Posts Written ByEvan Dawson

Decanting Wine: Too Often, We’re Doing it Wrong

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A pair of Finger Lakes pinots offered a stark reminder about the potential value — and the potential dangers — of aeration. And it reminded me that it’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to decanting. Recently, we opened a bottle of Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2008 Pinot Noir and a bottle of Fox Run Vineyards 2001 Pinot Noir Reserve. I don’t do a whole lot of decanting, but there are wines that seem to require more air to open up. Our Science Editor can probably fill me in on whether decanting has as much impact as we think, and I don’t…

Teroldego: The Story Behind a Red Wine Curiosity

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When you’ve worked in the wine industry for years, it takes a little bit more to excite you. You’ve tasted great wines; you’ve seen beautiful landscapes. But if you’re Nancy Irelan, you couldn’t help but be inspired by the scene in front of you: teroldego vines climbing the terraces of Alto Adige, seeming to stretch toward the sky, or at least high into the Dolomites. “It’s just incredible,” Irelan said to no one in particular. On that crisp April day, Irelan felt re-energized by the experience. She has become a kind of red wine pioneer in the Finger Lakes, but…

New Proposal Could Allow Wine to be Shipped Through U.S. Mail

It’s not easy to earn unanimous approval of a major policy change in the wine industry, but the issue of alcohol mail restrictions seems to have achieved exactly that. Senator Chuck Schumer is proposing to end the ban that prevents the United States Postal Service from shipping wine, beer, and spirits. After speaking to dozens of industry professionals, the New York Cork Report has yet to find one who disagrees with the proposal. “It would be huge for our industry,” said Scott Osborn, owner of Fox Run Vineyards. “Having the postal service as another provider for our shipping will hopefully…

Finger Lakes Wine Country’s New President Has Difficult Task

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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…

New York Wine & Culinary Center Unveils New Awards While Keeping Focus on NY Wines

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It probably shouldn’t be a news headline when a state’s culinary center carries a state’s wines exclusively, but it is when it’s the New York Wine & Culinary Center’ After a brief lapse in spring of 2012, the center has made a number of significant changes, with a clearer focus on New York products. That’s true of the restaurant, wine list, and in the news annual awards program that makes its debut Saturday night. In full disclosure, I’m helping emcee the Saturday night event. Yes, there are still tickets available. No, that’s not why I’m writing this piece. I’m writing about…

Finger Lakes Harvest Update: Disease Pressure, Difficult Decisions Offer a Stern — But Passable — Test

Harvest has begun at Fox Run Vineyards, and many other wineries in the Finger Lakes.

It was the hardest kind of decision to make, and on the morning of September 12, the team at Forge Cellars had to make it. After dozens of hours spent babying his seven-tenths of an acre of pinot noir at Sawmill Creek Vineyard, Rick Rainey knew things had taken a bad turn. An inch of rain on Labor Day had turned up the disease pressure, and sour rot was arriving, day by day, one bunch here, one bunch there. It was going to get worse, despite all of the effort. Forge’s other pinot sites were in better shape, but this…

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…

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…

Keuka Spring Vineyards Takes Home 2013 Governor’s Cup

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Keuka Spring Vineyards won the coveted Governor’s Cup when their 2012 Riesling was selected as the top wine entered in the 2013 Wine & Food Classic. The competition was held at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. A total of 875 wines were entered this year, and although some of the state’s top wineries choose not to submit their wines for this event, the top wine is always a significant prize. Judges from around the world come to evaluate the wines (and ciders and spirits). “We got a call from the New York Wine and Grape Foundation at 12:30pm,” wrote August Deimel,…

This Ain’t Bordeaux: In the Finger Lakes, Riesling Rules, But You Won’t Find a Clear “Vintage of the Decade”

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The industrial wine machine loves an exalted vintage. For consumers, it’s a chance to create a kind of trophy bottle or trophy case. For wineries, it can be a chance to raise prices (though this rarely happens in the Finger Lakes). But in upstate New York, there simply isn’t a consensus about the best vintage for riesling of the past decade. And it’s fascinating to read the comments of the region’s top winemakers. Because there are some deep divides. The New York Cork Report surveyed a wide range of Finger Lakes winemakers and winery owners to get their take on…