Browsing CategoryEmpire State Wine Club

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As I sit down to write this month’s newsletter, it is with mixed emotions. Empire State Cellars will be closing at the end December, which makes this the final club shipment. One one hand, it’s obviously saddening to think that the largest New York-only retail shop is closing and that a club that I’ve curated for so many years (with three different shops handling logistics) is coming to an end. (Selfishly, I’m bummed about the store because it’s going to be that much harder for me to find Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Niagara wines locally.) On the other hand, this is…

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Harvest season is nearly upon us across New York wine country. In fact, I’ve heard reports of grapes destined for sparkling wine coming in this week. It’s a busy time of year at every winery — and it has been for me too as we worked to finalize this month’s picks. This is a pretty classic ESC club shipment — we focus on the grapes that regions do best as well as some of New York’s top producers. I hope you enjoy the picks as much as my friends and I have of late. “Hello New York” Wines Raphael 2013…

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Over the years that I’ve been curating this this wine club, it has been my distinct pleasure to share a great many classic wines from classic New York wineries. We have a bit of that this month, but as I was finalizing the selections, it quickly became apparent that we had a lot of new and not-yet-classic wines and wineries represented. We have New York’s only Trebbiano. We have sparkling wines — one red, one white — that are the first releases of two new labels. And we have two Finger Lakes wineries — Kemmeter Wines and Forge Cellars —…

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Diversity. That’s my one-word summary for May’s Empire State Cellars Wine Club selections — which really are a celebration of New York’s wine diversity. It would be easy to pick four Finger Lakes rieslings every month, add a couple Long Island merlots, a cab franc and a pinot and call it a day. And there are enough good wines to do that, but that’s not nearly as fun as exploring the hidden corners of New York’s wine regions.  Look for some even more hard-to-get wines in upcoming shipments, but it starts this month. We did include a couple rieslings, but…

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This morning I’m happy to announce the wines that will be included in the March 2014 shipment of our wine club. If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Red Tail Ridge Winery 2012 Good Karma: This blend of riesling with 11% unoaked chardonnay blended in is driven by flavors of pear and lemon-lime, with some tropical fruit at the edges with gently fresh acidity balances just a bit of sweetness. Best of all, proceeds go to charity.  Suhru 2010 Red Blend:  Proving that Long Island Bordeaux-style blends can be affordable, this blend of merlot, cabernet franc,…

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In the midst of the NYCR’s brief hiatus, we still have some work to attend to — announcing wines that will be included in the January shipment of our wine club. If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Macari Vineyards 2013 Early Wine Chardonnay: I’ve already enjoyed at least half a case of this super-fresh first taste of the 2013 Long Island vintage.  It bursts with  citrus — think lemons and grapefruit — aromas along with notes of green apple and apple blossom on the nose. Juicy, citrusy and just plain fun on the…

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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…

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The September 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 Charles Fournier 2012 “Gold Seal Vineyards” Riesling: Named for a Finger Lakes pioneer and his seminal vineyard, this negociant-made riesling is focused and fresh, showing pear and apricot flavors, nervy acidity and along, slate-y finish. A terrific value.  Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2010 “Red Letter”: The great 2010 growing season resulted some of Long Island’s best-ever <$20 reds, this…

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The July shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members this week — meaning that it’s time to announce my selections. If you’re not familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Shinn Estate Vineyards 2012 Rose: There is a lot of delicious rose being made on Long Island, but when it comes to a burger- or barbecued-chicken ready rose, I often reach for Shinn Estates. Ripe berries and watermelon are fresh and concentrated — and able to stand up to foods that would dominate lighter rose. Brooklyn Oenology 2010 Social Club…

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The May shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members in a week or so — meaning that it’s time to announce my selections. If you’re not familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2011 Auten Vineyard First Harvest Riesling: With every new Bloomer Creek release, they solidify their position as a top-tier riesling producer on the East Coast. And, these wines are so well priced that you can drink them now (and buy more), or put them away for a few years if you like your riesling with a…