Friday, April 26, 2019 • Press-Republican Wine Guide 1
WINE GUIDE 2019 PRESS-REPUBLICAN
North Country Vineyards Growing the Business The growth of area vineyards and wineries reflects a comfort level that’s been wellearned in the Champlain Valley.
Beginning Wine Tasting
Reading a Wine Label
Organic Wine Basics
Focus on enjoying yourself and the
While all wine labels are different, they
Americans are loving organic food —
wine and you’ll do just fine.
all contain some basics you should know.
and wine is no exception.
Friday, April 26, 2019 • A publication of the PRESS-REPUBLICAN
2 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019
Inside the ‘Wine is to be consumed’ By Joe LoTemplio
Wine Terms Reading a Wine Label Beginning Wine Tasting Organic Wine Basics Craft Wines North Country vineyards growing the business By Suzanne Moore and Ben Watson
Cultivating transformation By Suzanne Moore
What is a Wine Blend? Very approachable wines By Robin Caudell
A publication of the
PRESS-REPUBLICAN Robin Caudell Joe LoTemplio Suzanne Moore Ben Watson Contributing Writers
Talking Sake Trends in Tableware Take a Wine Trip Explore a Nearby Winery or Vineyard Eat ADK tempts the appetite Break Out the Bubbly Red Wine and Heart Health
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 3
‘ By JOE LoTEMPLIO Press-Republican
Wine is to be consumed’
PLATTSBURGH — While preferences of wine varieties are wide ranged, one thing is for sure. “Wine is to be consumed,” Steve Carpenter said. “People buy it to drink it. It doesn’t sit around.” Carpenter owns Liquor and Wine Warehouse on Smithfield Boulevard, where hundreds of wine varieties are for sale. Wine customers, he says, are much like craft beer drinkers. “They like to try different things from time to time,” he said. “People who drink Captain Morgan (rum) or Jack Daniels (bourbon), that’s all they drink, but wine drinkers will try different types.” BLENDED WINES Red wines seem to be more popular these days as people pick through the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Merlot aisles routinely, Carpenter said. “People like the taste of wine with their food,” he said. “If they are having a sandwich or a steak, they just like to have a glass of wine with it.” Blended wines that feature a
Liquor and Wine Warehouse owner Steve Carpenter poses next to a fixture that displays wine from local vineyards in Plattsburgh. KAYLA BREEN/STAFF PHOTO
mixture of different grape varieties get it,” Carpenter said. are also popular, as people enjoy the fruity taste they bring. “We get a lot of traffic for local wines.” “They can taste the different grapes and berries in there, and ALL ABOUT VALUE they are a bit sweeter,” Carpenter said. While wine connoisseurs recognize taste, sometimes Local wines, and wines produced packaging wins the customers. from New York state, are also popular. “We had a ‘soccer mom’ wine in here and everyone bought it “If people have been to a local because it was soccer mom,” he winery and they liked the wine, said. and they can’t get back to the winery, they will come in here to The Liquor and Wine Warehouse
has done its share of business with Canadian customers over the years, and those customers, too, have special preferences. “With the Canadians, it’s all about value,” Carpenter said. “The days of paying $40 or $50 for a bottle are rare unless you are buying a gift to impress someone.” Email Joe LoTemplio: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @jlotemplio
4 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019
Corkage, varietal and aeration, oh my! There is a lot of wine terminology to know.
Knowing the right terminology can help you describe what you like and order exactly the glass of wine you want — not to mention sound chic at a dinner party. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate proper wine terminology. Here are some basics to get you started.
Varietal — a wine made solely from a particular grape. Examples include syrah, Zinfandel and merlot. Blend — a blend of two or more varietals. New world/old world — Old world wines are those produced in a specific region, typically Europe. Examples include Champagne, Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon. New world wines are made from a particular varietal. Corkage — a fee charged by a restaurant to open and serve a bottle of wine you bring with you. It is intended to cover service, supplies (such as the use of the glass) and the loss of revenue from wine sales. Fees vary widely by restaurant.
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Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 5 Mouth feel — how a wine feels in the mouth (smooth, velvety or rough). Sediment — solids from the winemaking process that remain in a bottled wine. Sediment is usually removed before bottling but sometimes remains in the bottle. In older wines, sediment might form in the wine and can result in a bitter taste. Decant a wine containing sediment prior to serving. Aeration — introducing air to wine, by such methods as decanting, swirling or using special aeration devices. This can improve flavor and aroma by releasing compounds such as sulfites and ethanol from the wine. Vintage — the year in which grapes used to make wine are harvested. Grapes may be harvested and then aged in barrels, but the wine label should carry the year the grapes were harvested. The term also is sometimes be applied more largely to the effects of weather on the crop of grapes harvested in a particular year. Sommelier — wine steward, typically employed by fine restaurants to serve wine. A master sommelier is one who has passed a strenuous exam covering various facets of wine knowledge, including theory, tasting and service. Aroma — smells developed in a wine before and during fermentation. Bouquet — smells developed in a wine after fermentation. Nose — a term used to describe the aromas and bouquet of a wine during tasting.
