Posts Written OnNovember 2012

Macari Vineyards 2012 “Early Wine” Chardonnay

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I’m over Beaujolais nouveau — it’s mostly about the spectacle (and the marketing) and the wines often disappoint. I’d rather wait until Cru stuff is released.  But when it comes to local nouveau wines (there are a few) I always look forward to Macari Vineyards’ “Early Wine” chardonnay, even if it varies (sometimes wildly) from year to year. Inspired by the jungwein (young wine) of consulting winemaker Helmut Gangl’s homeland — they are often served in heuriger shortly after harvest — the grapes for this win were harvested on August 29 and the wine was bottled less than two months later…

New York Wines in China: Final Thoughts… and Our First Orders

Leaving Shanghai

When a California winery opens its doors for business, they can sweep their arms over the map of the entire United States and know that they are welcome in any of the fifty states.  They aren’t the “local” wine, it’s a given that the wine will be competently made and meet the consumer’s expectations.  Indeed, the majority of consumer’s expectations are actually defined by the profile of California wines — and it’s when East Coast wineries try too hard to be like their California rivals is when they fail themselves and their customers. When a New York winery opens its doors for…

Previewing Arrowhead Spring Vineyards’ 2010 Reds

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If Arrowhead Spring Vineyards has its way, “Black Friday” will be renamed “Red Friday” on account of its annual day-after-Thanksgiving wine release event where the winery will once again change the landscape of locally grown reds by releasing several from the 2010 vintage, including the Estate Arrowhead Red, Estate Meritage Reserve, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Cabernet Franc, Estate Merlot and their 2011 Pinot Noir. The 2010 vintage was as close to perfect as any for red grapes in Niagara thanks to a long season combined with warm temperatures and dry conditions. I recently had the opportunity to taste these wines…

New York Cork Report Tasting Table — November 16, 2012

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It has been my goal for some time to retire the “Tasting Table” posts. I prefer to give every wine an individual post — even a short one — but unique circumstances have brought the Table back again. Though NYCR headquarters didn’t suffer any flooding or tree-falling-on-house damage, we were without power for 11 days in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. That meant only sporadic Internet access (primarily on my iPhone) and while there was plenty of wine drinking (what else can one do in the dark, by candlelight… wait, don’t answer that) there wasn’t much opportunity for writing. Add to that…

Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider & Food Festival: Making the Most of the Adirondack Coast

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Columbus Day weekend welcomed the first incarnation of the Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider & Food Festival to The Crete Civic Center in Plattsburg, NY.  A small but well designed showing by local vendors of fermented beverages, foods, and handmade crafts was met by a much larger and very enthusiastic North Country crowd of the curious. Foul weather helped to drive folks inside for the event, after a growing season that was drier and warmer than most on record. Apples suffered in some places due to late spring frosts, but for grapes that survived the nip, it was an incredibly good  ripening…

Years After Finding the Special Spot, Heart & Hands Celebrates Fruit from Their Own Vines

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It must feel ridiculous for Tom and Susan Higgins now, looking back on those frantic and frustrating days in 2005. They had spent so many hours, so many days searching for the right place to plant their vineyard. Tom had studied geological maps in search of the one component he found essential in his quest for great pinot noir: limestone. Those days, Tom wondered: Will we ever find it? If we do, will we be able to buy the land? Will this ever actually happen? Fast-forward to this past Saturday when Tom Higgins found himself complaining about having to remove…

Buffalo Beer Week: Collaboration, and a Little Diversification

A flight of Beer Week offerings at Aurora Brew Works.

Buffalo Beer Week, which closed its second year running on Sunday, featured many events dedicated to the great bars and breweries of Western New York. I wasn’t able to attend as many Beer Week events as last year due to the timing of the event (the week leading up to a major running event), but I still managed to get out and enjoy a few of the festivities. Two great aspects of Beer Week really caught my attention; one made me proud of our existing beer community, while the other motivated me to work harder towards a better future for beer in…

New York Wine in China: Day 2

Nan Tong City

We learned the first day that Taipei is considered a more sophisticated market these days, moreso than Shanghai because they buy more and and more diverse wines, but they buy almost exclusively on “score.”  Clearly that’s a generalization, and readers of this site probably would argue that doesn’t seem like sophistication, but this is what we’re dealing with here. On a visit to the Shanghai Wine Exchange we discovered what the high net worth Chinese is doing with his relatively new money — investing in trophy wines, but almost nothing else of any lesser stature.  We’ve been trying to build a…

Pour it Out: Where to Give for Sandy Relief

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When something bad happens to your neighbor, you want to help. You bring over some soup or a baked ziti or cookies, or maybe you even invite them into your home. You do… something. Because doing nothing feels strange and wrong. Making that human connection — be it with the person who lives 10 yards away, or the unknowns you watched on the news last night who lost all their worldly possessions digging mud out of their house, or the elderly woman who, after nearly two weeks, still doesn’t have power in her 10-floor Lower East Side or Coney Island walk-up,…

Checking in on a Finger Lakes Legend: Good News if You Still Own Anthony Road 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling

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It’s the rare wine that has everything lined up in its favor — stellar vintage, top producer, affordable. The Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling was available for around $14 or $15 when it was released in 2009. Then it won the Governor’s Cup award, and that availability dried up, but to ARWC’s credit, the price did not go up. But here’s the one problem — so many Finger Lakes wines never see a year in the bottle, let alone two or three or five. The reviews came early and often for this Anthony Road wine, and consumers knew…