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…

Hermann J. Wiemer 2011 Blanc de Noir

Hermann J. Wiemer and winemaker Fred Merwarth get a lot of attention for their rieslings — and rightly so. Those wines can be incredible. Some of the best in America. I’ll tell you what though, the rest of the portfolio is pretty outstanding too. I recently reviewed Merwarth’s 2013 Cabernet Franc which has become a favorite, but will never challenge the rieslings for supremacy at the winery. The sparkling wines though? They rival the rieslings in terms of quality. They are that good. In fact, this Hermann J. Wiemer 2011 Blanc de Noir ($39) is among the best domestic sparkling wines…

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard 2013 Josef Vineyard Riesling

It’s easy to get complacent when you taste a lot of Finger Lakes riesling — overall quality has risen to the point that even producers that historically fell below the median are now making wines I’m happy to drink. It’s almost to the point that one can take for granted that Finger Lakes riesling is going to deliver. Then you taste a wine like Hermann J. Wiemer 2013 Josef Vineyard Riesling ($39) and you’re reminded just how high the ceiling is for Finger Lakes riesling. The Josef Vineyard, located 10 miles north of the winery, is just south of the better-known Magdalena Vineyard.…

New York Cork Club: December 2015 Picks

The December 2015 wines for the New York Cork Club are shipping out to our members this week — so it’s time for me to tell you a bit about the picks. Because this will be the last shipment of the year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being a member. It’s been a fun year of picking and shipping great and interesting wines to you. I hope you enjoy drinking them as much as I’ve enjoying selecting them every month. This month, we’re doing something we’ve done before: pairing one of New York’s best-known producers with an up-and-comer…

New York Cork Club: September 2015 Selections

The September 2015 wines for the New York Cork Club will ship soon — thank goodness that the hot weather has started to subside. It’s shipping season! (If you missed our announcement about the rebirth of New York Cork Club, check it out here.) As we head into harvest season this fall, a lot of us start to drink a bit more red wine — but not heavy, oak-laden ones. With that in mind, we’re doing two reds this month, but both are bright and decided not oaky. Just what we like as the last of the summer’s tomatoes move through our…

Hermann J. Wiemer 2013 Cabernet Franc

Even though I’ve been writing wine reviews for many years now, I never stop asking myself about their real value, whether or not I’m approaching them in the right way or how I can improve my process. Looking out at the rest of the industry — I’m talking more about printed publications, who tend to be a bit more transparent with how they taste and review wines — there don’t seem to be any set rules. Some critics taste wine “blind” but not really — because they know the region the wines are made, so any bias they may have for…