Posts Written OnJuly 2013

Farm to Pint Provides Local Breweries with Local Ingredients


Last weekend I realized how lucky I am. I was raised, and live, in a small farming community. The farms and people that call the North Fork of Long Island home are a huge part of my life. My life is actually dependent on it. Most of the food and drink that I consume on a daily basis flies past my window as I drive down route 48 to the farm winery where I’m employed. I owe everything I have to these farms. This realization came after a weekend of visiting the bustling wineries that draw millions of tourists to…

News Brief: Merliance Elects Roth, Nappa and Ginsburg as New Officers


Merliance (formerly known as the Long Island Merlot Alliance) has named offers for a new two-year term — ending in June 2015 — based on a vote of members. Roman Roth, partner, winemaker and technical director at Wolffer Estate is the group’s new president. Roth is also one of the founders of the organization. He said in a press release “The Merliance has come a long way since we started in 2005. With collective reviews of our merlots and merlot-based blends in national publications, annual consultations with international oenologists and elegant wine-focused events like HARVEST EAST END to our credit,…

What We Drank (July 30, 2013 Edition)


Evan Dawson: Red Newt Cellars 2009 Circle Riesling There is something almost obscene about the fact that 2012 rieslings are being released, and the 2009 rieslings are now considered library wines. This wine is like a plea for help from a vintage that should probably be getting released right about now. But that’s the story of Finger Lakes wine, and that’s why there are so few bottles with any age on them. You can’t blame wineries for releasing wines on a schedule that simply allows them to stay in business. It’s tough. This is an impressively made wine, especially considering that…

Barrage Brewing Co. Latest Long Island Nanobrewery to Leverage Kickstarter


  Barrage Brewing Co., one of Long Island’s newest nanobreweries is trying to get its doors in East Farmingdale open after well over a year of trials and tribulations (mostly with regulations) at a couple different locations: In 2011, Steve tried to open Barrage Brewing Company in Freeport, NY, but was unsuccessful due to building zoning issues. For approximately one year, Steve searched for the right location to open the Brewery, and in March of 2012, he seemed to find the perfect facility in East Farmingdale, NY. He signed a lease and began work on the brewery with a 1…

“The Greatest Finger Lakes Wine Dinner Ever” — Notes from a Special Evening

Evan and his far-better half, Morgan.

If wine can be a portal to another time, well, the wines poured last Monday night at the Hole in the Wall restaurant were a vessel to my book-writing days. These wines had never been in the same room before. Given how few bottles are left of each, it’s safe to say they will never be in the same room again. Hole in the Wall is a restaurant in Perry, NY, run by the dynamic Billings family. Co-owner Jacquie Billings-Barlow decided two years ago that she would track down most of the wines from Summer in a Glass, and her husband…

Manhattan’s 21 Club to Host Long Island Wine Mondays


  21 Club, a legendary Manhattan establishment, is famous for two things: a succulent burger and the three martini lunch. A classic place to drink your meal, three Long Island wineries will be in good company as they showcase some of their best on this hollowed ground of Prohibition-style imbibing. On select Mondays this summer, the restaurant will host wine and hors d’oeuvre pairings for Bedell Cellars, Onabay Vineyards and Pellegrini Vineyards. Sample new bites from Chef Greeley selected to compliment each vintage and varietal, while sipping local wine and picking the brains of experts from each winery.  Canapés, good…

Video: Meet Forge Cellars


This morning, our friends from Forge Cellars — a label to know in the Finger Lakes — released an online video that is one part introduction and one part “this is why there is so much potential in the Finger Lakes.” It’s beautifully done and well worth the five-plus run time. You can also read the introductory piece that Evan Dawson write about Forge Cellars on NYCR.

NY Wine Spotting: Is this the Campaign that Finally Gets More NY Wine into Local Restaurants?


For years, the New York wine industry has wondered how to convince local restaurants to carry local wines. They’ve tried a variety of approaches, all of which have largely failed. That could be all about to change, starting in Rochester. Michael Warren Thomas, host of the Savor Life radio programs on WYSL AM, has launched an ambitious new program. It started with Thomas visting more than 100 restaurants in the greater Rochester area. At each stop, he examined the wine list, tracking how many Finger Lakes wines were offered. “It was a lot of work, but I thought it was…

Anthony Nappa Wines 2012 “Bordo” Cabernet Franc


It is a point of some debate, but I’m of the belief that you cannot — and should not — remove all of the ‘green’ flavor from cabernet franc. Many try, either through extensive leaf-pulling programs, extended hang time and/or aggressive use of new oak barrels. But at the end of the day, ‘green’ is just part of the cabernet franc’s varietal character and I want to taste it. Now, I’m not suggesting that I want bell pepper or asparagus or green bean to be the dominant aroma or flavor in any wine. There is a difference between under-ripe character…

5 Questions with… Cassie Hitchner, On-the-Spot Wines


Cassie Hitchner, proprietor of On-the-Spot Wines, spent her undergraduate years in Ithaca, New York at Cornell University and that is where she fell in love with wine. “The Finger Lakes wine country presented me with the many facets of the wine industry that make a great glass of wine,” she said in an email. Cassie graduated in 2009 and moved to Manhattan to pursue a career in consumer public relations, but after three years she decided to “switch things up.”  Moving away from publicizing other peoples’ projects, she followed her own passion for wine and started promoting a wine region…