a few highlights from the fabulous evening.

Host Geoffrey Zakarian returned for a second year at the helm of the party, having a great time while signing copies of My Perfect Pantry, taking photos with guests and tasting the wide array of goodies and wines under the tent, in the courtyard and out in the BNB VIP Lounge. In a seemingly unintentional nod to Dan’s famed Best of the Best competition,  Zakarian exclaimed to the crowd during his welcome alongside emcee Josh Wesson that Dan’s Harvest East End, “Is always the best of the best!”

What would a Long Island wine event be without a little rosé? Or a lot. Wineries offering rosé included Bedell Cellars, Clovis Point Vineyards, Croteaux Vineyards, Harbes Vineyard, Lieb Cellars, Macari Vineyards, McCall Wines, Osprey’s Dominion, Palmer Vineyards, Pellegrini Vineyards, Raphael Vineyard, Sannino Bella Vita and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

Quite a few guests enjoyed dessert before dinner—how could one resist, with those delightful cream puffs from Caci right near the entrance?

The sparkling water from smartwater was a notable hit with guests looking for a little refresher. Guests also lounged happily on their comfortable, swinging bubble chairs.

Speaking of bubbles, Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery, clad in “sparkly” shirts, enthusiastically poured their delicious Brut and Carnivale for guests, who reacted with just as much enthusiasm after tasting.

“They haven’t figured out how to put caffeine in wine yet,” said one smiling gentleman getting an iced beverage at Hampton Coffee Company‘s Mobile Espresso Unit.

Of course, it wasn’t just wine that was flowing. Guests raised many a glass to the East End with Bulldog London Dry Gin, Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, Woodford Reserve, Keith’s Nervous Breakdown Margarita Mix, Milagro Tequila, Russell’s Reserve 6-year-old Rye and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Holy crepe! Whole Le Crepe’s strawberry and Nutella crepes were so good we went back for seconds!

Gramercy Vineyards’s two Merlot Reserves were delightful. Other Merlots people were raving about included Martha Clara Vineyards’ Malbec/Merlot and Estate Reserve Merlot.

It was almost impossible to eat just one pulled pork slider from Smitty’s All American Grill.

Outside in the courtyard, guests ogled the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, both of which were shining and sleek in the summer night air.  

The Backyard Brine table was hoppin’ all night as folks stepped up to sample a variety of their pickles.

“It’s the experience that allows them to fall in love with the wine,” Wolffer Estate Vineyard’s Max Rohn said about guests getting the chance to taste from so many East End vineyards.

Color our world! North Fork Table & Inn’s green chickpea hummus was simple but interesting…and addictive!

Ram’s Head Inn’s soup was a favorite. Though chilled, it brought a little heat to the party and corn, coconut milk, chili and crab. It was all so good!

Great fruit and cheese pairing? Lombardi’s Love Lane Market’s grilled peach was burratta was ooh la-la!

Super chef Tom Schaudel was at Harvest in a big way—in four big ways, actually. A Lure Chowderhouse & Oysteria, A Mano Osteria & Wine Bar, Jewel and Petulant Wino are all Schaudel creations—which was your favorite?

Chardonnay (nay, nay, nay) was all the rage, with Clovis Point, Coffee Pot Cellars, Diliberto Winery, Harbes Vineyard, Jamesport Vineyards and Onabay Vineyards, Pellegrini Vineyards, Pugliese Vineyards, Reilly Cellars, Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard, Scarola Vineyards and Sherwood House Vineyards all offering up their own spin on the popular white.

Sweet-lovers couldn’t decide which SCGP Cafe treat they loved more—those ricotta-filled doughnuts (“They made me cry, they were so good,” gushed one guest) or those full-color rainbow cookies.

Anthony Nappa Wines’ creatively named wines, like their 2015 Anomaly White Pinot Noir, were unique and fun. Their 2014 Fruition Viognier was crisp and light.

It may not be easy to pronounce, but One Woman Wines & Vineyards’ 2015 One Woman Gewurztraminer was sweet and easy on the mouth.

Coming from the west, the hip Brooklyn Oenology impressed with their various wines as usual! Our fave: their 2012 Motley Cru, which included Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Corot Noir.

Bedell Cellars’ First Crush Red left tasters with a big ol’ crush on the lovely Cutchogue winery, and their Viognier was fruity and refreshing.

Where there’s smoke, there’s…a huge line of guests in the courtyard waiting to get up close to see (and taste) the outdoor cooking creations coming off the Arteflame, just one of the incredible items bid upon in the annual silent auction—which also included a grill from Chillen & Grillen, DSC Grill, Magnus Madness wine collectors package, North Fork Wine Weekend Getaway for Two, Wölffer Estate Platinum Collectors Case and VIP Tasting, golf with Martha Clara’s Juan Micieli-Martinez, Sparkling Pointe tour, tasting and pairing, Pellegrini Wine Club membership, two-night stay at Sound View Inn, a VIP tasting and tour at Palmer Vineyards, a tasting at Channing Daughters and lunch with Dan Rattiner, a Long Island Wine Sampler, a rosé collection, two 90-point wineries, a White Fences weekend stay, two tickets to Guild Hall’s Celebrity Autobiography on Friday, August 26, a winemaker for a day experience at Sannino Bella Vita, a Robb Vices gift collection, Dan’s Papers cover art by Gia Schifano, canvas prints of Dan’s Papers cover posters and his and her kayaks.

The BNB VIP Lounge, sponsored by Bridgehampton National Bank, was the place to be all night, with delish desserts from MG Meal Appeal and exclusive pours of regional wines with 90-point and higher ratings.

Impromptu kick-lines and DJ Lowtree’s spot-on pick of “New York, New York” as the final song of the night brought Dan’s Harvest East End to a rousing finish, the perfect end to a great season of foodie fun with Dan’s Taste of Summer. We can’t wait until next year!

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