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6 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019
Reading a Wine Label
Wine labels are as varied as the countries from which they hail, but they all contain some basic information. Here’s a rundown on the information you should find on a wine label at a minimum. Variety
Many labels clearly state the varietal of grapes used in the wine (Zinfandel, syrah, pinot noir, etc.). On wines that are made using a blend of grapes, the label may or may not list each varietal and the percentage of each one used.
The alcohol content in a wine is often listed as ABV, or alcohol by volume. Federal law requires wines with an alcohol content above 14 percent to list ABV. Below that threshold, winemakers may choose not to list the alcohol content and may call it a “table wine” or “light wine.” Tolerance of 1 percent to 1.5 percent is allowed. The alcohol content is used to calculate the class into which the wine falls for the purposes of federal excise tax.
Region The region where the grapes used to make a wine were grown is almost always featured on the label. A wine with a label listing a region that is more broadly defined is often a value wine, while wines from more specific areas, or even vineyards, tend to be higher-end, such as “California” vs. “Santa Rita Hills,” according to WineFolly. com. Sometimes wines are grouped by region in stores, and you might find the specific region on the label convenient for narrowing down your search. Producer or Brand Name Some wines feature the name of the producer prominently; others display a brand name more prominently. This is a branding decision by the winemaker. Vintage Wine labels often feature the “vintage,” or year the grapes used to make the wine were harvested, however this is not always the case. Non-vintage, or NV, wines — which often are bubbly or fortified wines — feature combinations of vintages. NV wines are sometimes thought to be of lower quality, but you’ll have to judge for yourself. Combining various vintages allows winemakers to mitigate the effects of bad growing conditions during a particular year and present a consistent wine over time.
While the tasting notes provided by the winemaker could sway you, remember that this copy is pure marketing. It’s more useful to know the above basics of a wine label to make an informed decision. Of course, it never hurts to check out objective tasting notes, reviews and ratings from a source you trust to find the perfect bottle.
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 7
Beginning Wine Tasting
If you’re new to the world of wine, your first tasting can be intimidating. You don’t expect to put on a pair of skis and swoosh down a black diamond trail on your first outing. Similarly, don’t expect to be a seasoned wine pro at your first tasting. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, but remember to focus on enjoying yourself and the wine and you’ll do just fine.
The Tasting Process Get a good look. Swirl the wine gently in the glass. Does it wash quickly over the glass or appear to take its time traveling back down the side of the glass? Is there sediment in the glass? How deep is the color? How clear is it? Notice how this correlates to taste later. Smell the wine. According to Live Science, 80 percent of our sense of taste comes via our sense of smell. Wine drinkers
know this very well, making it crucial to take a good whiff from your glass before the wine touches your mouth. How a wine is made and stored all affect its “nose” or “bouquet.” Take note of what you smell. Is it fruit, herb, earth? If you notice a vinegar smell, the wine might have gone bad. A musty scent could alert you to the presence of mold or dust. A strong smell of cork could also mean trouble. Assuming a pleasant smell, proceed to tasting.
Taste the wine. When tasting a wine, note how it feels and tastes. Swirl it around in your mouth. Is it full-bodied or light? Does it feel “dry” or “astringent,” or perhaps sweet? After noting the tastes and considering how it compares to your visual and smell observations, spit out the wine (if you plan to taste several wines) or swallow it.
Honing Your Tasting Style Your tasting skills will evolve over time. If you plan to make a
hobby of it, you will notice during future tastings that your palate will evolve. As this happens, you might start to prefer wines that are more “dry” than sweet. You will become more adept at picking out particular characteristics in wines. You also will start to notice what you like in a wine. Do you prefer an oaky Cabernet? A fruity Zinfandel? A rich pinot noir? A fruity rose? There’s only one way to find out. Practice makes perfect — or at least in this instance, practice can be a whole lot of fun.
