Posts Written OnOctober 2013

Kemmeter Wines 2012 Sonero


The entry-level offering from winemaker Johannes Reindhardt’s recently launched Kemmeter Wines label, the Kemmeter Wines 2012 Sonero ($14) is a friendly, fruity expression of riesling with intense aromas of juicy pear, hard lemon candies and something vaguely soapy. Medium-light bodied with subtle mid-palate richness, the palate shows similar flavors –candied citrus and pear — with a faint gravelly mineral note. Though not flabby or cloying, there isn’t enough acidity to balance the residual sugar here, leaving the palate a bit flat and lacking verve. Producer: Kemmeter Wines AVA: New York Price: $14 | Buy now from Empire State Cellars (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very…

What We Drank (10/29/13)


After a many-week hiatus, the team has decided to renew our commitment to our weekly What We Drank feature, where we offer a peek into some of the beer, wine and spirits we’re enjoying — local or not. Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor: Sheldrake Point 2009 BLK 3 Pinot Noir Sometimes, all you need to know about a wine is how quickly it is emptied at dinner with some friends. As often as possible, my wife and I have been doing a traditional Sunday dinner where the four of us — my wife and our two kids — eat together. Anna…

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2012 “RTR Estate Vineyard” Riesling


With each set of new releases, Nancy Irelan and Mike Schnelle — the husband-and-wife team behind Red Tail Ridge Winery — cement their place as one of the top wineries in the Finger Lakes.  The wine geek in me is drawn to Nancy’s (she’s the winemaker) Obscure Varietal Series, which includes things like dornfelder, teroldego and blaufrankisch, but those are small production and may never be anything more. To be a top-tier Finger Lakes winery, you need to do riesling well. Nancy does that consistently and Red Tail Ridge Winery 2012 “RTR Estate Vineyard” Riesling ($16) is just another example…

Finger Lakes Wine Country’s New President Has Difficult Task


When Morgen McLaughlin announced she was leaving her position as president of Finger Lakes Wine Country back in April, a void was created in regional marketing. McLaughlin became Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Association in southern California. Her work had made a wide and powerful impact; more Finger Lakes wines were being reviewed by writers and critics. More conversations about the Finger Lakes region were happening on social media. The number of articles about the Finger Lakes region written in tourism magazines and newspapers across the country spiked, at least in part thanks to McLaughlin’s efforts. In short, McLaughlin…

Katherine Jaeger Joins the NYCR Team

It seems that over the years, the NYCR team has grown largely through connections I’ve made via social media. Those passionate about New York libations have a way of finding one another on Twitter and Facebook that has certainly enriched this website over the years. Today, I’m happy to announce that our latest correspondent — focusing on Long Island wine — is someone I barely interact with online because I’ve known her for years offline, face-to-face. Katherine Jaeger is a name that will be familiar to many of you. She worked for several years as Peconic Bay Winery’s wine club…

Pork Chops and Applesauce Re-Invented by Bellwether Cider and Belly Ithaca

Bellwether Belly Dinner

Pork chops and applesauce conjures up a combination of home-cooked meals around the dinner table with my family when I was young as well as flashbacks of the Brady Brunch repeating the phrase in their best Humphrey Bogart impersonations. What doesn’t jump to the forefront for me however is the idea of culinary innovation from this age-old combination. When I started hearing that Bellwether Hard Cider on the west shore of Cayuga Lake was hosting dinners with Belly Ithaca, an indoor food truck from Ithaca, my interest sparked. After hearing of the success of a previous event from the duo…

Waters Crest Winery 2012 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc


Despite the warm growing season and 2 months in French oak, the nose on Waters Crest Winery 2012 Reserve Sauvigon Blanc ($30) is surprisingly tame, offering light aromas of roasted apples, honey and lemons. Soft and mouth-filling, the palate combines candied green apple (think Jolly Rancher) and Golden Delicious apple flavors accented by light citrus, grassy herb and nutty notes. Good acidity balances the weight nicely and the finish lingers with citrus and candied apple flavors. Producer: Waters Crest Winery AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 13% Price: $30* (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)

Hudson-Chatham Winery 2011 Chelois


Hudson-Chatham Winery,  located in Ghent, NY, has assumed a leadership position in the Hudson River Region AVA when it comes to focusing on quality versus tourism. There are other too, of course — places like Tousey Winery, Whitecliff Vineyard and Millbrook Winery — but what makes Hudson-Chatham unique is that owner Carlo DeVito and winemaker Steve Casscles are leading the region in quality primarily with hybrid grapes. Hudson-Chatham is probably best known for its delicious and surprisingly age-worthy baco noir-based wines but one of the grape (and wine) that I find most interesting in the portfolio is chelois — a…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Arrowhead Red


Some New York restaurant owners, when confronted about a lack of local wines on their lists, point to price point as the main reason. “There just aren’t any good $15 reds!” they might say. Now, one could argue that the cheap reds they are pouring aren’t very good either, but that’s another discussion for another day. Today, let me introduce you to the latest vintage of one of New York’s great red wine values — Arrowhead Spring Vineyard 2010 Arrowhead Red ($15) — an incredibly well-priced wine that should be served by the glass in every western New York restaurant that…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: November Selections


The November shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members in a few weeks — but here’s a sneak peak of what is coming.. If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2012 Dry Riesling: This wine has been getting a lot of attention lately and rightly so. Dry but not austere, this riesling shows classic citrus-meets-peach qualities with mouth-watering verve and a vein of of wet river rock on the finish. I’ll be pouring this one before and during Thanksgiving dinner. Red…