Uncork the Forks: 6 reasons for North Forkers to visit the Finger Lakes

I’m working on several stories after my recent trip to the Finger Lakes — but in the meantime, I wanted to share my latest column for the Suffolk Times, which can be found online on northforker.com Over the past several years, my family has fallen head-over-heels in love with the Finger Lakes region of central New York. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country that offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets, fishing, boating, wine tasting, great food and farmer’s markets, a relaxed pace and plenty of relaxation. In some ways, it’s a lot like the North Fork — except it’s…

Heart & Hands Wine Company 2013 Patrician Verona Vineyard Riesling

When Tom and Susan Higgins set out to create Heart & Hands Wine Company, pinot noir was to be the focus — and it is. Tom is making some of the best pinot on the East Coast. At the same time, the riesling program has grown beyond what the couple expected (I tasted more than a half dozen bottlings on a recent visit) and offers outstanding quality as well. The fruit used to make Heart & Hands Wine Company 2013 Patrician Verona Vineyard Riesling ($28) was grown on the west side of Cayuga Lake on a site that consistently produces ripe, fruit-forward rieslings. That’s…

Thoughts on the Finger Lakes’ Sh!##iest Vintage Ever

“No reserve wines in 2009 due to shittiest vintage ever.” It was one of the greatest tweets I’ve ever read, because it came from a winery employee. The tweet is long since deleted, but that is close to a word-for-word recollection. How could I forget it? I admired it instantly. Wine and food writers are often sifting through spin, and this was unvarnished. That was the summer that wasn’t, as my wife calls it. Almost never sniffed 90 degrees, and spent most of July in the low-to-mid 70s. Ripening was slow, and when frost came in October, it was, for…

New York Cork Club: August 2015 Selections

The August 2015 wines for the New York Cork Club will ship once the weather cools a bit (the July wines will ship soon too I hope). In the meantime, I wanted to tell you a bit about them. (If you missed our announcement about the rebirth of New York Cork Club, check it out here.) For August, we’ll return to the “one red and one white” club shipment — with one classic grape from a well-known winery and one lesser-known grape from an under-appreciated winery included: Keuka Lake Vineyards 2014 Gently Dry Vignoles — Some look down on vignoles because it’s a hybrid grape…