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Organic Wine Basics
Many Americans are making efforts to eat organic foods — sales of organic food and goods reached $47 billion in 2016 according to the Organic Trade Association — and wine drinkers are no different. In 2011, the Association reported that organic beverages made up about 12 percent of total organic food sales growth. The United States Department of Agriculture regulates organic wine in the same way it does other organic foods, to ensure that it is made without prohibited substances or genetic engineering. Organic Grapes vs. Organic Wine According to the USDA, true organic wine undergoes the same rigorous requirements of USDA organic certification as other products throughout its lifecycle, including during the growing of the grapes and the winemaking process. “This includes making sure grapes are grown without synthetic fertilizers and in a manner that protects the environment and preserves the soil,” according to the USDA. “Other agricultural ingredients that go into the wine, such as yeast, also have to be certified organic.” Any nonagricultural ingredients, such as salt and water, must be listed on the USDA-approved list of allowed substances and can’t exceed 5 percent of the total product. Added sulfites, which are often used to stop the fermentation process or preserve flavor, are prohibited in organic wine. When wine bears a label saying it is “made with organic grapes,” it has been through a different certification process. The grapes and other ingredients still must be 100 percent organic or on the “allowed substances,” list, but sulfites may be added up to 100 parts per million. Organic Across the Globe Wine from any region of the world may be sold as “organic wine” in the United States, so long as it meets the USDA’s requirements. Organic wine produced in the U.S. can be exported to Canada, the European Union, Japan and Taiwan via trade partnerships. Certifying Agents Certifying agents who assess winemakers’ grape growing and production processes and compliance with USDA regulations are accredited by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Winemakers also can gain certification for an “organic wine” label by showing proof that all their ingredients are certified. The Sulfites Issue Some people are very sensitive to sulfites, especially people with asthma. For those people, exposure can cause hay fever, hives and wheezing. For this reason, the level of sulfites present in organic wines is regulated strictly by labeling. Wine with a label reading “organic wine” may contain only naturally occurring sulfites at a level of less than 10 parts per million. Wine “made with organic grapes” may have sulfites present up to 100 ppm, and the added sulfites must be disclosed on the label.
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Craft Wines Craft beers, or those from small breweries, have been popular for years. Now, craft wines are on the rise. According to the Craft Wine Association, a certified craft wine is a commercially available, small-production wine made in a total run of fewer than 5,000 cases. Authenticity and traceability are key components in certification, as well. With the growth of eating local movements, craft wines are poised for a big 2019 and massive growth.
Finding a Craft Wine In addition to networking with local wine stores, you can also consult the Craft Wine Association to find bottles and wineries to your liking. You can also spend the day exploring local wineries and tasting wines and finding new tastes. Wineries aren’t just in California; most states have at least one. It’s About the Story Moreso than wines made by big wineries, craft wines have a story to tell. The story of the farmer and the winemaker, and even of the region in which they are produced. If you’re going to travel, look for local craft wines to pick up. They make great souvenirs and gifts. Beware Just like with the craft beer movement, some wines may be mass produced wines masquerading as a craft bottle. Lean on the experts at your wine store. Also look for the following subtle clues outlined by wine merchant Winestyr. Look at the label for phrases like “grown, produced and bottled by.” Also look for locations. The more specific the location, the more likely you’re holding a craft wine.
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North Country vineyards
growing the business
Rows of freshly pruned grapevines stretch far on 7 acres of land at Hid-In-Pines Vineyard in Morrisonville. The tasting room there opens May 1. KAYLA BREEN/STAFF PHOTO BY SUZANNE MOORE and BEN WATSON Press-Republican PLATTSBURGH — Richard Lamoy began pruning his vines at Hid-In-Pines Vineyard a couple of weeks ago, readying them for new growth.
“I’m hoping for good weather,” the Morrisonville vintner said. “It was kind of a long, cold winter. Oftentimes, a long, good growing season follows that, so I’m optimistic.” It would take about a month to trim his 7 acres of grapevines. Though
there were no shortage of storms over the winter, he said, his vines did not suffer too much damage. The hardy grapes grown there are carefully chosen to endure North Country winters, among them the St. Pepin, which can withstand temperatures as low
as minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Frontenac, which bears a full crop, Hid-In-Pines says on its website, even after lows of minus 35.
Continued on page 11
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 11 Continued from page 10 Now, with spring here at last, Lamoy is looking forward to opening his tasting room Wednesday, May 1. ON THE TRAIL Hid-In-Pines is one of the vineyards and cideries on the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail, a trek on the edge of the Adirondack Mountains. “The best part of the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail is the close proximity of the wineries,” says the website that promotes it. “Not only are they an easy drive from one another, they’re close to many other historic sites, monuments and must see attractions.” Established in 2013, the trail also includes stops at Amazing Grace Vineyard and Vesco Ridge Vineyard in Chazy; Champlain Wine Company and Elfs Farm Winery and Cider House in Plattsburgh; and Everett Orchards, a cidery and farm market in Peru. WINE AND DINE Amazing Grace is a small boutique winery and bistro where Mary and Gilles Fortin produce four of the 16 wines on the menu from their own grapes — they cultivate 600 vines and nine varietals. The couple, with a decade now in the business, make the other dozen labels, too.
