Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- New York Wine & Grape Foundation introduces new 32 page Uncork New York brochure

- A good year for tourism in Cayuga County

- Jeff Richards highlights December Finger Lakes Wine Events

- Songwriter receives grant to write songs about Upstate New York

- Time again for the winter Human Migration

- The end of her seasons in the Finger Lakes

- The start of the Skaneateles Wine Trail

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My Favorites of 2006 - Part 1

I pulled out all of my tasting sheet comments for this year and here's Part 1 of what I liked, in no particular order. This gives me a record of my favorites for the year. Keep in mind my palate is about right in the middle of dry and sweet. I do like dry wines that are very fruit forward and I like sweet wines that are balanced with appropriate acidity and/or fruit. I'm more of a white wine drinker, but that's mainly because I find that red wines stir up my Acid Reflux Condition. But I do taste both reds and whites.

Red Newt Cellars- 2004 Syrah Reserve, Lots of berry, smoke, and pepper. It's hard to find a good Syrah in the Finger Lakes because of growing conditions, but I think this is one. Red Newt White, a perennial favorite, perfectly balanced blend of Vidal Blanc & Cayuga White, fruity citrus into a dry finish.

Leidenfrost Vineyards- Cayuga White, semi-dry style with a long and unique spicy finish. Sonata- Very unique blend of Gewurtzraminer, Cayuga, & Vignoles, Pineapple and Honey with a spicy finish.

Chateau Lafayette Reneau- 2002 Pinot Noir, Silky tannins with flavors of cherry, smoke, and tobacco, IMO one of the best Pinot Noirs in the Finger Lakes. 2003 Chardonnay Reserve, Light Vanilla & Butter with the perfect amount of smooth oak. 2005 Dry Riesling, More Peach flavor than other FL Rieslings with nice undertones of citrus and mineral.

Ravines Wine Cellars- 2005 Dry Riesling, very aromatic, crisp citrus & smooth mineral that goes on and on, very elegant, I'm saving this one for a special occasion. Keuka Village White, Vignoles, Cayuga , & Traminette, 3 of my favorite FL grapes blended in a dry style, but very bright and refreshing on the tongue.

Bloomer Creek Vineyard- 2002 Pinot Noir, Light soft tannins with lots of fruit. 2003 Cabernet Franc, Grass & Berry aromas give way to abundant raspberry and cherry with a hint of smoke.

Atwater Estate Vineyards- Estate White, Semi dry blend of Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Villard Blanc, & Chardonnay yields balanced lime and peach flavors. Somerset Blush, easy drinking Cayuga/Catawba blend and, at $9, an excellent value.

McGregor Vineyard- 2005 Gewurtzraminer, Very floral and very balanced fruit and spice, Definitely one of the best Gewurtz's in F.L. 1995 Blanc de Blanc, Sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay, My tasting note just says "Heaven". Did not get a chance to taste their Sereksiya or Sparkling Riesling, but heard great things about them.

Pleasant Valley/ Caywood- Sparkling Burgundy, our favorite for Thanksgiving. Spumante, perfectly sweet and bubbly. Chocolate Lab, chocolate flavored wine that actually is very good, tastes like a chocolate covered cherry. Port, smooth and caramelly, and a great value.

Wagner Vineyards- Semi-dry Riesling, Mrs. Wino's favorite, peach, apple, citrus & mineral that lingers softly on your tastebuds. Niagara, Wonderful grape aroma and very balanced for a sweet wine. Grace House Pinot Noir, soft Medium tannins, light oak, nice fruit, long finish

Fulkerson Winery- Diamond, Aromatic, tastes of fresh grapes with pineapple and a hint of grapefruit at the finish. Matinee, very unique sweet wine made from Himrod grapes with the flavor of mint running through it. Traminette, citrus tanginess with a light spicy finish.

Hickory Hollow- Syrah, Licorice and smoke with a long finish. Gewurtzraminer, complex spice aroma, rich golden color, very balanced. Liquid Wisdom, easy drinking Cayuga/Niagara blend, clean and light.

Standing Stone Vineyards- 2005 Riesling, Bright fruit and smooth mineral. Smokehouse Vidal, Semi-dry, crisp and balanced. 2004 Vidal Ice, layers of intense flavor, 90 points in Wine Spectator.

