Posts Written OnAugust 2013

Chelus to Join NYCR Team Covering Niagara and Lake Erie Regions

Michael Chelus is a life-long Western New Yorker.  His passion and knowledge of wine derive from growing-up in an Italian-American family and his studies in Italy.  His love of fine wine has led him to discover and become enamored with the wonders offered by the Lake Erie/Chautauqua Lake and Niagara wine making regions of New York State. In addition to writing for NYCR, he shares his passion for fine wine, exceptional food and great craft beer on his blog, The Nittany Epicurean. I’ll bet you can guess where he went to college. By day, Michael is an attorney and family…

Peconic Bay Winery 2011 “Lot #7″ Merlot

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Peconic Bay Winery “Lot #7″ Merlot ($15) is 100% merlot from Peconic Bay Winery’s estate vineyards, and offers a high-toned, plummy nose with notes of plum skin, violets and cranberry. Light bodied and framed by just enough acidity (rather than tannins), the palate offers a peppery edge to just-ripe cherry and plum flavors that turn a bit under-ripe and stemmy on the finish. Simple and gulpable, it’s a solid effort from a tough growing season, but nothing more. Producer: Peconic Bay Winery AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 1.2% Price: $15* | Buy now from Empire State Cellars (2 out of 5,…

A Dream Realized: Kemmeter Wines Opens on Seneca Lake

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The west side of Seneca Lake is home to a regular rush of winery traffic, no small part of which is limos, or buses, or limo buses if you prefer. They can be loud and pleasant, or loud and unpleasant, but there is near-constant motion. And then there is the newest and the smallest tasting room on Seneca Lake, and it feels like a church. A chapel, rather — a place to reflect and to pause and to think and maybe even to listen. This is, at long last, the home of Kemmeter Wines, and the new home for winemaker…

Bellwether Wine Cellars 2012 A&D Vineyard Wild Ferment Riesling

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As I mentioned last week, Bellwether Wine Cellars is open for business, having opened its doors with a pinot noir and three rieslings available for tasting and purchase. The first thing you’ll notice about Bellwether Wine Cellars 2012 A&D Vineyard Wild Ferment Riesling ($27) is that it’s bottled under a crown cap — not something you see very often. It’s not just because Bellwether Hard Ciders has that equipment around, though. Along with being fermented with ambient yeasts (a topic of some debate of late), this wine was bottled with far less SO2 (only 50 ppm) than is typical in the Finger…

Moved by a New York Wine: Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir Les Alliés (Jim Silver, Peconic Bay Winery and Empire State Cellars)

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Editor’s Note: Thank you to Jim Silver for the first story in our new “Moved by a New York Wine” series. If a New York wine has moved you, let us know. I discovered my love of Burgundy on a class trip through the Cote d’Or, sometime back in 1988. Attending classes at La Varenne and day-tripping with the other kids over to Dijon, Chablis and St. Bris surely put the rare flavors of a very old part of France in front of my brain, where they remain to this day. The unmistakable character captured by the chardonnay and the pinot noir grown on those…

Lenz Winery 2008 Estate Selection Merlot

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Lenz Winery and winemaker Eric Fry have earned their reputation on the backs of old-school, Old World-styled wines made on the North Fork of Long Island. What isn’t discussed nearly enough, however, is the value their wines deliver. In a region where winery prices have escalated significantly over the past five years, the prices for Lenz wines have remained near-constant. The most expensive red, their Old Vines Merlot, is $55 and their most expensive white, their Old Vines Chardonnay, is $25. At those prices, those wines are typically good local values, but perhaps the best value — consistently, vintage after…

New Series: “Moved by a New York Wine”

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On Monday morning, we’ll publish the first installment of what we hope will be an interesting new series of stories here on the site — “Moved by a New York Wine.” For this series, we’re inviting New York winemakers, winery owners, tasting room staff, sommeliers, wine shop owners and non-New York writers to write pieces about a New York wine that has impressed, stood out for or moved them in some way. Obviously we want winemakers to write about each other’s wines, with bonus points if a winemaker writes about a wine not from his or her home region. Monday’s…

Keuka Spring Vineyards to Host Governor’s Cup Award Winner Sunset Dinner

Keuka Springs Riesling Governors Cup 2013

Keuka Spring Vineyards is taking full advantage of their recent Governor’s Cup Award victory from last week’s New York Wine & Food Classic Competition and is planning a sunset dinner party next Friday, August 30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to celebrate the achievement. The event is intended to be a “fun, casual get together” according to Jeanne Wiltberger, co-owner of Keuka Springs and is open to anyone who wants to join them in the festivities. “We were thrilled to receive this award and looking forward to celebrating,” says Judy Wiltberger, owner of Keuka Springs Vineyard. Out of 875 entries in…

Food Reviewers: Stop Complaining About “Small” Portions

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If the Internet has made everyone a critic, then most critics handing out one star on Yelp are idiots. This is not to say that some restaurants don’t deserve one star. The problem is that this country seems addicted to portion size, and large portion size, and it’s filtered into our assessment of whether a restaurant is offering a quality meal. How many times have you had a conversation with a friend that went something like this: “How was such-and-such restaurant?” “Amazing. The portions were HUGE!” We’re learning nothing about the food, the creativity of the kitchen, the thoughtfulness of…

Brooklyn Oenology: A Sense of Place — and Community

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Brooklyn Oenology (BOE) isn’t what you think of when you think of a winery. There you won’t find vineyards, a barrel room, tanks or even a cellar. But don’t be mistaken — it’s a serious winery, albeit in an urban setting. It’s a hybrid wine bar/retail store/art gallery with a hyper-focus on not just New York, but specifically Brooklyn. The environment is well-thought, masterfully curated and, above all, comfortable. Owner and winemaker Alie Shaper sources grapes from Long Island and the Finger Lakes and makes white, rose, orange and red wines at Premium Wine Group, a custom-crush facility on the…