“We supplement with New York state grapes and juices,” Mary said. Among their labels are: Concord, described as: “Our Gold Medal winner from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. A sweet red with a raspberry finish”; Soccer Mom, “A blush wine made from the Isabella grape. A sweet/tart wine with a refreshing finish”; and Aiden’s White Estate, “A delicious semisweet blend of 3 varietals in our vineyard, the primary one being Edelweiss.” There’s more than wine going on at Amazing Grace, with special events such as intimate weddings; seasonal five-course food and wine dinners; and theater productions that this year will include, in conjunction with Adirondack Regional Theater, “Willie Wonka Junior” the weekend of July 13. Coming up May 12, is the vineyard’s third-annual Mother’s Day Brunch, with such offerings as maple crusted pork loin and Gilles’s fabulous breakfast pizza. An Adirondack-style outdoor pavilion and gazebo provide the setting for those events; this year, the Fortins have added outside patio seating out front, as well as new menu items. MAJOR INDUSTRY Like other establishments on the trail, Amazing Grace started out much smaller — selling selling Cold Hardy Northern varietal Continued on page 12
Cultivating transformation BY SUZANNE MOORE Editor PLATTSBURGH — A blend of grape varieties makes for unique flavors; a collaboration among Champlain Valley vintners has put the spotlight on the region as a wine and cider lovers’ destination. In 2013, about three years after earning the official state title as Adirondack Coast Wine Trail, the region landed the label “American Viticultural Area” from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. As such, its winemakers who use at least 85 percent locally grown grapes can include that designation on their labels. The area measures about 500 square miles, from Ticonderoga to the Canadian border. NECESSARY ELEMENTS Rich Lamoy of Hid-In-Pines Vineyard in Morrisonville and the late Rob McDowell (founder of the Lake Champlain Grape Growers Association) got the ball rolling on acquiring the federal designation. And Colin Read, now City of Plattsburgh mayor, took up where they left off and formally submitted the application. “The Wine Trail designation, which, credit where credit’s due, was a joint effort, and the American Viticultural Area were very necessary elements to establish this area as a distinct wine region,” Read said, looking back on those accomplishments. “But the necessary is not necessarily sufficient. The final element of that three-legged stool is embracement of the region around the ‘buy local’ movement.” Continued on page 12
12 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019 Continued from page 11 cited nearly 25,000 full-timeequivalent jobs, $1.14 billion in wines and fruit wines out of a wages paid, 5.29 million tourist 12-by-14-foot tasting room. visits, $401.5 million in winerelated tourism expenditures and “Since then we have expanded $408 million in New York state to a 1,400 foot winery/tasting and local taxes paid thanks to room and quadrupled production vineyards. to include a fruit dessert line and three award winning blends Those are impressive figures, recognized internationally,” the considering that, in 1976, wineries website says. in New York — just 14 — existed in nine counties. Vesco Ridge Vineyards, also in Chazy, is another that had TONS AND TONS humble beginnings — in Dan and Nancy Vesco’s garage — In 2017, 53 counties were home and now features a large outdoor to well over 400 wineries or pavilion where local musicians associated satellite branches, perform on the weekends and according to Richard L. Gast, special events are held. a retired Cornell Cooperative Extension program educator who The growth of area vineyards writes a column for the Pressand wineries reflect a comfort Republican. level that’s been well earned in the Champlain Valley, which In a piece highlighting the contributes to a statewide sort of cold hardy grapes that industry in the billions of dollars. opened the door for North Country vintners, he shared U.S. A 2013 study by Stonebridge Department of Agriculture figures Research of Napa, Calif., on putting the value of New York behalf of the NY Wine and Grape Foundation (newyorkwines.org), Continued on page 13
Continued from page 11 NEWBIES NEEDED It took a few years, Read said, to secure the Viticultural Area designation. He, his wife, Natalie Peck, Chazy vintner Dan Vesco and few others devoted about the same amount of time to acquire the Wine Trail title. But, Read added, “cultivation of the ‘buy and appreciate local’ can take a generation or so. “Of course, Vermont is well along in that movement,” he pointed out, “at least partially because they have been so successful in attracting new residents to their communities. “These newbies come with tourist eyes longing to sop up every bit of local color and culture. “In that embracing environment, even their fertilizer smells good as it is the odor of sustainability and quality,” he said. “I’m confident that, as we attract more people who demand more local, we will get there, too.” INDICATORS OF SUCCESS Read referenced writings by Atlantic staff writer James Fallows in which he lays out the “ingredients found in communities that are successfully transforming themselves. “One important element is the embracement of such quality of life amenities as microbreweries and tasting rooms,” Read said. “I’m reassured that they exist here. We need more of them, and we need them to prosper, as they are the indicator of our success in attracting new millennials to our region. “I see the Wine Trail and the AVA as part of that fabric.”
