Posts Written OnApril 2015

Macari Vineyards 2013 “No. 1″ Sauvignon Blanc

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There is a lot of very good sauvignon blanc made on Long Island now, which is great given the seafood-focused local cuisine. “What grows together, goes together” and all that — and even though I don’t eat much of the bounty from local waters, I do drink a fair amount of local sauvignon in the warmer months. I don’t think of it as the white grape of the future here anymore. It’s the white grape of the present now. But that doesn’t mean new and interesting things aren’t being done with it. 60% of the fruit that went into Macari Vineyards…

Benmarl Winery, Very Ready for the Next Ten Years

Matthew Spaccarelli General Manager and Winemaker Benmarl Winery

Matthew Spaccarelli of Benmarl Winery Matthew Spaccarelli speaks with the cautious optimism of a man who feels confident about what’s ahead on the sea of life. Knowing the risks and prepared to seize the opportunities. It has been ten years since he and his father, Victor, took ownership of Benmarl and five since he fully assumed the helm and for that matter engine room, as general manager and winemaker, of this storied Hudson Valley winery. Matt wonders about the claim that Benmarl is the America’s oldest winery, it may or may not be true, nevertheless he is very happy to be working lands…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 27, 2015

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Winter survival report, SLA angers some NY clients, Empire Wine draws ire of national wine wholesalers and the wine trail action is warming up… NEWS Albany Times Union – 4/21/2015 Bizarre twists of NY State liquor law result in New York Times Wine Club no longer shipping to its New York State customers. The Leader – 4/22/2015 Thoughts on the recent opening of the Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture and Wine Production Center in Geneva. Warwick Advertiser – 4/22/2015 Shawangunk Wine Trail launches new website at GunksWine.com and adds more events to the annual schedule. WHEC Rochester – 4/24/2015 Following up on the long…

Southern Tier Brewing Company Un-Earthly Imperial India Pale Ale

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This IIPA looked like it was going to pack a punch as soon as it was poured. The cloudy copper color and vigorous head pushed up a beautiful nose on this one.  Aromas of citrus and orange-blossom meld with sweet caramel, malt and biscuit underneath. Above everything the smell reminded me of a brew-house. The palate came through strong and intense, as is intended when making a beer of this style. Fruity as hell – blood orange, lemon and grapefruit were all but enveloped in the malt profile. Some of that biscuit quality is also present on the palate and…

Want the May 2015 New York Cork Club Picks? Join Today!

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The first New York Cork Club shipment will go out the first week of May — so if you want my first picks, you need to join as soon as possible! (If you missed our announcement about the rebirth of New York Cork Club, check it out here.) Join and you’ll get: Southold Farm + Cellar 2014 Weather to Fly — a fresh, lightly yeasty, un-filtered sparkling wine made from chardonnay using methode ancestral. Yes, that makes this a “pet nat,” which are quite trendy right now — but this is also a delicious, delicious wine. Dr. Konstantin Frank 2014…

7 Years of Ravines Wine Cellars Meritage

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There is a phenomena that is unique to the world of fine wine that gives some winemakers sleepless nights, sends collectors on quests that are akin to searches for the Holy Grail itself, and provides ample employment opportunities for wine writers and critics alike: Vintage Variation. For brewers and distillers, achieving consistency in their product is a common and overarching goal. But for producers of fine wines — particularly in cool climates — embracing inconsistency is more the norm. Most espouse the philosophy of “letting the grapes dictate the wine” by emphasizing the attractive characteristics that are presented by a…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 20, 2015

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The scene at a recent barrel tasting at Macari Vineyards Drink Local-focused wine shop gets the props, fair weather event schedule is warming up, and some nice mentions for New York wineries in various pubs. NEWS Grape Collective – 4/14/2015 Praise for the vision, innovation and collaboration that helped lift Finger Lakes wines to world class stature. New York Times – 4/15/2015 Wölffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island is among hotel and winery destinations that offer packages in which visitors get to blend their own wine when they tour the winery. Napa Valley Register – 4/16/2015 Dan Berger gives Knapp a thumbs-up for their…

In the “Long Island Wine Press”: What’s Old is New Again

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I’m proud to share that my first piece for the Long Island Wine Press, which you can find in tasting rooms and elsewhere all over the East End, was also chosen as the cover story. The story, titled “What’s Old is New Again: Two Long Island winemakers are reviving the ancient method of making Petillant Naturel sparkling wines” focuses on the pet nat wines made by Regan Meador at Southold Farm + Cellar and Christopher Tracy at Channing Daughters Winery. If you can’t get you hands on a copy of the magazine, you can read about how the wines are…

Millbrook Vineyards’ “Local Juice” — Then and Now

Early spring vines at Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, ready to do their thing.

Early spring vines at Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, ready to do their thing. During the steep drive up to Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, in some spots the only thing you can see are rows of grapevines stretching to the horizon. The effect can be both eerie and disorienting — wasn’t I driving through the Hudson Valley a minute ago? — especially on a drizzly, raw April day when there’s not a soul, or leaf, in sight. Looks can be deceiving. Inside the beamed winery — a converted dairy barn — is the clamor and hum of machinery. It’s bottling day…