Sunday, May 03, 2009

Finger Lakes News & Notes - May 3, 2009

- It has been a busy last several weeks for The Weekend Wino as I have been tasting wines other than Finger Lakes wines. When I travel to other wine regions or do tastings at International Wine Events, I realize how spoiled I am by the quality and great value that Finger Lakes wine represents. Two examples from the last 2 weeks: I traveled up to Long Island to visit with friends and taste the Long Island wine offerings and, although there were some very nice wines, there was absolutely no good values to speak of. I do understand expenses are higher, but tasting prices and wine prices have increased considerably since I visited Long Island just two years ago, with tastings starting at $6 and going up to $12 to taste premium wines. Maybe the recession has not hit Long Island and NYC as much as other areas, but I believe that people are looking for value right now and I just did not see it on Long Island. I also attended an International Wine event in Pennsylvania, with over 100 of the worlds top wineries presenting tastings. Wines with price tags well over $100 were here and I just was not that impressed. I have tasted wines priced below twenty dollars that compared to some of these overpriced wines. Sure, there were some that lived up to there price tags, but quite a few left me shaking my head and longing for the Finger Lakes. I guess I’ve become a Finger Lakes wine snob, but I’d rather have wine that tastes good than wine with good taste, if you know what I mean : )

- My May column for Mountain Home magazine is available here and my April post for Finger Lakes Wine Country is here

- May is Riesling Month in the Finger Lakes with many events to celebrate the signature grape of the region. Some highlights of Riesling month include:
Rooster Hill Vineyards' Rieslings in Riedel lets anyone who comes in for a Riesling tasting ($3) try the wine in both a regular glass and a Riedel glass that many experts say enhances the flavor.
Ravines Wine Cellars' Ravenous for Rieslings is offering dry Riesling and food pairing each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May. Saturday's pairing features shrimp with beurre blanc and shallots. The pairing costs $6 and no reservations are required.

New York Wine & Culinary Center presents Rendezvous with Riesling, a celebration of Finger Lakes Riesling on May 15th, including a special tasting of six older vintage Rieslings.

Enjoy free Finger Lakes Riesling tastings every Friday in May from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.

Holly Howell gives a primer on Cabernet Franc

Tom Pellechia highlights some lesser known wines

The New York Wine & Culinary Center makes a big impact

Interesting story on how the recession is affecting a Washington State wine region. From what I see, the Finger Lakes wineries have had pretty good traffic on most weekends so far this Spring, so hopefully the Finger Lakes can weather the recession.

Finger Lakes wineries took home 28 Gold medals at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, including Best White Wine award to Dr. Frank ’07 Semi-Dry Riesling (see my review here). See Grand Champion results here

Check out the art of Finger Lakes artist Brenda Sunseri

Rooster Fish Brewery delights with food and beer in Watkins Glen

The Best of Routes 5 & 20

Reviews of Taste Camp East

Interesting discussion at LennDevours about Red Newt’s new “sweeter” Riesling and the economics of wine pricing

John Zuccarino of Silver Springs Winery continues his series of educational wine videos and even plays guitar for us

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