Email Suzanne Moore: email@example.com Twitter: @editorSuzanne
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 13
Continued from page 12
eager to bring forth the spirit of the Adirondacks, our grapes grape production in 2016 at $64.5 encompass perfectly balanced million, up 18 percent from 2015. acidity, high sugar, and deep flavors provided by the unique Fresh grapes totaled 2,000 tons, Upstate New York climate.” with 115,000 tons processed for juice and 54,000 tons for wine. Learn more at adkcoastwine. com. “Hardy cold-weather grapes create wine like nowhere else in the world,” the Wine Trail website Email Suzanne Moore: boasts. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @editorSuzanne “Nurtured by enthusiastic growers
April Branaham and Scott LeClerc walk down an outdoor aisle flanked by the grapevines at Amazing Grace Vineyard and Winery in Chazy. Along with private events, the vineyard hosts musicals, has slated a murder mystery dinner theater event for Aug. 10 and features seasonal five-course food and wine dinners, including its popular Taste of the Holidays. Photo courtesy of Amazing Grace Vineyard & Winery, Chazy, NY
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What is a Wine Blend? We’re familiar with varietals such as pinot noir and chardonnay, but you may see some labels that say red blend or white blend. Just like the name suggests, these wines are blends of different varietals.
More Than Just a Grape Legally, even varietals can be a blend. In the U.S., a varietal needs to be 75 percent of one type of grape. Wineries can add up to 25 percent of other grapes to enhance the original varietal and still be labeled as that grape. Blends contain at least 40 to 50 percent of one type and a mix of two or more others. Complexity Blending enhances aromas, colors, textures and body. Common varietals used in blending are malbec, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Blends are usually mixed in a steel tank, and more expensive blends are aged in oak. Aging, bottling and fermentation methods and timelines often vary from winery to winery. Tradition There are some traditionally blended wines. Rioja, for example, comes from a region of Spain that includes La Rioja, Navarre and Alava. Wines from this region are normally a blend of grapes and can be red, or tinto; white, or blanco; or rose, rosado. The most widely used variety of tinto grape is tempranillo, which contributes the main flavors and aging potential. It’s mixed, usually, with garnacha tinta, graciano and mazuelo, used for seasoning and aromas. Try Something New Start with a varietal you like (though you’re not likely to see pinot noir; it’s too delicate) and look for blends that include that grape. You also can look for blends from regions you like. Find a good wine store and ask the experts there to point you to new blends and bottles for you to try.
Very approachable wines
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 15
BY ROBIN CAUDELL Press-Republican
PLATTSBURGH — Dames Discount Liquor & Wine rides the five-year trend of red blends and sweet whites in the wine industry. “Moscato wines are very popular, which are sweet whites,” said Matthew Whalen, customer service manager at Dames, located at 457 State Route 3 in Plattsburgh. “Red blends is another trend that maybe we didn’t think was going to last as long as it has, but it has become pretty prevalent. “So basically, there are more approachable reds. They are fruitier. They are blends of regular varietals like Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah and sometimes Pinot Noir.” DOMESTIC WINES
Dames Discount Liquor & Wine Customer Service Manager Matthew Whalen holds a bottle of red wine from local vineyard Vesco Ridge while posing in front of the local and New York state wine selection at the Plattsburgh store. KAYLA BREEN/STAFF PHOTO
products in the past, but the vast majority of its stock is New The blended grapes are not as The store also carries local wines York state wines from the Finger full-bodied as a regular varietal. such as a sweet red, a sweet Lakes — Seneca Lake, Ithaca, white and a Riesling from Vesco and Watkins Glen. “But they are soft, easy drinking, Ridge Vineyards in the Chazy very approachable wines for hamlet of Ingraham. VINES WIN somebody that is not looking for real, hearty robust wine,” Whalen Old Tyme Winery produces fruit He guesstimates wine comprises said. wine in Ellenburg Center. 60 percent of the store’s retail sales. Dame’s carries domestic wines “The base is actually maple from New York state, California, syrup,” Whalen said. “Certainly as far as alcohol Oregon and Washington. content, it’s lower for many “We have apple, blackberry, people,” Whalen said, referencing “As a rule, we still sell more of blueberry and raspberry. It’s studies that have been done that,” he said. basically like a fruit wine (in which) on the health aspects of wine, the maple acts as the sweetness. especially red. “Secondly, we, probably, sell Dames carried other local winery French or Italian wine.”
