Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finger Lakes Weekend Wino featured in Wine Spectator

- Today's edition of Wine Spectator Online has a story on my new CD. Just click here.
Pretty exciting stuff! Little old me in Wine Spectator! But Mrs. Wino says I don't look anything like Jimmy Buffett. Maybe Warren Buffett. HaHaHa. That's not funny!
See the previous post for more information about the new CD.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My New CD Sparkling Diamonds - Songs of The Finger Lakes

My New CD titled "Sparkling Diamonds - Songs of The Finger Lakes" is officially released. After 2 years of writing and recording, the CD has been completed. The CD contains 12 songs inspired by the beauty, history, and wine of The Finger Lakes. To hear some of the songs, go to my
Soundclick page by clicking here. The CD will be available shortly at Finger Lakes wineries and gift stores. I will update the retail locations where the CD is available by posting on this blog as they are stocked. For now, though, if you wish to purchase a CD, just email me by filling out the form at the bottom of this page and I will send you ordering information. CD's are $10.00 and that INCLUDES Shipping.
I will be performing songs from the CD as well as acoustic rock and blues classics at Dr. Frank Wine Cellars on Saturday June 9th from Noon to 4pm and on Saturday & Sunday June 23 & 24 from Noon to 4pm. Come on out and sip on that fantastic Dr. Frank wine and listen to my tunes!!!
If you are a winery or retailer who would like to retail this CD, please use the form at the bottom of the page to email me. I am also available for bookings in The Finger Lakes area at wineries and events. Please use the form at the bottom of this page to contact me for bookings.
Thank You to everyone (especially Mrs. Wino) for your support and encouragement for this CD project!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Golden Nose Summary

- I just got back from my weekend at the Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Golden Nose Wine Judging Event, where they actually let us amateurs judge wine, and like last years event, it was a blast! First, I have to say once again, that Finger Lakes wine people are the nicest people you could ever spend time with. I've learned more about wine in the 2 weekends I have spent at the Golden Nose than in any other time.

The weekend began with a reception at the amazing Rockwell Museum of Western Art on Friday night where we were treated to Finger Lakes wine (of course) and some delightful culinary treats. Saturday morning at The Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium, the training sessions were given: The super-knowledgable Lorraine Hems gave us her tips for succesful wine tasting, Chris Stamp, winemaker at Lakewood Vineyards presented 'The Components of Wine", Steve DiFrancesco, the winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars, spoke on The History of Grape growing and Grape types, & David Whiting, winemaker at Red Newt Cellars, gave his popular presentation of unpopular smells and flaws in wine (I learned from last year not to breathe in Dave's concoctions too deeply). Then Lorraine, Chris & Dave did a sample judging to show how a "real" wine judge would evaluate wine.

Then our groups, led by a wine professional, got to the job of evaluating Finger Lakes wine to see which ones would be deemed worthy of a Golden Nose award. Me and my fellow wine judges Bernie and Maria were led by Joe Pierce, wine expert and owner of Pierces Restaurant in Elmira. We evaluated 5 flights encompassing Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Red Viniferas, & Mead and a final Best of Class flight of Cabernet Franc. We'd each evaluate the wines on our own and then we'd discuss the wine and make a decision on whether to award a medal or not. The most enjoyable part of the event for me is discussing each wine with other people who are just as passionate about wine. Sometimes our ratings were very different, but it was always interesting to share our evaluations and that is where a lot of the learning happens.

Then on Saturday night, the awards dinner was held at The Corning Museum of Glass, where we were treated to excellent food and the Finger Lakes wines that we had judged to be the best, and I even got to perform a couple songs from my new CD. For me, this event is like being in Finger Lakes Wine Heaven. I get to taste and discuss Finger Lakes wine with the actual people who make it and are experts, then I get to drink the best of The Finger Lakes and mingle with some of the nicest wine people. There are no snooty wine attitudes here. Everybody comes to have fun, learn about wine, and make new friends. Any of you who are passionate about wine and especially about Finger Lakes wine must put this event on your calendar for next year. I must put out a huge Thank You to Paul & Glenda at The Seneca Lake Wine Trail for organizing a great event and to all the people who contributed to make it a wonderful weekend!!!

