5 must-visit Long Island wineries

Make plans to uncork on the North Fork!

There are many well-known wine regions around the world which produce some of the best beverages known to man. Reds, whites, roses, dessert, and sparkling, these sublime sips have been part of the social and dining experience for centuries.

Each wine-producing area creates their wines with special characteristics, flavors, history, and style, and the many vineyards where the grapes are grown are magical and beautiful. Wineries and tasting rooms run from modern to classic, grand or small, and each has their own charm and atmosphere.

Some of the more popular wine-producing regions, think Burgundy, Napa Valley, and Tuscany, come to mind immediately when one mentions the topic of wine, but there are less-obvious places across the globe where wine is being produced and consumed by locals, visited by wine drinkers, and shipped far and wide. One such area is the Long Island wine region, located on the eastern end of New York's Long Island.

If you are a wine-lover, this lovely area is not-to-be-missed. According to Long Island Wine Country, "Long Island is the youngest and fastest growing wine region in New York with the first winery established in 1973. There are over 50 wine producers on Long Island, with most offering tours and tastings and Long Island produces over 500,000 cases of wine annually." Most of these wineries and vineyards are located on the North Fork of Long Island.

More than 1 million people visit the region each year. It's time to join the wine enthusiasts and make plans to uncork on the North Fork! Here are five standout wineries that will whet your palate.

Shinn Estate Vineyards

Via shinnestatevineyards.com

Quaint and quiet, family-owned Shinn Estate Vineyards is country-chic and cozy. Adjacent to a farmhouse and B&B, this winery is small, yet full of flavor… in more ways than one! Their wine tasting menu is diverse, including a sparkling selection, reds, whites, roses, and even grappa and brandy. As you sit and sip inside the barn-inspired tasting room, the old-fashioned charm is mixed with a brand-new wine adventure –Nosh on cheese and crackers or a bag of their homemade Farmhouse Granola. The servers are friendly and knowledgeable, making the experience pleasurable. If you're seeking tranquility as you taste, Shinn Estate Vineyards is the perfect destination.

2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck, NY



Kontokosta Winery

Via danspapers.com

Spectacular views of the Long Island Sound and sensational wine make Kontokosta Winery a thrill for the senses. 62 acres of beauty and a tasting room that wows give visitors a wine tasting experience that won't soon be forgotten. Whether you love a Cabernet Franc or a Sauvignon Blanc, a Riesling or a Chardonnay, Kontokosta's offerings are palate-pleasing and proudly served by the team's enthusiastic staff. VIP wine club members can enjoy a private upstairs seating area, and when the weather is nice, visitors can take their glass out by the Sound and take in Long Island's peaceful waterfront beauty. Spacious and bright, Kontokosta is a sight to see with wines that are worth the trip.

825 North Rd., Greenport, NY



Sparkling Pointe

Via pinterest.com

If Champagne makes you cheer, then Sparkling Pointe will be your favorite destination point. Their divine sparkling wines are made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise, making every visit feel like a celebration. And if the sips aren't special enough, the venue is a showstopper. Inside, the space feels like a mansion with elaborate crystal chandeliers, sky-high ceilings, and festive Brazilian artwork throughout. Outdoor seating provides a breathtaking view of the rows of gorgeous grapevines when weather permits. Sparkling Pointe's food menu offers delights like caviar, meats, cheeses, and chocolates to pair with their fizzy featured wines. Plenty of large groups celebrate at the Tasting House, and it makes for a romantic spot for couples as well. Raise a glass to class!

39750 County Rd. 48, Southold, NY



Lieb Cellars

Via newsday.com

Whether you grab a seat inside Lieb Cellars' cozy tasting room or make your way to the outdoor patio, your time will be full of fun and friendliness. The Lieb team is always on their feet to make visitors feel at home, with simple, yet educational information about their wines which are served at the bar, tables, or on one of their comfy couches. Wine tasting flights are delivered cleverly in pairs of two or three and the food menu is unique… smoked trout anyone?! A separated back room is the perfect place for private events or tastings. Live music is a draw and the vibe is always cool and casual. Their small-production estate-grown reserve wines are delightful and unique. Love it or Lieb it!