“It’s a good accompaniment for dinner. It’s good for a social situation. A lot of people like to have a glass of wine after work.” Classic cocktails — dry martini, Manhattan, Old-Fashioned, Mint Julep and Mojito — have made a comeback with 21st century twists. “But that’s a little bit different,” he said. “Wine is a lot easier to deal with, I think, than liquor. We sell a lot of liquor, too.” Continued on page 16
16 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019 Continued from page 15 MILLENNIAL INFLUENCE Red blends and sweeter whites remain popular. “Which isn’t a bad thing because it’s getting people who probably traditionally wouldn’t have drunk wine into wine because of the taste,” he said. “Moscato is kind of like a dessert wine. It’s sweet. If something like that didn’t exist that demographic, that 25- to 30-yearold demographic that drinks that or even people that are maybe 21, they would have that as a choice.” Sparkling wines also sell. “People buy that, but the sweet ones have definitely really helped the wine business,” Whalen said. Email Robin Caudell: email@example.com Twitter:@RobinCaudell
Wine doesn’t just come from grapes. Sake is a Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice in a process that looks more like brewing beer. Undiluted sake is potent, containing 18-20 percent alcohol, which is usually lowered by diluting it with water before bottling. It’s usually served with special ceremony. In Japanese, sake refers to many kinds of alcohol; what we call sake in the west is called nihonshu. Finding the Right Sake There are two types of sake: futu-shu, or ordinary sake, and Tokutei meisho-shu, or special, premium sakes. There are eight varieties of Tokutei meisho-shu and dozens of ways to ferment and finish sake. There is not traditionally a vintage of sake; it’s usually drunk the same year it’s brewed. Ask the experts at your local liquor store to point you in the right direction for your tastes and occasion. Serving Sake Sake can be served chilled, at room temperature or heated depending on the sake, the drinker and the season. Hot sake is typically served in winter and is usually low-quality or old sake. It’s traditional for a group of people to pour sake for each other (shaku), especially on formal occasions. Sake can also be used in cocktails. Sake should be drunk within hours or, at most, a day or so of opening. Cooking Sake Cooking sake uses rice that has been polished less and has a bolder, more ricey flavor. It also has salt added and often a lower alcohol content. Just like with grape wines, choose a quality sake for cooking — not just a cheap drinking sake — for the best flavor.
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Trends in Tableware
We’re all familiar with the regular, run-of-the-mill glass stemware for our wines. But today’s table offers lots more options. Keep reading for the latest trends in serving your best bottles. Stemless Stemless wine glasses have been around for a few years. Easy to store and dishwasher friendly, stemless glasses are a sleek, modern addition to your table. They are also called wine tumblers and are available in the usual shapes. Be aware, though, if you’re planning on a fancy vintage, that stemless glasses can actually change the way wine tastes. For some pours, holding the glass by the bowl, like you must do with a stemless glass, transfers your body heat to the wine, making it warmer and changing the taste. Insulated If stemless glasses are for casual wine drinking, insulated cups are for tailgates. The most popular models also are usually stemless, though some plastic stemmed versions are available. Look for a cup that’s easy to pick up and hold (no slick finishes) and that has a lid that’s comfortable to sip through. These tumblers also can be used for other drinks, such as cocktails or sodas, and make great gifts. Wine Decanters Decanting a wine just means taking it out of the bottle. Usually made of clear glass, but sometimes cut glass or crystal, wine decanters allow the wine to breathe and sediment to settle. Decanters come in all shapes and sizes, but the newest lines come in sexy swoops and swirls reminiscent of a snake.