Surprisingly, when I compared us amateurs with recent wine competitions judged by professional competitions, I see some of the same wines being judged highly. And to dispel the myth that every wine got an award, I can only speak for my group, but we judged very critically and there were many No Awards. Here is the Awards list for Best of, Double Gold, & Gold (and my tasting notes on the ones that I judged or tasted):

Best of Class:
Best Riesling- Lakewood 2006 Riesling (Semi-dry, bright and fresh, bold citrus with light peach and a hint of mineral)
Best Hybrid Grape- Fulkerson 2006 Traminette (Very floral aroma and just a beautiful vintage of this grape with notes of citrus and complex spice)
Best Native Grape- Torrey Ridge Diamond ( sweet but not overly sweet, with layers of grape, grapefruit, pineapple, and mango.)
Best Other Vinifera Red- Ventosa Pinot Noir (NV)
Best Cabernet Franc- 2005 Prejean Cabernet Franc (A mouthful of cherries and a long finish. My group judged this Best Of flight and this is a great Cab Franc. But I must also mention the Cab Franc that came in an extremely close second and was also wonderful- Sheldrake Point 2005 Cabernet Franc. As I have stated in past posts, the Finger Lakes 2005 Cab Franc's (and also other reds) that I have tasted so far are exceptional.)
Best Dessert Wine- Wagner 2006 Riesling Ice Wine

Double Gold
-Hazlitt 2006 Riesling
-Leidenfrost 2006 Riesling
-Torrey Ridge Niagara
-Torrey Ridge Diamond (As I stated in my Best of 2006 posts at the end of last year, Torrey Ridge was my Most Improved and Best Up and Coming Winery selection. I hear some people pan Torrey Ridge as a "sweet wine winery", but I find excellent balance and complexity with layers of flavor in a wide range of their wines.)
-Ventosa Pinot Noir (I'll be visiting Ventosa shortly and will post a report soon)
-Prejean 2005 Cabernet Franc
-Fox Run 2005 Lemberger (firm medium tannins with lots of berry fruit and just the perfect hint of pepper)
-Wagner 2005 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine (balanced sugars dancing on layers of lemon, honey, & pineapple within the firm acidity structure of Vidal)
-Wagner Vineyards 2006 Riesling Ice (It was all gone by the time I got to the tasting bar, so I guess that says it all)
-Hazlitt Port (NV) (It was late by the time I got to taste this at the awards dinner, but I do remember it made me feel warm and fuzzy, just like a good port should)

-Prejean 2005 Dry Riesling
-Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2006 Dry Riesling (I don't think CLR can make anything but an excellent Riesling. This one is classic CLR Riesling, dry but full, firm, bright & crisp)
-Bloomer Creek 2006 Riesling
-Lakewood 2006 Riesling
-Glenora 2006 Riesling
-Americana 2006 Cayuga White
-Fulkerson 2006 Traminette
-Miles Wisteria
-Cascata 2005 Odds & Ends
-Sheldrake Point 2005 Cabernet Franc
-Earle Estates Peach Perfection

The Complete awards list will be posted at

Monday, May 14, 2007

Finger Lakes Wine News & Notes

- This weekend is the Golden Nose Wine Judging Event for all of us wanna-be wine judges. I hope to see some of you there. If you have not bought your tickets yet, it's not too late. Just call Paul or Glenda at the Seneca Lake Wine Trail at 877-536-2717. I hear there are still some tickets left. This is really a great event if you want to really know wine and Finger Lakes wine. We'll be sampling and judging over 150 Finger Lakes wines!!!

- Here's more Finger Lakes wine medal winners, this time from the Pacific Rim Wine Competition. Right at the top is that Anthony Road Riesling that I like so much. Congratulations to all the medalists!!!

