Posts Written OnJanuary 2012

The New York Cork Report 2011 Wines of the Year Finalists

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The winners from our 2010 Wines of the Year tasting (Photo by Morgan Dawson Photography)  By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor This is the third year of our New York Cork Report “Wines of the Year” program and over the past several weeks, my colleagues Bryan Calandrelli and Evan Dawson, and I have been tasting, re-tasting and re-re-tasting dozens of wines to , narrow and hone our lists of finalists 2011 Wines of the Year. We don’t pretend that we’ve tasted every single wine released during the 2011 calendar year, but we feel that we’ve tasted a more-than-representative sampling from each…

Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 Riesling Bubble

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By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor Sparkling riesling isn’t new in the Finger Lakes. A handful of wineries have been making it for years and a couple years ago, one even won the Governor’s Cup. Last fall, Atwater Estate Vineyards became the latest winery to make sparkling riesling, adding Riesling Bubble to its portfolio. Off-dry and force-carbonated, it also features modern packaging that definitely stands out on a store shelf (my picture doesn’t do it justice) and is closed  with a crown cap rather than a cork. A fruity nose shows ripe peach, candied green apple and hints of mint syrup.…

Finalists Announced for NYCR 2011 New York Beers of the Year Tasting

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By Julia Burke, Beer Editor On behalf of the NYCR Beer Team, I’m proud to announce that our “Beers of the Year” program has grown to ten nominees this year.2011 was a huge year for growth and exciting change and we are thrilled to recognize these outstanding breweries, scattered all over the state, for crafting some amazing brews. The following beers represent numerous styles (and riffs on styles), brewing philosophies, techniques, and ingredients but all demonstrate a commitment to quality that makes us proud to say we’re from New York. Western New York breweries: Southern Tier Brewing Company XXIPA Southern…

At Skaneateles Bakery in the Finger Lakes, Tradition Meets Youth in a Sweet Twist.

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By Rochelle Bilow, Finger Lakes Food Correspondent Photos by Stu Gallagher In a town steeped in tradition, there’s something decidedly new – and young – happening on the culinary front. Husband and wife team Chris Grilli and Katie Brennan, ages 28 and 26 respectively, purchased the decades-old establishment on Jordan Street in July of 2011, and have since been putting a modern spin on a classic repertoire. Skaneateles Bakery has been in operation since 1959 and despite having changed owners a few times, still feels as authentic as it had when it first opened. The original recipes are still in…

Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar: A Small Town Haven in the Big City

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By David Flaherty, New York City Correspondent “Why craft beer and oysters?” I asked. “Because those are the two things I know best,” Shane replied. New York City. For those of you who don’t call this crazy place home, you really can’t understand the small town feel of this place. “The what?!,” you ask dumbfounded. I said, the small town feel—community, routine, rhythm, familiar faces and integrity. You may not know it from the outside, but NYC is a patchwork of neighborhoods, a mosaic of people with different backgrounds and passions, all stepping up to the same deli counters, walking…

Announcing TasteCamp 2012 Northern Virginia (May 4-6)

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By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor The organizers of TasteCamp are proud to announce that after exploring the regions of Long Island, the Finger Lakes and Niagara (U.S. and Canada), the event will hold its fourth edition in Northern Virginia wine country on May 4-6, 2012. Several important partners and sponsors have confirmed their participation and are working together to create an exceptional opportunity to discover the very best that Virginia wine has to offer. The 2012 program will feature the combination of vineyard visits, grand tastings, conversations with winemakers and camaraderie that has made the event so successful over the…

What We Drank (January 11, 2012)

This is a sampling of what our contributors have been drinking… Evan Dawson: Cold Heaven Cellars 2009 Viogniers This weekend we opened a pair of viogniers from a California winemaker uniquely devoted to the grape. I had a chance to talk to Morgan Clendenen at length about her work, and I can tell you that her wines match her rhetoric. She knows what she likes, and she knows how to deliver it. Clendenen feels that viognier can be spellbinding, but it can also easily become fat and hot. She loves a carefully made wine from Condrieu, the grape's ancestral home…

Grape Rising: Gruner Veltliner Makes Its Case in the Finger Lakes

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Just-harvested Gruner Veltliner grapes  (Photo courtesy of Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars) By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor On paper, Gruner Veltliner — the grape grown primarily in Austria and other Eastern European nations — is an ideal grape to grow in the Finger Lakes. First and perhaps more importantly, it’s winter hardy — not as hardy as riesling, but more hardy than gewurztraminer and many other varieties being grown successfully in the region. It’s also an early ripener, said to ripen before gewurztraminer and riesling. The skins are thick too, even thicker than chardonnay, so is affected less by…

Tousey Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor When Ben and Kimberly Peacock took over the wine portion of Tousey Winery's business in 2009 — Kimberly is founder Ray Tousey's daughter — the portfolio was focused on hybrid grapes. "To be frank, that didn't suit our tastes," Ben told me, adding "So, we switched our focus to vinifera." To help make that switch, they've been working with Fox Run Vineyards winemaker Peter Bell in the winery and long-time Long Island grape grower Steve Mudd in their vineyards. I've already written about the pinot noir, and after tasting the Tousey Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: January 2012 Selections

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor It's been a few months coming, but today I'm ready to announce the first shipment of the new Empire State Cellars Wine Club. If you're not familiar with the club, read more about it here. We've added a fourth club type — Excelsior — which can be purchased as a standalone club or added to another club. Those wines will be up to $60 each and the focus for me will be picking wines worthy of your cellar. Here are the wines for this first shipment. Each is more than welcome in my glass and…