18 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide â€˘ Friday, April 26, 2019
Take a Wine Trip
Grab some friends or your other half and hit the road for a fun journey through your favorite vines and vintages. Keep reading for some tips on how to plan and take the perfect wine trip. Continued on page 19
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide 19 Continued from page 18 Pick Your Poisons Decide what kinds of wines you like and what kinds you want to learn about to decide where you want to go. This may mean doing some sampling at home. Find a local liquor store with a knowledgeable wine staff to help point you toward some varietals that you may not have tried before. Pick Your Wineries When you’re planning your itinerary, mix up new and old wineries and include several alternates. Consider peak times (call if you need to) and leave plenty of time for travel, touring and browsing gift shops. An average day should have three to five stops, but if you’re going to a large winery or one you’re particularly excited about, leave more time. Have a Designated Driver If you’re traveling to an area where wines are a big industry, there may be services to do this for you. If not, pick a designated driver for either the whole trip or one for each day. Bring an Empty Box You’re sure to come across some bottles you just can’t live without. Make sure to bring a box with you to carry off your new goodies and have a plan for getting all those bottles safely home. Consider mailing them or shipping them home rather than trying to fly with them. Think Outside the Bottle If you want to do more than just tasting, consider a trip like a wine hike, wine cruise or another unique trip. You can also add a wine festival to your itinerary. Check local community calendars and event listings. Keep Your Budget in Mind Factor in flights, cars, winery fees, shipping costs for those bottles you have to have, passports, hotels, meals and any and everything you can think of. If your dream is a trip to France but you can’t afford it, ask your wine store experts to point you toward some domestic varieties you might also enjoy and enjoy visiting.
20 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019
Explore a nearby winery or vineyard
Those who enjoy sipping from a bottle of red, white or blush wine but find that a trip to the Bordeaux region of France simply isn’t in the cards right now needn’t give up their desires to visit a winery or vineyard. Wineries and fully functioning vineyards dot the landscape of North America. In fact, wine afficionados may be surprised to learn of a winery or vineyard is just a short drive from home. The American Winery Guide offers that visitors can find a winery and tasting room in just about every state. Colorado boasts 107, Texas has 296, and even Rhode Island, the smallest state, is home to five wineries. If the goal is to travel to northern regions of North America, Alaska has four wineries, and areas of Novia Scotia, British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec have famed wineries for Canadian oenophiles. Visiting a local winery or vineyard can be educational and fun. Wine tours can be entertaining because some allow visitors to choose their own tasting adventure depending on their level of interest in wine, their budget and what they would like to get out of the experience. Some wineries and vineyards offer extensive tours of the harvesting and production aspects of wine-making. Others will give visitors a chance to mingle among wine barrels and witness the fermentation process. Still, some wineries or vineyards may limit visitors to tasting rooms where they can sample select vintages. In regions such as Napa Valley where there are many wineries and vineyards in close proximity to one another, guided tours may be available, or wine aficionados can explore areas on their own. Thanks to the diverse North American climate, the types of grape varietals available in one state or province to the next will be quite different. For example, vineyards that thrive in New Jersey are subject to similar climates to those in many areas of France and Germany. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find varieties like Cabernet, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir available at facilities in New Jersey. According to viniculture experts from Professional Friends of Wine, grapevines are fairly adaptable plants that can thrive in a variety of soil types and temperatures. Soil, sun exposure, drainage, and topography all play roles in how the grapes will ripen and taste. The chance to support a local business is another reason to make a trip to a nearby winery or vineyard. These facilities often produce wine and sell it close to home. By supporting small business, consumers can contribute to the success and the diversity of offerings where they live. Wine tastings are an enjoyable recreational pursuit. Remember to drink responsibly, and join the mailing lists of nearby wineries and vineyards to learn more about tasting events and food pairings.
Photo courtesy of Amazing Grace Vineyard & Winery, Chazy, NY
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EAT ADK tempts the appetite
LAKE PLACID — A weeklong celebration of culinary exploration PRIX FIXE MENUS wouldn’t be complete without an introduction to local wines as well.
Restaurants, pubs and bistros taking part in the fourth-annual EAT A total of 45 dining establishments are taking part this year, and ADK — the Adirondacks’ restaurant week — offer multiple course locals and visitors alike “can look forward to sampling the best dishes menus at fixed prices. at discounted prices” in the Adirondack communities of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Wilmington and, new this year, Long Also on the menu are plenty of food-and-beverage-related events, Lake. such as “dinner and a movie” at the Palace Theatre and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in Lake Placid; live music at area bars, Prix fixe menus will come with pricing options of $15, $20 and $30. studios and restaurants; wine appreciation and culinary classes; and wine and whiskey tastings. This year’s event highlights both established restaurants as well as recently opened businesses. This year’s event, set for Thursday, May 2, through Thursday, May 9, has expanded to include more restaurants, culinary events and “The Adirondacks offer diverse, world class dining and accommodations special pricing at participating hotels, a press release said. that attract visitors all year long,” James McKenna, CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, said in the release. Some area hotels are offering special packages to those looking to extend their stay in the Adirondacks. Continued on page 22
GET A TASTE OF THE ADIRONDACKS DURING EAT ADK, MAY 2-9
22 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide • Friday, April 26, 2019 Continued from page 21 “The specials offered during EAT ADK will encourage locals to try new establishments and also attract out-of-region visitors who will stay at our hotels, shop in our stores and discover what makes the Adirondacks such a unique destination.” WONDERFUL CUISINE The opening event is slated for Saratoga Olive Oil in Lake Placid at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks. EAT ADK organizers and community leaders will give a brief presentation that evening. Throughout the evening of Saturday, May 4, a bus will pick up and drop off diners at the restaurants on the list.