Anthony Road Wine Company Gold/Best of Class Finger Lakes 2006 Riesling - Dry $13.99
Anthony Road Wine Company Silver Finger Lakes 2006 Riesling Semi-Sweet $13.99
Chateau Lafayette Reneau Gold Finger Lakes Estate 2006 Dry Riesling $14.99
Chateau Lafayette Reneau Silver Finger Lakes Estate 2006 Johannisberg Riesling $14.99
Chateau Lafayette Reneau Bronze Proprietor's Reserve 2005 Chardonnay $18.99
Chateau Lafayette Reneau Bronze Finger Lakes Estate 2006 Pinot Noir Blanc $9.99
Dr. Konstantin Frank Gold/Best of Class Finger Lakes 2006 Rkatsiteli $24.99
Dr. Konstantin Frank Silver New York 2006 Riesling, Semi-Dry $15.99
Dr. Konstantin Frank Bronze Finger Lakes 2000 Blanc de Blancs $29.99
Fulkerson Winery Silver Finger Lakes 2005 Dry Riesling $14.00
Goose Watch Winery Gold Finger Lakes 2005 Traminette $12.00
Goose Watch Winery Silver Finger Lakes NV Classic Cream Sherry $15.00
Goose Watch Winery Silver Finger Lakes NV Diamong $9.00
Goose Watch Winery Silver Finger Lakes 2006 Melody $9.00
Goose Watch Winery Silver Finger Lakes 2006 Villard Blanc $11.00
Heron Hill Winery Silver New York 2005 Dry Riesling $14.99
Heron Hill Winery Silver New York 2004 Eclipse $17.99
Heron Hill Winery Silver New York 2005 Eclipse $15.99
Heron Hill Winery Silver New York 2005 Semi-Dry Riesling $12.99
Heron Hill Winery Bronze Finger Lakes 2004 Late Harvest Riesling $35.99
Heron Hill Winery Bronze Finger Lakes 2005 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc $17.99
Lakewood Vineyards Bronze Finger Lakes 2005 Abby Rose $6.99
Lakewood Vineyards Bronze Finger Lakes 2005 Chardonnay $12.99
Red Newt Cellars Gold Finger Lakes 2005 Cabernet Franc $19.50
Red Newt Cellars Silver Finger Lakes 2005 Viridescens $45.50
Red Newt Cellars Bronze Finger Lakes, Reserve 2005 Cabernet Franc $37.50
Red Newt Cellars Bronze Finger Lakes 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon $21.50
Swedish Hill Winery Gold Blue Waters, Finger Lakes NV Riesling $8.99
Swedish Hill Winery Gold Finger Lakes NV Blanc de Blanc $13.99
Swedish Hill Winery Silver Finger Lakes 2004 Cabernet Franc $16.99
Swedish Hill Winery Silver Finger Lakes NV Country Concord $7.49
Swedish Hill Winery Silver Finger Lakes 2005 Dry Riesling $14.99
Swedish Hill Winery Silver Finger Lakes NV Spumante Blush $11.99
Swedish Hill Winery Bronze Reserve, Finger Lakes 2005 Chardonnay $16.99
Swedish Hill Winery Bronze Finger Lakes 2002 Brut $22.00
Torrey Ridge Winery Gold Finger Lakes NV Peach Wine $11.99
Torrey Ridge Winery Silver Finger Lakes NV Catawba $9.99
Torrey Ridge Winery Silver Finger Lakes NV Niagara $9.99

Finger Lakes Wine News & Notes

- Finger Lakes wineries proved to be big winners at The Riverside International Wine Competition earlier this month, with Chateau Lafayette Reneau's 2006 Off-Dry Riesling winning Best White Wine in the competition over 2000+ entered wines from around the world!!!
Chairman Award winners were:
Red Newt 2005 Cabernet Franc RSV
Swedish Hill Country Concord
Swedish Hill Late Harvest Vignoles
Fox Run 2005 Dry Riesling
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2005 Chardonnay
Hazlitt 2006 Off-Dry Riesling

Red Barn Blackberry
Heron Hill 2004 Late harvest Riesling
Swedish Hill Blue Waters Riesling
Swedish Hill 2006 Cayuga White
Goose Watch 2005 Lemberger
Goose Watch Diamond
Lakewood 2005 Dry Riesling

