Friday, June 25, 2010

Finger Lakes Wine In New York City

I believe I made my love of Finger Lakes wines known to all that read this blog.  Even so, I become disillusioned when traveling to New York City or surrounding states and find it difficult to find much more than the mass produced wines from a very few wineries available.
Now there is a wholesale company located in Ithaca NY that will provide Finger Lakes wines to restaurants in New York City.

Upstate Wine Company provides only the highest quality, award-winning wines from Upstate New York to the New York City area. They are driven by a passion to share outstanding local wines that focus on environmental responsibility.
Upstate Wine Company only carries wine harvested, produced and bottled in upstate New York. Further, because they select only the best of the upstate New York wines, their wine portfolio is not overloaded nor do they push sub-par wines. Upstate Wine Company looks at a bottle of wine as being more then a line in our price book, which is why they build personal relationships with local Winemakers and Vineyard managers throughout the region. Their goal is to provide customers the enjoyment of high quality wines while minimizing their environmental impact.
Upstate Wine Company’s knowledge that New York State is a world-class wine region drives them to provide world-class representation in NYC. Wine procurement from Upstate Wine Company is a hassle free experience through their superior 24/7 customer service, multiple ordering platforms and personalized wine concierge services.
This will be very beneficial for all of the Finger Lakes wineries.  Can Finger Lakes wines be soon found in greater abundance in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and all other Northeast States.  Let's hope so 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good to be Alive

Sometimes events happen in your life that dramatically changes your entire perception of life, life style, spirituality and life priorities.  That just occurred to me.
On June 11th, after months of what I thought was incidental or old age periodic chest pains, my new friend, Cardiologist Dr. Mark Reger M.D., admitted me to St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, NY for open heart surgery.  I call him my friend because of his refusal to allow me to return home until scheduled surgery five days later.  Surgery took place three days later because of the scariest moment in my life as I struggled for air while suffering chest pains in the early morning hours of Monday, June 14th.  Surgery was moved up to immediately.  Approximately 10 hours later by-pass procedure began.
Now, as I rehab, I along with my wife Shirley have begun planning our new future. This is not the platform for most of these changes, but my blogging hobby will be a big part of it.
The fact that I will now retire this year and have more time to learn, write post and travel to some blogging and blogger events and visit more wineries and hopefully get to meet many of my fellow bloggers is one of my priorities.  My next few post will follow the learning experience I absorb through books, videos and blogs(of course).  Although my surgeon, Dr. Joel Rosenberg M.D.,  told me he is a wine collector with over 2500 bottles in his collection, I doubt he would like me reviewing wines right away.
I am presently reading "The Only Wine Book You'll Ever Need" by Danny May. Wow, do I have a lot to learn.  Gotta get back to my reading lounge chair and my glass of OJ.
Joe

P.S.  My wife has set up a really cool recovery area in the family room.  Got my lounge chair, a hospital bed, a 46" LED HD TV and all the wine books I own but never read.  Unfortunately, my wine fridge is at the foot of the bed. Ya think she's getting even for something? :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc 2009 3L

Last March I posted a press release on a new collection of artisan wines in an innovative attractive new package. An international wine collection with six brands and ten items packaged in a new exciting premium 3L wine cask from the Octavin Home Wine Bar..
I have since tasted a Monthaven Chardonnay (California) and this past week the Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand).  The Chardonnay was not impressive.  Light and fruity with little oak was not what I expected from a CA Chard.  The wine was not all that bad though and I would recommend, at $24 for 3 liters, for that week end party on the patio. Definitely a good party wine.

The Sauvignon Blanc, on the other hand, was outstanding. Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc is from the famous cool climate vineyards of the renowned Marlborough winegrowing region. Marlborough is located at the northern tip of the southern island of New Zealand. Being on the coast of such a narrow island, Marlborough is consistently exposed to cool maritime weather, which creates the extended ripening period and racy acidity of one of the most admired Sauvignon Blanc flavor pro files in the world. Native New Zealander and artisan winemaker, Drew Ellis has extensive relationships with some of the best vineyards throughout Marlborough, “Our goal is to grow the right grapes that allow us to craft the quintessential New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc year after year.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks representing the brand.
 Winemakers Notes:
“Stainless steel tanks combined with clean and simple winemaking techniques make for a pristine and crisp Sauvignon Blanc. We employ special yeasts during our cool fermentation process to create the crisp and ripe fruit flavors of kiwi, pear, and green apple with distinctive mineral and gooseberry notes prominent. The stainless steel treatment assures that the wine delivers the crisp finish and fresh structure expected from a true Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.”

My notes:
Lots of pear and peach with some citrus aromas.  Nice and crisp with a slight hint of grapefruit in the mouth and finished a little short with a touch of sweetness.

I've been sipping this wine for the past three days and enjoyed one evening with my standard but delicious BBQ chicken.  Tonight, my daughter Pam scratched up burritos made with Jasmine rice, pinto beans, shredded cheese, guacamole, jalapenos and salsa.  This wine was great with the chicken, excellent sipping and outstanding with the burritos.

Released in May with a suggested retail of $24, but you can shop and find on-line for as low as $17. This is for a 3 liter box or equivalent  to 4 standard 750ml bottles.  After opening, it will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.   Don't worry though, this Sauvignon Blanc will be long gone before that.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vacation's Over


Tomorrow I must return to work after a pleasant but hard two week vacation. I really don't know where to rank this time off or how to compare it to others. I like to use my vacation time to wind down, relax, and enjoy doing what I want or like to do.  This one was a bit different.
Started out OK.  Finished a few odds and ends around the house, enjoyed a great day on a Finger Lakes wine tour, visited family in Pennsylvania and attend my High School class reunion (20th, I believe, or 45th possibly). After one week, everything was going as planned. The second week was supposed to be relaxing, grilling steaks, burgers and chicken and tasting and reviewing a few wines.  Maybe even getting a few articles ahead to post on the blog.  Shirley had other plans.
Landscaping the front yard, new addition to rear of garage, new front window, total cleansing of the downstairs family room and about 6 million small task that somehow had to be done in seven days.  The most difficult wast moving four yards of topsoil with a four square foot garden wheel barrow.  That's somewhere around one gazillion fill ups.  Can't remember the last time I was so stiff.  Tomorrow,  back to work for a well deserved rest.
On a more upbeat side to the vacation was the wine.  Finished the month of May by enjoying many of the Finger Lakes Riesling brought home from the Seneca Lake wine tour and opened a few from the west coast to compare.  A Central Coast California Riesling was, lets say different, but a Washington State Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle was worthy enough to be stand beside those of the Finger Lakes.  I also opened a couple of white wines from Octavin Home Wine Bar.  A Chardonnay was disappointing, but a review on the Sauvignon Blanc is coming up next post.  I also enjoyed a few reds and two nights sharing some Corona Light beers with my daughter, Pam.  I'm not into beers, but they did go down well on the hot nights with the grilled burgers.
Well, the two weeks are now over and I must return to the day job for five days and then another week off.  This time a four day trip to New York City and a few Broadway plays. I also hope to pick up some Long Island wines and visit a few of the many wine bars in Manhattan. Just hope Shirley can't find the 'honey do' list.