visitors and locals are experiencing the wonderful cuisine in our Adirondack region,” said EAT ADK organizer Kelsey Torrance in the release.
“We are very excited that this popular event keeps growing and more
“The restaurants highlight the many culinary options available here.”
Break Out the Bubbly
Sparkling wines are infused with carbon dioxide, which makes them bubbly. Common types of sparkling wines are Champagne, which comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France; Italian asti and prosecco; and Spanish cava. They’re usually white, but there are red varietals, such as Brachetto, sparkling shiraz and Lambrusco. Here are some tips for serving and enjoying sparkling wines. Chill Out
White sparkling wines should be served chilled. Put the bottle in ice water for a half hour or in the fridge for three hours. Red bottles should also be chilled but then pulled out to warm up to 50 to 55 degrees. Never chill in the freezer. When opening the bottle, you don’t want the cork to fly across the room in dramatic fashion. Instead, loosen the cork slightly and let the pressure slowly release. The Pour Pour sparkling wines slowly and in small amounts, letting the bubbles settle before adding more wine to the glass. Pouring at an angle will help preserve the wine’s fizziness. It may take you two or three passes to fill a flute to just past half full. Don’t go much past half; the wine will warm up too much before it can be finished. Storage Sparkling wines don’t usually improve with age, so you should enjoy them as soon as you buy them. Opened bottles can be resealed with either a Champagne seal or a standard wine cork and stored at as low a temperature as possible.
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and Heart Health
We’ve all heard about the purported benefits of red wine for our health. While the potential benefits of red wine and consumption of other kinds of alcohol are no secret, the key is moderation. The Good Wine has long been known to have positive benefits for health, in large part thanks to its high concentrations of antioxidants that can protect cells and prevent coronary artery disease and heart attacks. According to the National Library of Medicine, studies have shown that adults who drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol may be less likely to develop heart disease than those who do not drink at all or are heavy drinkers. A particular antioxidant in red wine called resveratrol (found in grape skins) might help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and prevent blood clots. (It is worth noting that the Mayo Clinic also points out that other studies have not found the same benefits of resveratrol.) Previous studies have found benefits can be derived from moderate consumption of all kinds of alcohol, including increased
HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reduction of blood clot formation, prevention of artery damage and improved function of cells that line the blood vessels. The Bad The National Library of Medicine warns, however, that no one should start drinking to improve their heart health. “There is a fine line between healthy drinking and risky drinking,” Library of Medicine warns on its website. Men should limit their consumption of alcoholic drinks to one or two a day, and women to one. One drink is defined as 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof spirits and 1
ounce of 100-proof spirits. In addition, the National Library of Medicine points out that there are more effective and less risky ways to improve one’s heart health. They include controlling blood pressure and cholesterol; exercising and following a lowfat, healthy diet; not smoking; and maintaining an ideal weight. If you already have heart disease or heart failure, alcohol can cause those conditions to worsen. Talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol. The Ugly Drinking too much alcohol can have disastrous health effects, including increased risk
for diseases of the liver and pancreas, high blood pressure, some cancers, stroke, obesity and other maladies. In addition, heart disease is the leading cause of death in people who abuse alcohol, points out the National Library of Medicine. The Mayo Clinic cautions that some people shouldn’t drink at all, including pregnant women, anyone with a personal or strong family history of alcoholism, those with liver or pancreas disease associated with alcohol consumption, anyone with heart failure or a weak heart and people who take certain medications or a daily aspirin.
24 2019 Press-Republican Wine Guide â€¢ Friday, April 26, 2019
A special supplement to the Press-Republican, featuring stories on the North Country's local vineyards, wineries, and wine retailers.
Published on Apr 26, 2019
A special supplement to the Press-Republican, featuring stories on the North Country's local vineyards, wineries, and wine retailers.