Nycc2By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

What is the New York Cork Club? It's a New York wine club that I run with Greene Grape Wine in Brooklyn that puts the best, most interesting and often hardest-to-get New York wines in the hands of New York wine lovers. You can learn more here, but the basics are simple.

I taste a lot of New York wines every week. The ones that stand out often find their way into the monthly shipments of two wines. Monthly costs vary depending on the wines I pick, but it's never more than $60 (plus shipping) for the two wines.

This month's selections are two wines that haven't appeared here on the New York Cork Report yet, but I tasted them during winery visits over the past few months and I really like them. They are in the tasting queue for the next week or so, so keep an eye out for the full reviews.

2008ramato-lo First up is the newest release from the outside-the-merlot-box mind of Channing Daughters Winery winemaker Chris Tracy. Chris has been making "orange" wines for a few years now, but both Envelope and Meditazione — white wines made with extended skin contact as if they were reds — cost $40. Those are actually values for this style of wine, but not easy for people new to the style.

This newest wine is Channing Daughters 2008 Ramato, which means "copper" in Italian and with good reason. It pours copper-orange in the glass and features some of the best wine packaging around. And get this… it's only $20. Check this wine out if you can.

My affection for cabernet franc is nothing new to readers of this site — or members of the New York Cork Club. The second selection for this month is Hermann J. Wiemer's 2007 Reserve Cabernet Franc. Like much of the state, the Finger Lakes benefited from a hot, dry growing season in 2007, resulting in red wines that show more intensity and longevity potential than perhaps any other vintage. This is an intensely flavorful wine now that will age well for 5-10 years.

I'm perhaps a little biased (though I don't make a penny off of this club), but I think the New York Cork, the only New York wine club of its kind, is a great holiday present for the local-drinking person on your holiday shopping list.

Check it out and sign up today.