Posts Written OnMarch 2012

New York Drinks New York — Reader Report: Len Dest, Former Director Long Island Merlot Alliance

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By Len Dest, Former Director of Long Island Merlot Alliance We participated in the New York Drinks New York on Monday 12 March at the Astor Center in Manhattan. The event was a great success with significant “to the trade” activity in the afternoon and, for the 350 lucky members of the public (sold out) in the evening, a great sampling of the wines of New York. Approximately 40 wineries from each region of New York participated in the pours, with strong participation from the Finger Lakes producers. In discussions with both owners and winemakers from the Finger Lakes region, it…

The Finger Lakes Come to Astoria, Queens — Winegasm Brunch

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Sunday, in my fair neighborhood of Astoria, Queens—on a day more reminiscent of a sunny Spring afternoon in May—a wee gathering of Finger Lakes winemakers met at Winegasm, a local wine bar I’ve only hit up once in its 4-year tenure. After seeing their support for New York wines, however, and despite its rather unfortunate name, I’ll be headed back to support them. The space is charming and rustic, with a massive skylight flooding the wooden tables and a winelist that gives a few nods to our New York brethren. Popping bottles at the long, wooden communal table were principals…

The Piggery Deli and Butcher Shop: Making Meat Cool Once More in Ithaca

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“Do you want to meet the butchers?” Heather asked me as we rounded the corner of the kitchen. In the middle of next room two men intricately worked knives into the ribs of a pig, severed in half and propped on a table. Its skin was carnation-pink, and its bones were clean as a whistle and creamy white. Yes. I wanted to meet the butchers. Heather Sanford and Brad Marshall never intended to run a full-scale butcher shop and deli in one of the Finger Lakes’ most vegetarian-friendly towns. They started their organic pig farm seven years ago with the…

The Most Important Store in the State: Buzz Growing for Empire State Cellars

It is unusual for a single wine store to become such a focus for an entire state. More unusual still when the store is not located in New York City. Since returning home from the Wines of the Year weekend on Long Island, no fewer than three wine industry professionals from the Finger Lakes have asked me, “Did you go to Empire State Cellars?” Or, “What was it like?” Or, “Was it as cool a place as I’m hoping it is?” They are intrigued by the idea of the only wine store in the state that offers exclusively New York…

An Introduction to Wine in New York’s North Country

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New York State, like most fine wine regions in the northern hemisphere, lies between the hallowed latitudes of 30 and 50 degrees, where macroclimates that are potentially conducive to the cultivation of wine grapes exist. Though local topological and meteorological factors have traditionally limited the places where fine wine is grown in New York, those boundaries are pushed and re-written by a new revolution in the vineyard. Most consumers of wine made in New York, are familiar with the Finger Lakes, Long Island and the Hudson River Valley areas. Those more in tune with the industry may also know about…

At Gene McCarthy’s, a Local Irish Pub Gets a Beery Makeover

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By Julia Burke, Beer Editor A very old Irish pub in a very old part of Buffalo is getting a fresh start and a bright future thanks to a group of local-obsessed craft beer freaks. Gene McCarthy’s, located in Buffalo’s historic Old First Ward, has long been a cozy setting with a surprisingly sophisticated tap list thanks to the influence of its neighbor, the world headquarters of the Brewing News publications. Now, Brewing News founder and owner Bill Metzger is teaming up with passionate locavore and brewer Willard Brooks; general manager David Bittner, an avid gardener and brewer; and Matt…

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2009 Rkatsiteli

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By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor I was first introduced to the Rkatsiteli grape when I tried the 2006 vintage bottling from Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars. I was quickly hooked by the aromatic white that can be described as riesling-meets-gewruztraminer-meets-sauvignon blanc in its aromas and flavors with a beam of beautiful natural acidity. Since then, Dr. Frank’s Rkatsiteli has been a bit up and down for me — always drinkable, but sometimes without the verve and length of that first taste. Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2009 Rkatsiteli ($15) is lemony on the nose with notes of citrus…