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Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Comparing the Production of Fine Wine to Fine Chocolate

The natural and scientific components of winemaking are similar to the production of numerous other products. These products share the core processes and procedures of winemaking, but digress at some point in their unique lifecycles. The end results bear the imprint of the winemaking process but are distinct unto themselves. Last week I focused on […]

Home Guru: Living With Other Noisemakers: Liking or Lumping it

Home Guru: Living With Other Noisemakers: Liking or Lumping it

By Bill Primavera – Lately I’ve been made aware that I’m probably a noisy person. Not to myself so much, but maybe to others. More and more, if I’m watching TV in one room and my wife is in another, she’ll say mine is too loud. Just the other day, when I had driven into my […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Surprising Similarities of Wine and Coffee Production

There are numerous parallels to winemaking in the natural world, as man has endeavored to extend winemaking techniques to other agricultural harvests. The end results bear the imprint of the winemaking process but are distinct unto themselves. Cheese, bread, yogurt, chocolate and beer production share certain critical steps of winemaking (fermentation and yeast addition). So […]

Home Guru: Reflections on a Day of Cleaning Up the Neighborhood of Litter

Home Guru: Reflections on a Day of Cleaning Up the Neighborhood of Litter

By Bill Primavera – A few years ago, I wrote a piece about litter and how it relates to the real estate industry. I was inspired because I had just been asked to cancel a showing appointment when a couple had done an advance drive-by of the house and found that it was in a neighborhood […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: An Exploration Into Changing Wines Into Spirits

The process of making wine, with its natural life cycle of fruit-producing grapevines to fermented juice to bottled wine, has been carried on for millennia. For all of the modern technology and techniques, it remains an ancient art best expressed as a simple, natural process. There are numerous parallels to winemaking in the natural world […]

Home Guru: Believe it or Not, the Connection Between Pianos and Real Estate

Home Guru: Believe it or Not, the Connection Between Pianos and Real Estate

By Bill Primavera – Either the piano is about to become as extinct as the dodo bird from American homes or, much like Mark Twain, its untimely death has been greatly exaggerated.  It depends on what you read and who you believe. Within the past few weeks, there’s been  good and bad news about the piano […]

The Restaurant Examiner: Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst Include Many Gourmet-Food Exhibitors

The Restaurant Examiner: Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst Include Many Gourmet-Food Exhibitors

At the upcoming “Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst” fair, May 1-3, long rows of booths will display jewelry, clothing and various other creative and unique handmade objects. But prominent booth space will also be occupied by gourmet food-and-beverage exhibitors. Gourmet products to be offered will include chocolate wine, wildflower honey elixir, pear/ginger jam, butter fudge and […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The California Drought’s Effect on the Wine Industry

Did you happen to see the photos on the front page of The New York Times last week depicting the effects of the four-year-long California drought? The photos accompanied the report that Gov. Jerry Brown had mandated water use reductions for the first time in California’s history. His executive order imposed a 25 percent usage […]

The Accidental Writer: Make Foreign Cultures Come to Life in Your Fiction

The Accidental Writer: Make Foreign Cultures Come to Life in Your Fiction

I like books that teach me stuff along the way. It doesn’t really matter if the stuff is an environmental issue or historical events or a foreign culture. Novels that enlighten as well as entertain are total home runs, and I try to do this in all my stories. Memoirs of a Geisha is a […]

Bill Primavera

Home Guru: The Making of a Master Craftsman – Is It Learned or Innate?

By Bill Primavera One of the favorite pieces my wife and I retrieved from our antiques shop when we closed it some years ago was a Sheraton-style (but not original) settee that is delicately made with three harp-like splats in the back. We’ve always had it in our central hall as though guests might linger […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Finger Pointing At California Wines: You Get What You Pay For

Which end of the wine budget spectrum do you find yourself in discussions with friends or family? “Why do you spend so much on a bottle of wine? My $8 bottle of wine is just as good as your $25 bottle – and it’s much more consistent every year than your higher-priced wine that seems […]

Home Guru: When Man Made Rules Over Mother Nature Underfoot

Home Guru: When Man Made Rules Over Mother Nature Underfoot

By Bill Primavera When it was time to replace the surface of our kitchen floor and we had to decide which material to choose, we found that it was as though there had been an explosion of options since the last time we had visited a flooring store more than 15 years ago. The new […]

Restaurant Examiner: New American Cuisine Restaurant Opens in Tarrytown

Restaurant Examiner: New American Cuisine Restaurant Opens in Tarrytown

The Toasted Barrel has opened at the Sheraton Tarrytown serving a wide variety of dishes from burgers to baby back ribs, steak and peppercorn seared salmon. An extensive whisky and bourbon list is also offered, a reason for the restaurant’s name choice. (A toasted barrel refers to a barrel used for a second sitting for certain alcoholic beverages to enhance flavor […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine:The Trials and Travails of Start-up Winery Owners

Wine is big business in the United States and the lure and attraction of being part of its potential success and heady prestige is enticing to many. Some desire their own winery for the love of the land, or the love of crafting their own artisanal juice of the Gods, or for the prestige and […]

Home Guru:  No Telling What You’ll Learn From Home Improvement Suppliers

Home Guru: No Telling What You’ll Learn From Home Improvement Suppliers

By Bill Primavera One of life’s greatest pleasures for me since I assumed the moniker of The Home Guru more than a dozen years ago has been the great talents and personalities I’ve encountered among the suppliers who service our many needs around the house, both inside and out. As for me, a self-professed klutz […]

