Here is a sampling of what our editors and contributors were drinking last week…
Evan Dawson: Ravines Wine Cellars 2007 Pinot Noir
I'm grateful for the early reviews of Summer in a Glass, and perhaps the most moving one yet comes from a NYC-based wine enthusiast and writer. It inspired me to open this bottle this weekend. That's because Keith Levenberg not only read the book, he followed up by tracking down some of the wines.
I've never met Keith, but I've been reading his stuff for a while. He is – and I've said this long before he reviewed my book – one of the four or five wine writers anywhere, online or in print. If it seems like hyperbolic praise, take some time to read his not-updated-nearly-enough site, Cellar-Book.
Keith is a Burgundy fanatic, and is extremely knowledgeable about Pinot. That made his comments on Finger Lakes Pinot (and specifically, Ravines Pinot Noir) carry a lot of weight. His review should be very encouraging to winemakers committed to making excellent Pinot.
This wine brings such a tremendous balance of savory notes, ripe fruit and spice that it's out of the pure Pinot playbook. Nice reminder of what's capable when grower and winemaker do the hard work together.
Julia Burke: Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee, or, "The Vegan Bullshit I've Been Drinking"
I decided at the end of March to give up alcohol and junk food for 30 days and dabble in a mainly-vegan diet. I did this for a variety of reasons, most notably that A) I'm training for a half-marathon and subsequent full marathon in the next few months and I need all the health points I can get, and B) I feared my liver might stage a walk-off protest in response to a month of nonstop drinking in South Africa and at my best friend's wedding, and my only sibling has informed me that she does NOT plan on giving me any part of her liver should I need a transplant.
That said, I spent the first five days of my "detox" caffeine-free as well and then realized that healthy living was threatening to kill me. I ran (faster and lighter than before!) to my local coffee merchant, Blue Mountain Coffees, and asked for the strongest beans they could sell me under $15 a pound. I went home with Tanzanian peaberry.
I can't really describe what a good cup of freshly ground, very strong African coffee tastes like after five days of no meat, dairy, eggs, sugar, wine, beer, liquor, or sake, so I've provided an amusing photo of a public service announcement in Tanzania taken by my buddy who is currently bicycling through the country. It says, "You can't always tell if he's infected, no matter how hard you look!"
I imagine my delight in sipping this awesome coffee matches his delight at finding this sign.
Lenn Thompson: Ingle Vineyard 2010 Seedless Concord Grape Juice
Early spring illness has kept the Thompsons from enjoying much wine the last week or so. The tasting table has been shut down for 9 days now.
For this week's WWD, we turn to the next generation of the NYCR — our 4 year-old Jackson.
This juice, made from seedless concord grapes and an assortment of apples grown on Heron Hill Winery owner John Ingle's property on Canandaigua Lake. The apples, which make up 15% of the blend, include Empire, Cortland, Mac, Liberty, Red Delicious, Granny Smith and other heirloom varieties.
It sells for $5 per 750ml bottle in the tasting room.
Jackson is always developing his palate — tasting just about everything in and coming out of your kitchen, but his tasting note vocabulary is still a work in progress.
"Mmmmm….it's deeeeLICIOUS" was the long and short of it, but I tend to agree. It's got all of that grapey concord deliciousness but the edges are softened by the apple cider. I think it'd make one heck of a reduction for over pork or chicken too.