13050 Oregon Rd., Cutchogue, NY 11935



Sherwood House Vineyards

Via northforker.com

Located in a renovated 1870s farmhouse, the picturesque Sherwood House Vineyards is rustic and relaxing. Their wines which include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cab Franc, and blends are well-loved by locals as well as those who travel the distance to delight in some of Long Island's finest wines. The tasting room was recently redecorated and sits adjacent to an art gallery. Come wintertime, visitors can warm up by the fireplace as they sit on a sofa, at a table, or by the repurposed wood bar. Live music is often the soundtrack and tasty bites accompany Sherwood House's wonderful wines. When the weather thaws, outdoor seating is as enjoyable as the ambiance inside.

1291 Main St., Jamesport, NY



Need an excuse to travel to Long Island? Why not come for the wine?

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La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

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To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

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Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

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Travel Tips

8 of the Best Donut Spots In the United States

Celebrate National Donut Day with our favorite treats across the country.

November 5th marks one of 2020's two National Donut Days.

Occurring in both June and November, National Donut Day allows fans of those delectable yeasty treats to embrace their sweet tooth. But like any niche food group, people often take their donuts very, very seriously, and there are countless places to get your fix.

Below, we've rounded up some of the best donut spots across the country. From coast to coast, these bakeries are sure to impress even the pickiest donut-heads.

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop – Modesto, CA

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop

If you ever find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's worth taking a short trek out east towards Modesto for some of California's best donuts. Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop has remained family owned since its opening over 30 years ago, providing both tried-and-true classic donuts as well as experimental flavors and holiday specials. Even their 24-hour service doesn't diminish the line that trails out the door most mornings.

Dough — New York, NY

Dough \u2014 New York, NY

Donuts might not be the first circular, doughy treat you think of when it comes to New York City. If you've had your fair share of bagels, the Big Apple also boasts some spectacular donuts at Dough, a go-to spot for both tourists and locals alike. Here, you'll find a host of Latin American-inspired flavors that are hard to come by anywhere else; their Dulce de Leche flavor is a customer favorite, while the tangy Hibiscus donut is just as good for Instagramming as it is for eating.

Blackbird Doughnuts — Boston, MA

Blackbird Doughnuts \u2014 Boston, MA

Boston's Blackbird Doughnuts is a no-frills donut spot specializing in both brioche "raised" donuts and old-fashioned cake donuts. With a small menu of year-round donuts and a rotating cast of seasonal flavors, Blackbird keeps it simple and classic. Why mess around?

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop — Brooklyn, NY

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop \u2014 Brooklyn, NY

For over 60 years, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has been calling the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint home. Since then, the bakery has remained a popular spot for both regulars and new visitors passing through the area. Here, you won't find uber-trendy decor or gimmicky recipes, just damn good donuts that prove the power of long-standing local businesses.

Pip’s Original — Portland, OR

Pip\u2019s Original \u2014 Portland, OR

In both their mobile catering van and brick-and-mortar locations, Pip's Original is a staple for small, sweet treats in Portland. They're known for their tiny donuts that come in inventive seasonal flavors like marionberry-lavender and mango ghost pepper. But even if you opt for one of the more traditional flavors, Pip's Original proves good things can come in small packages.

Round Rock Donuts — Round Rock, TX

Round Rock Donuts \u2014 Round Rock, TX

Founded in 1926, Round Rock Donuts—located just north of Austin—are impossible to miss. These donuts' distinct yellow-orange color, caused by fresh eggs in the original recipe, make them stand out among the crowd. While this classic outpost can easily churn out hundreds of dozens of donuts a day, they also offer Texas-Sized Donuts, which are just as ginormous as you'd imagine. Round Rock Donuts are not only delicious and easily recognizable, but they're a slice of Lone Star history.

The Holy Donut — Portland, ME

The Holy Donut \u2014 Portland, ME

In Maine's Portland, you might not find tiny donuts or a decked-out catering van, but you will find a slightly healthier alternative. The Holy Donut was founded on the premise of creating tasty donuts that used all-natural ingredients to make a treat you could feel good about eating. The secret ingredient is fresh, mashed Maine potatoes, which make these donuts delectably moist without sacrificing flavor.

Donut Friend — Los Angeles, CA

Donut Friend \u2014 Los Angeles, CA

As expected of a city so focused on entertainment, Los Angeles' Donut Friend puts an edgy spin on their inventive donut flavors. Their year-round menu features donut flavors with names like Green Teagan and Sara, Fudgegazi, and Bacon-182 that are sure to delight the rock music nerds. For everyone else, the delicious donuts speak for themselves.