From Bryan Calandrelli: Taylors Fladgate Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port 1995

TaylorFladgate_Porto_1995 Once again my WWD selection comes from a passive aggressive co-worker that opens up one of his private collection wines every time I can't make it to work.

This wine, unlike the others, didn't lose much after a few days uncorked, so by the time I got to drink it, it was still kicking.

Taylor's Fladgate Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port 1995 is by far the most impressive Port I've ever had. Its huge black fruit aromas and voluptuous mouthfeel immediately sold me on the idea of keeping a decent bottle of vintage port around.

What really made this bottle stand out from all of those new world port inspired wines was its integrated oak and delicate finish. Even with all that alcohol it had some subtle nuances that were worth pondering with every

Port has arrived on my radar and this one left a huge echo.

From Evan Dawson: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2008 Dry Riesling

AtwaterNo, Atwater Estate is not using chickens for
bottling. I don't have a pic of the wine, but I do have pics of what
helped make the wine absolutely shine.

We enjoyed this wine at the
Sweet Land Farm harvest dinner on Sunday night — a post on that event
and the harvest dinner season is coming later this week.

of the food was fresh in the purest sense of the word, and it took a
wine that I had enjoyed previously to an entirely new level. We kept
going back for more, which is the finest form of endorsement.

takeaway for me is that 2008 is worth the hype for Finger Lakes
riesling. And, when paired with local food, there are fewer things more
enjoyable in this world than the wines from the vineyards just miles
from our homes.

How fortunate we are to enjoy such proximity, such

From Tom Mansell: Ithaca Beer Company Excelsior Brute (2009 batch)

Normally, when wine people talk about Brettanomyces, it's not
a good thing.

Beer people, though, seem perfectly okay with it. I had
this "Golden Sour Ale" from the tap (rare, as they usually sell it in
750mL bottles) at Pixel Lounge
in Ithaca. The staff at Pixel seems to pride themselves on finding
great, unique local brews and this one is no exception.

Part of Ithaca Beer Company's
limited-release Excelsior series, it's fermented for about 9 months
with Brettanomyces, a slow-acting yeast, then finished with
champagne yeasts (get it? Brut(e)?). Brett doesn't produce too much
alcohol, but it does ferment sugars into organic acids, creating quite
the sour concoction.

It drinks a bit like lemon juice at first, tart
and lemony. On the nose, though, nice spiciness emerges, featuring cardamom,
cinnamon and clove.

Fine bubbles lead to a nice head, if not very
long-lasting. Not too much of the unpleasantness (e.g., "horse
blanket") that can come along with Brett in wine. I had the previous
batch of this a few months ago and this batch is a big improvement. I
wouldn't want to drink it all night, but it is quite a tasty brew.

From Lenn Thompson: Fattoria Rodano 2004 Chianti Classico

Rodano As much as I know about New York wines…that's how little I know about Italian ones.

But I do know that, regardless of what U.S. winemakers will tell you about how great their red wines go with red sauce, I tend to prefer the way Italian wine, particularly Chianti, works with it. Call it cliche, but I like it.

So, when Nena and I had a tomato sauce made with local, organic eggplant, peppers, onions and tomatoes over the weekend, I decided to dip into the small (very small) Italian section of my cellar. 

It was spot on with the acidity to stand up to the tomatoes, with tart cherry flavors and floral, earthy notes to boot. Nena didn't love it (she drank local merlot instead) but it was the kind of wine I can get into with the right food in front of me.