Prejean 2005 Late Harvest Vignoles
Prejean 2005 Dry Riesling
Heron Hill 2005 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc
Heron Hill/Ingle Vineyard 2004 Cabernet Franc
White Springs 2005 Off-Dry Riesling
Swedish Hill 2004 Meritage- Optimus
Swedish Hill 2006 Dry Vidal
Goose Watch Classic Cream Sherry
Goose Watch 2004 Chambourcin
Goose Watch 2006 Dry Viognier
Goose Watch 2006 Melody
Ravines 2006 Dry Riesling
Ravines 2005 Meritage
Dr. Frank 2006 Dry Gewurztraminer
Dr. Frank 2005 Pinot Noir
Chateau Frank 2000 Blanc de Blanc
Chateau Frank 2000 Blanc de Noirs
Fox Run 2005 Lemberger
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2006 Dry Riesling
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2006 Pinot Noir Rose
Lamoreaux Landing 2005 Chardonnay
Lamoreaux Landing 2006 Dry Riesling
Lakewood 2006 Dry Gewurztraminer
Lakewood 2006 Dry Riesling
Hazlitt 2005 Dry Riesling

Get the complete results here

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Finger Lakes May Calendar

A Riesling To Visit Passport May 1 - Aug 31, $10 plus tax, Get Free Tastings at member wineries and a chance to win a nice prize. Mrs. Wino & I already have ours.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail, 877.536.2717
Info at Website:

Tierce Release Dinner, May 12, 7:00 PM
Anthony Road Wine Company, Fox Run Vineyards and Red Newt Wine Cellars are proud to announce the second vintage of TIERCE, a 2005 Dry Riesling, marking the continuation of a unique collaborative effort in Finger Lakes winemaking - Tickets may be purchased by calling Anthony Road (800-559-2182), Fox Run (800-636-9786) or Red Newt Cellars(607-546-4100). $95 per person/all inclusive

Americana Concert, May 13, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Americana Vineyards
Mother's Day Concert Featuring the Kitchen Chair Band-Folk Music

Mother’s Day Brunch, May 13, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Red Newt Cellars & Bistro
All tables receive a basket of freshly baked assorted muffns and sweetbread, and a complimentary glass of Champagne or Mimosa for every Mom!

Mother’s Day Brunch, May 13, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sheldrake Point Vineyard
Enjoy lakefront dining amidst landscaped gardens and sloping lawns.
Reservations advised.866-743-5372.

Mother’s Day Brunch, May 13, 11:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Knapp Winery & Restaurant
Show your Mother how much you love her...with food! Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant has planned a day of relaxation with our luscious buffet and delicious wines. We will serve from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. Call 800.869.9271 to reserve your table.

Mother's Day at Veraisons, May 13
Veraisons at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars
Brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. - Dinner 5 -8 p.m.

Mother's Day Brunch, May 13
Ginny Lee Café at Wagner Vineyards
10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Golden Nose Award: A Wine Judging Weekend, May 18 - May 19
For details, go to:

21st Anniversary Celebration, May 19 - May 20, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Swedish Hill Winery
Join us as we celebrate our 21st year! Annual Porch Sale and deep discounts on a variety of selected wines and related products

Keuka in Bloom, May 19 - May 20
Keuka Lake Wine Trail
Spring is in the air and flowers and herbs are blooming around Keuka Lake. Each ticket holder will collect a healthy flower or herb in a 4" pot at each winery. Each attendee will enjoy food and wine pairings along with a complimentary wine trail wineglass. Enjoy the rebirth of new new season and start your own garden! An early sell-out, tickets are advance sale only.
$30 per person; $45 per couple
10AM to 5PM Saturday; Noon to 5PM Sunday

Finger Lakes Wine & Dine, May 21
Esperanza Mansion
Finger Lakes Wine & Dine – mark your calendars for Monday, May 21st which is the date of the 4th Annual Finger Lakes Wine & Dine. This wine and food event features the award winning vintages of our local wineries and the gustatory delights of all the area restaurants and eateries. The event will be held at Esperanza Mansion and tickets are $35.00 with proceeds being split between the Chamber and the Yates County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Join us!!

5th Annual Bistro Grand Opening, May 26 - May 27
Thirsty Owl Wine Company
Kick off another great season with live music on the Terrace plus Edition 1 of the 2007 Artist Series.

I Love Chocolate Day, May 26, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
King Ferry Winery/Treleaven
Sinful chocolate desserts paired with luscious wines. Fee- $7.00.