Posts Written OnApril 2014

No, We’re Not Number 3: The Trouble with Bad Lists

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The Finger Lakes is not the third-best wine destination in the world. And this should not offend anyone in the Finger Lakes. It should offend the nice people at the Huffington Post, or Viator, or wherever this list originated. For the past several days, I’ve seen a long list of people on social media celebrating this ostensible award. Several people posted the list on my Facebook timeline, declaring it another signal of the world’s respect for the Finger Lakes. And on that score, I guess, maybe, sure. But there’s actually a danger here. No one from Bordeaux is celebrating their…

Lieb Cellars to Re-Open Original Tasting Room as “The Tasting Group” Co-Op Tasting Room

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This Saturday, Lieb Cellars will re-open its Mattituck tasting room — the one attached to Premium Wine Group — as “The Tasting Group,” a co-op tasting room where visitors can taste the winery’s Bridge Lane line as well as other wines produced at Premium Wine Group, including Bouke Wines, Brooklyn Oenology, Influence Wines, Leo Family Cellars, Surhru Wines and T’Jara Vineyards. From the press release: [box_light] The six non-Lieb producers will showcase up to three wines each; selections will be rotated on a seasonal basis, and producers may be rotated in/out throughout the year to give new Premium Wine Group members a…

Kemmeter Wines 2012 Sheldrake Point Vineyard Riesling

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Kemmeter Wines 2012 “Sheldrake Point Vineyard” Riesling ($24) is a classy, expertly balanced riesling from what will likely go down as a classic riesling vintage in the Finger Lakes — one that shows ripeness and intensity without the flabby softness of some other warmer seasons. Mixed  citrus — tangering, lemon and lime — aromas are layered with notes of pear, green apple, papaya and wet river stones on an expressive-but-restrained nose. Medium bodied with subtle sweetness that is balanced by juicy acidity, the palate shows intricate citrus and pomme fruit flavors that match the nose. There is a precision and…

Winter Vine Survival & Spring Wine Festival

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The last snow piles are finally melted after a long winter in the North Country, and while the the season may have been oppressive, those intrepid enough to dwell in it are rebounding with a vigor of surprising quality. This exuberance was evident at the Saratoga City Center this past Saturday when nearly a thousand visitors poured into the inaugural Taste of Upstate event to explore what the region has to offer. In a similar vein, good reports have been pouring in regarding the fortitude of the cold-climate fruits planted in these areas, and of how well they’ve handled a…

Anthony Road Winery Redesigns its Labels

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One of the Finger Lakes Wine industry’s iconic brands is getting a new look. Anthony Road Winery is introducing a fresh, new label for its eponymously titled line of wines. Beginning this year, all new releases will bear a label meant to be stylish and modern. The new label prominently features an abstract art design. The previous Anthony Road label had been used for the past dozen years and was more traditional and understated in style. According to associate winemaker Peter Becraft, the winery had been considering an update to the Anthony Road wine series label for some time before…

Moustache Brewery to Host Grand Opening April 19

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Over a year after my visit to Moustache Brewing Co. for the NYCR, Matt and Lauri Spitz are ready to open their doors to the public. It may seem like a long time to wait for beer, but alas, the tired and thirsty masses will be quenched this Saturday. After years of toiling with permits, renovations and working full-time jobs, the undertaking of the Spitzs is about to pay off. Tomorrow, April 19 from 1-6 p.m. , Moustache will be offering growlers, half growlers, pints, and short pours of their One Drop Pale Ale, Everyman’s Porter, and Milk & Honey Brown Ale. In…

Paumanok Vineyards 2010 Merlot

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Paumanok Vineyards‘ “white label” merlot is often among the best values in under-$30 North Fork merlot. The Paumanok Vineyards 2010 Merlot ($28) continues that tradition with its fresh, fruity aromas of black plum and black cherry backed by high-toned floral notes and a sprinkling of grilled savory herbs. Well-balanced and juicy, the medium-bodied palate is fruit-forward and fruit-driven. Crunchy fresh cherry qualities mingle with flavors of plum, violets, and grilled and woodsy herbs. The tannins are well integrated and round while still providing grip. A medium-long finish lingers nicely with floral and cherry skin notes. It’s bottled under screwcap (of…

What We Drank (April 10, 2014)

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  Editor’s Note: Starting today, we will publish WWD twice a month, rather than every week, going forward Amy Zavatto, Contributing Editor: Macari Vineyards 2010 Riesling Kelly Urbanik’s first vintage with the Joe and Alexandra Macari, this Finger Lakes-sourced beauty started off with a little petroleum on the nose that blew off after a bit, and then opened up with aromas of beeswax, fresh, juicy pears, nougat, and white flowers. It’s mouth filling and lush, with weight and length that tells of the warm vintage this came from, but with a delicious zing and bite of minerality, grapefruit juice, and zest, and…

New Survey Shows Why 2014 was the Worst Winter in the Finger Lakes in Years

A dead bud. | Photo by Jim Monahan, Cornell Cooperative Extension

The most devastating winter in more than a decade has left behind millions of dollars of damage to the Finger Lakes wine industry. Thanks to a survey from the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Finger Lakes Grape Program, we’re learning just how serious the winter losses could be. Over the last two weeks of March, researchers cut more than 14,000 buds and collected more than 100 samples of vinifera. Teams visited 20 different sites, from vineyards on Seneca, Keuka, Cayuga, Canandaigua, and Skaneateles Lakes. The staff attempted to collect buds from a variety of locations even within single vineyard sites — buds from high up, buds from…

Oyster Bay Brewing Company IPA

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Reviewing IPAs can become quite redundant.  They’re all hoppy, bitter, citrusy, whatever.  I love the style, but it’s prevalence at the beer store can be overwhelming.  There are multitudes of styles, with brewers using varying amounts and varieties of hops and malt.  Why so many of them can taste so damn similar is a mystery to me. For a beer that is meant to knock you over the head with hops and malt, there are some rare exceptions when an IPA can bring subtlety and balance to the table. This rant was inspired by Oyster Bay Brewing Company’s IPA. It…