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The Last Hurrah: Empire State Cellars Wine Club November 2014 Selections

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...


Fox Run Vineyards 2013 “Doyle Family Vineyard” Chardonnay

I don’t like a lot of domestic chardonnay, but I like this one a lot — and, at $12 a bottle, Fox Run Vineyards 2013 “Doyle Family Vineyard” Chardonnay ($12) could be the state’s best bang-for-the-...


North Country Report: Patience Needed to Tame Acidity

2014 was what most vacationers would describe as a pretty ideal summer and subsequent transition into autumn. Crop load in the north country has been good on those plants that had healthy wood after the bone-chilling winter....


McCall Wines 2010 “Ben’s Blend”

McCall Wines has earned a reputation as the producer of Long Island’s finest pinot noir, but its merlot and merlot-based blend McCall Wines 2010 “Ben’s Blend” ($48) are just as deserving of attention. T...

Hillrock Estate Distillery owner Jeff Baker

Terroir in Whiskey? Inside the Quest for Individuality at the Hudson Valley’s Hillrock Estate Distillery

It wasn’t yet midnight, but it was long past sunset in the peat marsh. Two men who looked like deep-sea divers were prepared to use their wetsuits for a new purpose: they would be diving for peat. The decayed vegetation is an...


Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Blast American Imperial/Double IPA

I first tried “Brooklyn Blast” ale at the Brooklyn Brewery tasting room in Williamsburg some years ago. I immediately fell in love. At the time, the beer was only available on draft and was not something often found outside...


Top 10 Tastes from TasteCamp 2014: Hudson Valley

With TasteCamp 2014 in my rearview mirror, I’ve spent some time considering event — what we tasted, who we talked to and what they said — and while I’m not typically the biggest fan of “Top 10̸...


The Spirits of Volunteerism

Early last month a story broke in California about a small winery that had been subject to hefty fines levied by state labor authorities for the use of willing volunteers, and then fined again during their process to try and m...