New York #Tastemaker: Christopher Bates | Element Winery (Among Many Other Places)

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“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With my new #Tastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. There was one person I didn’t take into account when I set out to ‘take back’ the term tastemaker from writers and sommeliers with this weekly series: Christopher Bates. He’s also a sommelier — and well-regarded one at that. But…

Weekly New York Wine News — March 8, 2016

NEWS Syracuse.com – 3/1/2016 Award winning amateur wine maker Randy Agness finally goes pro in the Finger Lakes, with an initial release of Riesling from Seneca Lake. * News Editor had the opportunity to taste some Agness 2014 home Riesling and Gruner Veltliner at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference and gave them both enthusiastic thumbs-up. Cornell Cooperative Extension – 3/2/2016 An extensive report analyzing New York’s brewery supply chain documents the expansion of the state’s malt barley and hops plantings as well as the premiums paid for locally grown ingredients. North County Now – 3/4/2016 Far northern New York economy…

Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2014 No. 239 Dry Riesling

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I’ve become a bit jaded about Finger Lakes riesling — but I don’t mean that to sound as bad as I know it does. But after so many years tasting so many good-to-great rieslings, I’ve come to expect it in a sense. I don’t want to say that I take it for granted because I don’t. There is still a lot of mediocre (or worse) riesling in the Finger Lakes. But, for a wine to really stand out during a tasting, it has to be something special. When such a wine retails for less than $20, even better — if increasingly rare…

New York Cork Club: March 2016 Selections

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  “Does he pick these wines because we like them?” One of our friends — who also happens to be a member of this club — asked my wife that recently, and while the short answer is probably “no” it’s a bit more complicated than that, I think. I want each and every one of you to love each and every wine that I pick each and every month, the reality is that I have to like it first. As much as I want to keep you happy, I’d never put a wine into a shipment that I didn’t like,…

From the Archives: “Celebrating 40 Years of Long Island Wine: A Look Into the Future”

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Editor’s Note: Every Thursday — call it Throwback Thursday if you’d like — we’ll pull a story from the more than a decade of NYCR stories and republish it. This week, I don’t go back as far as I usually do — only 3 years. But, looking back on this post, where I make some predictions about Long Island wine as it celebrated it’s 40th anniversary, I’m happy to see that I wasn’t far off on at least some of these.  I’ve got some ground to make up if I’m going to write 40 posts about Long Island wine’s first 40 years.…

Corks of the Forks: The Do’s and Dont’s of a Good Wine Dinner

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Winery events abound on the East End, but not all wine events are created equal. They range from the very wine-focused — things like barrel or vertical tastings — to the not-at-all-wine-related. I’m looking at you, vineyard yoga. Among all winery events, the wine dinner reigns supreme. Just about every winery in America hosts them at restaurants or right on their own property. It’s a simple equation: winery plus restaurant equals fun to be had. They are a great way for a wine producer to reach new audiences and build relationships with restaurants. Restaurants benefit, too, often selling these dinners…

Bedell Cellars 2014 Chardonnay

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Chardonnay with little or no oak footprint have gained popularity in recent years, but for Bedell Cellars’ winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich, it’s not a new style. He’s been making unoaked chardonnay for his entire winemaking career, dating back to 1982. He still makes steel-fermented chardonnay, but it’s not bottled alone. Instead, most of it goes to the winery’s First Crush White, where it’s blended with sauvignon blanc and riesling. “I want a bit more complexity in our varietal chardonnay,” he told me in an email. As with all of his wines, fermentation was done with ambient yeasts and while about 50% of…

New York #Tastemaker: Roman Roth | Wolffer Estate

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“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With our new #NYTastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. This week’s tastemaker is none other than Roman Roth, winemaker and partner at Wolffer Estate. Roman has been making wine on Long Island for a long time, was instrumental in the creation of the Long Island Merlot Alliance and is…

Weekly New York Wine News — February 29, 2016

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The vines adjacent to Lieb Cellars’ tasting room on Sunday. NEWS Albany Business Review– 2/24/2016 Task Force formed to determine if the New York State Liquor Authority should get involved in regulating third-parties. Syracuse.com – 2/25/2016 Opened late in 2015, Lakeside Vista restaurant on Otisco Lake serves up all New York wines, with a special focus on the Finger Lakes. Pres Republican – 2/28/2016 Cornell Cooperative Extension Specialist Anna Wallis is spreading the word about opportunities for cold-climate viticulture in upstate New York. EVENTS Long Island Wine Lecture – March 4, 2016 – Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY Proprietors…

From the Archives: Op-Ed: Towns, Don’t Crush the Grape Growers

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Editor’s Note: Every Thursday — call it Throwback Thursday if you’d like — we’ll pull a story from the more than a decade of NYCR stories and republish it. This week’s pick is a piece written by Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council and then-president of the council, Ron Goerler Jr. of Jamesport Vineyards back in the summer of 2010.  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” The famous opening line from Charles Dickens’ classic “A Tale of Two Cities,” set in 18th-century Europe, would appear to be an appropriate description of the opportunities…