Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finger Lakes PALATE Event Wrapup

I have just returned from the Finger Lakes PALATE Event and boy are my tastebuds tired!!!
This weeklong event included over 20 wine events including seminars, tastings, and winemaker dinners. I'd like a to give a Special Thanks to Morgen McLaughlin & Finger Lakes Wine Country for their hospitality and hard work that went into this event. Here are my News & Notes from some of the events:

- I presented a seminar on Hybrid Grape Wines of the Finger Lakes which was attended by about 20 wine enthusiasts. My presentation included the history and characteristics of these hybrid grapes along with a tasting of 7 Finger Lakes wines made with hybrids - Rooster Hill Silver Pencil, Lucas Blues, Fulkerson Traminette, Standing Stone Smokehouse Vidal, Red Newt White, Imagine Moore Change and Lakewood Vignoles - and I believe that a majority of the attendees were impressed with the quality and value of these wines. I will be posting more on these wines at Finger Lakes Wine Country shortly. If anyone is interested in a copy of my Powerpoint presentation, just email me at the email address in the header above.

- Mrs. Wino & I braved the cold to walk the Gaffer District in Corning on Friday night to taste wines from over 20 Finger Lakes wineries in the shops along Market Street. There were several hundred other winos out with us and we had a lot of fun and we had a sensational dinner at Tony R's. If you want to take someone special out for a special meal, I highly recommend Tony R's, fabulous service and exceptional cuisine.

- I co-hosted a special wine tasting with Steve Shaw at Shaw Vineyard on Saturday (He is closed until probably May 1st, unless us Shaw fans can convince him otherwise. So it was a rare winter opportunity to sample his current and upcoming wines). Shaw is perhaps the hottest up and coming producer in the Finger Lakes and tasting barrel samples of what he has in the works only confirms this. The highlight for me was a barrel tasting of his 2007 Pinot Noir - when this wine is released, (probably not until 2010 because Steve believes that wines should not be released until they are ready), this wine is going to change many peoples opinion of Finger Lakes Pinot Noir- Yes, it's that Good already!!!

- And finally, Mrs. Wino & I attended a winemaker dinner hosted by Fred Frank (one of the nicest people you'll ever meet), featuring Chateau Frank & Dr. Frank Wines paired deliciously and elegantly by the Corning Radisson's Grill 1-2-5 staff. Fred made several announcements during the dinner including:
- He is lowering the prices on all Dr. Frank wines because of the economic crisis
- Dr. Frank Rkatsitelli is being placed on the wine lists of some top restaurants including Gramercy Tavern in NYC
- And perhaps the most exciting announcement is that Dr. Frank will be producing a Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling (Botrytised grapes are allowed to shrivel until dried almost to raisins, yielding a very decadent highly prized dessert wine) from the '08 vintage. 400 cases will be produced and it is scheduled for release in the Fall of this year. Looking forward to that!!!

In all, it was an amazing event and a great way to start 2009 off!!!
Also, My Finger Lakes Wine Preview article will be out in the March issue of Mountain Home magazine. Look for it to drop March 1st in wineries and retail locations in the Finger Lakes and Northern PA.

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