Amberg Wine Cellars- 2004 Pearl, blend of Riesling & Traminette, crisp citrus with light spicy finish. Pegasus, Muscat/Riesling blend, sweet but smooth.

Hosmer Winery- 2005 Riesling, perfectly balanced with citrus and a finish that goes on forever. Carousel, my pick for best Blush value in the Finger Lakes, Cayuga/Catawba blend.

Cayuga Ridge Estate- Chardonnay, blend of oak & steel aged, lots of fruit. Cranberry Essence, nice refreshing cranberry infused white wine, not too tart, not too sweet.

Thirsty Owl Wine Co.- 2004 Chardonnay, Crisp with light oak. 2005 Diamond, The Diamond grape is one of my favorites and this Diamond is one of my favorites, pineapple/grapefruit zing balances the sweetness.

Hunt Country Vineyards- Home of my favorite Bernese Mountain Dogs. Late Harvest Vignoles, Candied pineapple and loads of flavor, Yum-mee. Cream Sherry, nutty creamy and smooth. Ruby Port, rich and fruity.

To Be Continued... Don't forget to visit my links at the right side of the page, including my Finger Lakes T-shirt and Songs for charity. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Because most of my family are not big wine drinkers, I usually opt for something sweet and/or bubbly for Thanksgiving dinner. This year it will be Sparkling Burgundy & Spumante from Pleasant Valley Wine Co. in Hammondsport, and Cranberry Chablis from Glenora Winery.
Have a Great Thanksgiving!!! Enough about the wine, what about the turkey.........

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- 2 new "Farm Trails" to link with Finger Lakes Wine Trails

- The Finger Lakes wineries get ready for The Holidays

- Finger Lakes Grape Harvest reports increased quantity

- Corning Museum of Glass plans Holiday events

- You think it's tough growing grapes in The Finger Lakes, Try it in New England

- Diurnal highs and lows, heat summation index, and wine

- The Finger Lakes region and the Tuscany region of Italy are amazingly similar

- Finger Lakes cherry juice touted as an anti-inflammatory

- An Aussie making wine in The Finger Lakes

- 2 wineries added to Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Weekend Wino Celebrates 1 Year of Blogging

How time flies! One year ago, I started this blog with the intention of documenting my own tastings and experience for myself and also sharing my tastings and experiences with anyone to read it. Now, after 110 posts, I am still blogging. It's been a lot more work than I expected, but it's been worth it. The great people I have met (personally and through email) throught this blog have made it all worthwhile. You, my readers, have meant more to me than you'll ever know. A lot of you emailed me and gave me encouragement, especially over the summer during my "Unemployment Crisis". I know the blog is far from perfect. It does bother me that I don't have enough time to give it a more professional look and to add more posts with more detail and put more effort into better writing. There are some amazing and well-written wine blogs out there and , unfortunately, mine will probably never be one of them. But what I think I do an adequate job of, is portraying the flavor and feel of the Finger Lakes. And I'm ok with that. I hope you are too. I do the best I can with the time I have available and I will continue to strive to make this blog better.

There's some folks I would like to thank who have helped me and encouraged me: My wife, who shares my obsession with the Finger Lakes and who helps me do "research" for my blog postings; Lenn Thomspon at LennDevours blog who took me under his wing right from the very start and offered much-needed help and support. Lenn is my blog hero and he is fast becoming one of the foremost wine writers in the biz; Paul Thomas, executive director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, for his support and encouragement; Chris & Liz Stamp of Lakewood Vineyards and the entire Stamp family for just being some of the nicest people I've met and for their support; Dave Whiting at Red Newt and Peter Bell at Fox Run for being my "wine gurus"; Jim Trezise at New York Wine & Grape Foundation for his amazing knowledge and information; John Iszard at Fulkerson Winery for his support and encouragement; Sheila Livadas of for her support and encouragement; all of the Finger Lakes winery owners, winemakers, and winery staff who have taught me so much about wine; all of the wonderful people of the Finger Lakes area who me and my wife have met and who make The Finger Lakes a truly special place; and especially, thank you to all of you readers of this blog, who keep me motivated to keep blogging! I raise my glass to you all!!!