Restaurateur to Open Mediterranean Eateries in Mt. Kisco, Harrison

Restaurateur to Open Mediterranean Eateries in Mt. Kisco, Harrison

Westchester will soon have two new restaurants serving Mediterranean-inspired food. An early April soft opening is expected for 273 Kitchen, a 30-seat establishment in Harrison, and in June for the 100-seat 251 Lex in Mount Kisco in the space previously occupied by The Flying Pig. The same four-person, executive team currently operating 8 North Broadway in […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Wines Consumed by Christians From Ancient to Modern Times

Last week, I attempted to follow the history and antecedent practices leading to today’s Christian celebration of the Eucharist, the celebration of Christ’s Last Supper. This week I address the two questions left unanswered: 1) What wine did Christ likely consume during his life on earth and 2) what type of wine do we consume […]

Bill Primavera

Home Guru: Filtering Natural Light at Home to Create or Fit Your Mood

By Bill Primavera You might expect that a column about window shades and blinds would be somewhat ordinary and, honestly, when I set out with the assignment, that’s what I thought I’d deliver to you. Bu, that’s before I got to know Anthony Viverito, owner of Niles Floors & Blinds in Mohegan Lake, a virtual […]

Grapevine: A Brief History of Wine's Role and Influence in Christianity

Grapevine: A Brief History of Wine’s Role and Influence in Christianity

As a Roman Catholic — and a wine writer — I haven’t given much thought to the wine that is consumed at Mass during the sacrament of the Eucharist. Shame on me. I first began thinking about wine in the context of my column while I was chatting with our parish priest a few years […]

Home Guru: The Saga of Why I Didn’t Take a Bath in 50 Years

Home Guru: The Saga of Why I Didn’t Take a Bath in 50 Years

By Bill Primavera This morning I took my first bath in 50 years, and it wasn’t for the purpose of getting myself clean but rather to clean the air tub, which hadn’t been used since I purchased my new condo three months ago. I’m one of those people who opted for showers instead of baths […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Local Importer is Your Personal Wine Consultant

Last week I introduced readers to “artisanal importers” who have a passion for particular styles or regions and vigorously pursue the wines that express their passions. A particular artisanal importer’s name on a wine’s back label can compel you to purchase a wine with certainty, not with the usual element of chance. This week I […]

Home Guru: Qualifying for a Mortgage: What Next, Blood and Urine Samples?

Home Guru: Qualifying for a Mortgage: What Next, Blood and Urine Samples?

By Bill Primavera With the purchase of four homes under my belt, I’ve applied for that many traditional mortgages. There have been many more times when I’ve taken mortgages to either lower my interest rate or tackle major renovations or new business ventures. I’ve lost count of how many times, but never have I been […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Artisanal Importers Can Tantalize Our Discerning Palates

Having sought out new wines for several decades now, I’ve found that I prefer particular styles of wine and specific wine regions. This has certainly helped steer me in the right direction when I’m perusing the numerous offerings at my local wine shops. Certainly, the new round of wine apps, a number of which I […]

Home Guru: My Personal and Frightening Story of Living With Toxic Mold

Home Guru: My Personal and Frightening Story of Living With Toxic Mold

By Bill Primavera More than a dozen years ago, Ed McMahon, the famous pitch man and announcer for Johnny Carson, brought to the public’s attention the health problems that can result from living with toxic mold in the home. After a long legal battle, McMahon was awarded $7.2 million from several companies who were negligent […]

The Accidental Writer: Writing about Issues, without Writing about Issues!

The Accidental Writer: Writing about Issues, without Writing about Issues!

For the purposes of this column, I’m differentiating between issues and themes. Themes should develop organically in your manuscript and are timeless in nature. For example, a great theme might be self-identity in the face of peer pressure, or good versus evil, or the true meaning of love. Issues on the other hand are topical. […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: An Exercise in Matching Wine and Oscar Nominations

The 87th Academy Awards show airs this Sunday. This is my sixth year of presenting the Best Picture nominees and creating hypothetical pairings of wine with the top contenders. I’ve distilled my list to five of the eight nominees. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).” This dark comedy praises and mocks Hollywood and Broadway […]

Home Guru: Itching for My First ‘Project’ in Years, and Opting for Quick and Easy

Home Guru: Itching for My First ‘Project’ in Years, and Opting for Quick and Easy

By Bill Primavera When I was younger and forced by the lack of money to be a do-it-yourselfer around the house and in the garden, I dreamed of the day when I could employ others to do all that sweaty labor to maintain and upgrade everything that needed to be done. That day came a […]

Stone Barns Center Introduces Spring-Break Cooking Classes for Kids

Stone Barns Center Introduces Spring-Break Cooking Classes for Kids

The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills has expanded its annual educational activities with the introduction of Spring-Break Farm Camps for kindergartners to third-graders. The kids will participate in cooking, preparing and eating a snack based on what’s growing on the farm. They will harvest meal components and take home recipes. The […]

Reveling on Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras

Reveling on Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras

By Morris Gut – Don’t forget the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Goat, beginning on Sunday, Feb. 15th and of course Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17th. Here is an eclectic round-up of delectable dishes and dining venues for these food-centric celebrations. Be sure to check ahead for exact dates, times and pricing. Aberdeen Seafood & […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Let’s Lift One as We Celebrate Presidents’ Day Weekend

In the spirit of the upcoming Presidents’ Day weekend — and in my insatiable search to relate events around me to a wine-centricity – I contemplated this week’s column. Seeking references to any imbibing habits by our first and 16th leaders, I found the landscape highly polarized. George Washington brewed his own beer, of which […]