Posts Written OnFebruary 2012

Not Your Average Riesling: The Story Behind the 2011 NYCR Finger Lakes Riesling of the Year

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To understand why the Hermann J. Wiemer 2010 Dry Riesling Reserve is such a special wine, it’s important to understand that not all rieslings are created equally. Nor are all wines created easily. Winemaking at Wiemer is more difficult, more patient, more risk, more reward. There is perhaps no better wine to exemplify this than the NYCR Finger Lakes Riesling of the Year. “For me, the 2010 Reserve is the finest riesling I’ve made,” says winemaker Fred Merwarth. That’s an extraordinary statement for a winemaker who prefers euphemism to hyperbole, and who has built a prolific portfolio in 10 short…

Help Wanted: NYCR Hiring News Editor and Lake Erie Correspondent

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor As the team and I work in the background to migrate all of our content — 3,300+ posts — to our new platform and fine-tune the new design, it’s made me realize that we have two roles that we really need to fill before we move to the new site — day-to-day New York wine news and coverage of Lake Erie region of western New York. Our goal has always been to cover the entire state’s wine, beer, spirits and food scene — and to make that happen, we need someone on the ground in…

Lenz Winery 2007 Estate Selection Merlot

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If you’re looking for innovative, modern winemaking or flashy branding, The Lenz Winery probably isn’t for you. Lenz isn’t in the Long Island Wine Council and isn’t particularly active on channels like Facebook and Twitter. Instead, Lenz has relied on winemaker Eric Fry and his traditional, Old World-styled wines and the periodic, well-publicized blind tasting against top Boredeaux, to build its reputation. And it’s worked. Lenz has a devoted following and Eric’s reds are often among the most complex in the region. Carrying on a tradition of well-priced, age-worthy merlot, Lenz Winery 2007 Estate Selection Merlot ($24) offers aromas of…

At 171 Cedar Arts, Real Culinary Education by Finger Lakes Chefs

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By Rochelle Bilow, Finger Lakes Food Correspondent Most celebrity chefs guard their secrets closely, denying consumers and fans their recipes and techniques. And why should they share? It’s their repertoire, after all. There’s a certain unspoken fear in the restaurant world that if clients can replicate dishes on their own, the banquettes and bar stools will slowly empty as home ovens steadily warm to a roaring fire. The chefs in the Finger Lakes believe otherwise. For years, a core group of culinary professionals in the region have been teaching specialized and themed classes to laypeople, unraveling the mystery and mystique…

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Bedell Cellars Winemaker’s Dinner at Jewel on March 18

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On Sunday, March 18, Bedell Cellars will co-host its next winemaker’s dinner, this one at chef Tom Schaudel’s newest restaurant, Jewel at 5 p.m. The five-course menu will be paired with winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich’s wines. Schaudel has long been an advocate of and champion for Long Island wines, and it’s great to see a wine dinner such as this so far west on the island. Seats are $85 per person and $70 for wine club members. Call (631) 722-0500 for reservations.     Bedell Cellars Winemaker’s Dinner Menu March 18, 2012 at 5 p.m. Reception 2007 Blanc de Blanc Blue…

Sparkling Pointe and Pork Belly Benedict Take Over at Wading River’s La Plage

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By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent It seems every time I decide to eat at La Plage, I can’t remember how to get there. It’s somewhere near Wading River by the beach, hence the name “La Plage,” but the exact route I take always seems to allude me. Eventually though, I do happen upon Sound Road that winds me to the small restaurant. For years now, Chef Wayne Wadington has been making waves across the North Shore with his eclectic, French-inspired cuisine. Clean, straightforward and always delicious, Wadington’s food is based upon fresh, seasonal ingredients. Recently, my wife and…

Is Wine Tasting a Family-Friendly Endeavor?

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By Tracy Weiss, New York City/Long Island Correspondent Photo by Erika Bocknek A wine tasting experience is a sum of its parts. As I sip and swirl and slurp, the wine can only be enhanced or diminished by the elements around me. The silent quaint town of Bouzy on Easter Sunday brought the liquid gold of Paul Clouet’s Grand Cru to legendary status. A simple table wine in Barcelona was elevated when paired with tapas in a rustic café and shared with the restaurant’s owner. I’m the oenophile who remembers more than the notes or structure or acidity after sampling.…

Scenes from the 2012 Long Island Nano Cask Festival

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By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor At beer events, including the 2012 Long Island Nano Cask Festival last weekend, I’m often introduced as “A wine guy who likes beer too.” I’m not even sure that’s accurate anymore. I drink nearly as much beer as I do wine. There’s little I like better after a long day tasting wine than a couple pints — preferably of a hoppy, bitter-but-barely-balanced IPA. With beer, I know what I like and don’t like, but I don’t know anywhere near as much as the talented NYCR beer team — including our Long Island Correspondent, Donavan Hall,…

Light Drinking During Pregnancy: What Does the Research Say?

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By Evan Dawson, Managing Editor This is one of the most delicate subjects one can imagine, so when I set out to explore it, I knew I had to be thorough. The result is one of the longest, most exhaustive pieces of my career. It benefited from the vetting, editing, and guidance of many people in the journalistic and scientific communities, including NYCR Science Editor Tom Mansell. Please understand, this piece is not meant to affirm or attack your position or decision on light drinking during pregnancy. (We know by now that heavy drinking is dangerous for developing fetuses.) I…

2011 Beer of the Year: CB’s Brewing Company Krysztoff Baltic Porter

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Some breweries just don’t get a lot of respect. Then again, some breweries haven’t always taken the steps to earn it. For most of its history, Custom Brewcrafters subordinated the desire to make truly world-class beers and clung to their original business model, making small-batch, neutral, house-label beers for Rochester area bars and restaurants. You could see that mentality start to shift a few years ago with the launch of the CB’s line of signature beers launched by then-brewmaster Jason Fox and continued by Bruce Lish, the current head of brewing. These beers marked a turnaround for the brewery, which…