Posts Written OnOctober 2013

Chateau Niagara Winery: Making a Name on the Lake Ontario Plain

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“Wine should always have a story and wines need a sense of place.” That is Jim Baker’s mantra. Baker is the owner of Chateau Niagara Winery in Newfane, New York and strives to live up to that mantra. To that end, each wine in the portfolio has a unique story regarding its inception and creation that Jim happily shares with each interested consumer.  These stories and Jim’s own respect for the terrior of the Lake Ontario Plain motivate Chateau Niagara to offer quality vinifera wine made in the Niagara Region. As happens often in the wine industry, the tale of the…

Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2012 Gewurztraminer

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A lot of wine drinkers buy they same — often big-production, commercial — wines because they want to know what they are going to get. They find comfort in knowing the wine buy is going to taste good to them every time they buy it. Cool-climate regions like the Finger Lakes don’t always offer that invariability. Cloudy, cool summers, poorly timed rain and potentially harmful frost are realities. Some years they all happen. Year-to-year consistency is difficult under these conditions… but it’s not impossible. Take Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2012 Gewurztraminer $18) — one of the most consistently delicious wines in the…

Just Food’s ‘Let Us Eat Local': Familiar, But Fantastic

Last year, I compared Just Food’s Let Us Eat Local event to Willy Wonka’s Fancy Food Factory. I’m clearly a creature of habit (or entirely uncreative and in need of a thesaurus) as I found that exact note scribbled in the margins of my notebook as I considered my arrival to the 2013 fête that took place on October 2nd. As I took in the now common place hand carved pumpkin sporting their logo (this year in white!) and the 39 food stuff stations each appointed with plates each more beautifully autumn than the last and marveled at gorgeous use…

2012 New York Rosé: Some Standouts, But Mostly Mediocrity

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When I endeavored to write the New York Cork Report’s first-ever comprehensive vintage/style report, I deemed rosé the target. Rarely profound, mostly affordable and made by a wide array of New York wineries — it just seemed like a good place to start. I’d treat it almost like a practice run for more “serious” categories in the future. But, mid-way into the tasting, I realized that rosé was anything but an easy a place to start. I was joined for this tasting by three members of the local wine community — Andrew Rockwell, Laboratory Director at Premium Wine Group, Regan Meador,…

It’s Regional Wine Week — So Drink Local (As If You Weren’t Already)

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I don’t mention it often here on the site, but in addition to writing about New York wines here and in various print publications, I’m also on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and organization dedicated to telling the story of American wine in its entirety — from coast to coast across the Americas. In addition to putting on an annual conference that we move from region to region, we also organize Regional Wine Week, which runs from October 6-12. It’s the sixth annual such week and once again we invite writers from across the continent post stories…

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2012 Good Karma

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It is a pleasure to write about wines like Red Tail Ridge Winery 2012 Good Karma ($14). Created in 2009 by winemaker and co-owner Nancy Irelan, Good Karma benefits regional food banks, with 10% of gross profit per bottle donated. Originally, the money went to Foodlink, a regional food bank that serves a ten-county area in the Genesee Valley and the Finger Lakes region. Starting with the 2012 vintage, however, that’s changed a bit. In an email, Irelan said “Wee have expanded our reach with Good Karma. Foodlink has agreed to redistribute the funds to the state in which it is…

Fourth Generation Joins Dr. Frank

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Meaghan Frank, daughter of current president Fred Frank, granddaughter of Willy Frank and great granddaughter of founder Dr. Konstantin Frank, joins the Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars team this week following in the footsteps of her family predecessors. Fresh off a flight from Australia and having just finished her Masters of Wine Business from the University of Adelaide, Frank is wasting no time in getting to know the family business. It might come as a surprise to some, but Meaghan has not always been on this path. As an undergrad communications major with an interest in sociology she was on…

Roanoke Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc

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When it comes to cabernet franc, Roanoke Vineyards is the rare Long Island producer that can be counted on — almost without fail — from year to year. Cabernet franc can be tricky. If it doesn’t get ripe enough, it can taste like green bell pepper. Too ripe and it loses varietal character. It can be a fine line to toe, but owner and vineyard manager Richie Pisacno deftly walks it. And winemaker Roman Roth carries it through in the cellar. Roanoke Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc ($34) delivers aromas of dark-roast coffee, roasted nuts, blackberry, black cherry and cola. On…

Fork Finds: Orient Country Store, Orient, NY

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Sorry. It was my Summer of Selfishness; I haven’t been sharing my Fork Finds as promised. Maybe I didn’t want to fight crowds of loyal NYCR-ers who’d run to my recommendations causing longer lines and a survival of the fittest reality TV-style contest to see who’d get the last blueberry cream pie. (Ooops, that already happened.) Since Lenn reminded me our readers are courteous and less likely to throw a punch over pastry than your usual winery visitor, I am back. And since I’m spilling all of my secrets, I might as well blow up one of my favorite spots…