Posts Written OnAugust 2012

Send Us Your 2012 Grape Harvest Updates


The 2012 harvest season has begun in New York, with pinot noir and chardonnay being picked across the state for sparkling wine production. The past few years, we’ve made a concerted effort to publish as many harvest photos as we can — so please send them our way along with some basic harvest data — tonnage, brix, etc. and anything interesting about the grapes that you’d like to include. Good luck to all of our friends in the New York wine industry!

Bedell Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc


Despite what casual observers or even some writers will tell you, a hot, dry growing season doesn’t automatically mean the best — or the most exciting — wines. When a local red wine captures the ripeness and intensity of such a vintage, but also retains its varietal character and regional distinctiveness — that’s when I really start to pay attention. Bedell Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc ($35) is one such wine. Made without a splinter of new oak — and with ambient yeast —  this wine offers an alluring, complex nose with layers of strawberry preserves, black cherries, blackberries, Chinese five…

Fracking Debate: Energy CEO Admits PR Mistakes, But Opponents Still Suspicious


Is Chris Faulkner, the CEO of Breitling Oil & Gas, the perfect messenger for fracking’s future — or the most frightening man in the industry? It depends on your perspective. Joyce Hunt, co-owner of Hunt Country Vineyards on Keuka Lake, considers Faulkner the latter. “He’s so slick, a lot of people will probably believe what he says,” Hunt told me. “That’s what’s so frightening.” Hydrofracking has never had a spokesman as effective as Faulkner. He’s become known as the energy CEO who will go after his own industry for failling to communicate effectively with the public. Faulkner, in previous interviews,…

Fork Finds: McCall Ranch Beef, Cutchogue, NY


It’s not quite as adventurous as offal, but there’s something kind of wrong and taboo about eating your juicy burger in front of other cows. It seems rude. After all, the sandwich you’re enjoying used to be their friend. But in a world where *not* eating local is virtually a felony, it was only a matter of time until the North Fork would have access to neighborhood red meat. A region with an abundance of produce, seafood, and wine grown in our backyards would eventually need more protein to balance out the food pyramid or food plate or whatever they call it these days. Beef could join…

Katie Myers Joins NYCR Team

Today I’m happy to announce that Katie Myers has joined the NYCR team as our newest New York City-based correspondent. I’ve known Katie virtually — through Twitter, mostly — for a couple years now and her passion for wine and food oozes through the screen. When we met at WBC11, it was even more apparent. She works for Zebulon, North Carolina-based Nomacorc, is a contributor to Palate Press, and I think will bring a unique perspective to our coverage of New York Wine. Katie can be found on Twitter at @KatieDrinksWine. Please join me in welcoming her to the team.

Top 6 Tastes From My Finger Lakes Trip


…or the best 6 things that I put into my mouth on vacation. After spending seven wonderful days on the shores of Cayuga Lake, I returned to work this week with a calmer mind, a happy (though probably still exhausted) family and — not surprisingly — pants that fit just a bit more tightly around my waist. It was a family vacation, so winery visits were  (extremely) limited but it’s nearly impossible to not find deliciousness in the Finger Lakes. We drank and ate well — both at the house we rented and a local farmers’ markets and restaurants — but these…

Hop Harvest Party in Niagara County!


McCollum Orchards hosted an old-fashioned harvest party this week to enlist the helping hands of their Niagara County neighbors, willing homebrewers in search of “U-Pick” hops, and any folks interested in experiencing the farm’s first commercial hop harvest. As guests helped owners Rich and Bree Woodbridge cut down Cascade bines and pluck hop cones, then sort them and lay them out on drying racks –– all in 90-degree heat –– the community got a taste of the life of a hop farmer. They also got a taste of banana bread, homemade brownies, pie, hot dogs, and a fresh batch of…

“My Response to Wine Spectator” by Kareem Massoud, Paumanok Vineyards


During our summer recess/hiatus last week, Ben O’Donnell wrote a blog post titled “The Big Grapple: Can Long Island Wines Get Some Respect?” If you’re at all intersted in Long Island wine — or most any emerging region, really — I’d encourage you to read it. Because it’s part of the Wine Spectator’s blog, you needn’t be a subscriber to access it. I read it while I was away — and honestly didn’t think much of it. I’m not familiar with Mr. O’Donnell or his previous work, and the topics he covers are generally known (most for many years). In…

Congratulations to the 2012 New York Wine & Food Classic Winners

We just received this email from the New York Wine and Grape Foundation announcing the winners from the 2012 New York Wine & Food Festival, including Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars winning “Winery of the Year” and the Governor’s Cup for its 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling. Congratulations to all of the winners, which include many of the best wineries and wines made in New York State. [quote] Watkins Glen, New York, AUGUST 14 – Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2011 Semi Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes Region won the coveted “Governor’s Cup” trophy at the 2012 New York…

What We Drank: August 14, 2012

  Evan Dawson: Huber Winery Sweet Marcella (Indiana) This wine was introduced to me as “the Red Cat of Indiana”. I wasn’t aware that Indiana made much wine, but of course, we know that just about every state is making wine these days. This particular wine is 100% Concord, $9 a bottle, nearly 7% sugar. A glance at the Huber website indicates that it’s certainly not Red Cat in terms of production; Huber makes just over 7,000 cases, perhaps a tenth or less of what Red Cat checks in at annually. Here’s the key question: Is it any good? Not…