Category Archives: Awards

Where (some of) your tax dollars are going

ALBANY — The recipients of grants from New York State’s “Open for Business” program have been announced. For the most part, local media around the state is concentrating on what money is being sent to its reading/viewing/listening areas, but a broader look better shows the scope of the grants.

Since I deal with drinks, I culled from the list the following grants for enterprises in that field.

One of the more interesting is three-quarters of a million dollars for a new brewery in Schoharie County. Not to be left out, nearby foreign-owned Brewery Ommegang is getting $140,000 to help it expand.

Herewith the excerpt list, using descriptions taken from the grant applications.

Cayuga County:

$4,022,845, Cayuga Marketing LLC, DDiMAI training. Existing association of dairy producers will create a new company and construct a 106,000 square foot milk and dairy ingredients processing facility. New products will displace foreign imports, create new export opportunities, and increase profitability.

Chautauqua County:

$200,000, Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, Grape Discovery Center final phase. The Center will educate visitors about the historic development of the region and the role grape growing played in the region’s cultural landscape and communities. The plan proposes 19 exhibit panels in the display room and 14 exhibit displays, free standing and wall mounted, for the reception/gift shop space, as well as exterior exhibits and an orientation pavilion.

Erie County:

$14,400, Buffalo Blends Inc., industry specific equipment training. Will provide on-the-job-training to 12 long-term unemployed workers in the operation of an agglomerator/instantizer required for processing hot cocoa mix.

Greene County:

$280,000, New York Spring Water. Assist in the expansion of NY Spring Water, creating 23 new jobs, 91% of which will be made available to low-to-moderate income individuals.

Madison County

$994,000, Owera Vineyards. Establishment of a new winery and community farm on 58 acres, including new construction, purchase of machinery and equipment, and site improvements to support wine production, tastings, farm and winery tours, and other events to promote regional tourism and agribusiness.

Niagara and Orleans counties:

$30,000, Niagara Wine Trail. Purchase and installation of signs on designated Niagara Wine Trail route. Project also includes marketing and training.

Otsego County:

$140,000, Brouwerij Belame Ltd. Brewery Ommegang. Brewery located in Cooperstown is in the early stages of a 6-year $16,000,000+ expansion of the current facilities. This expansion involves the use of multiple architects to design new buildings, expand the current brewing and beer packaging operation, as well as construct a new water and waste treatment facility. The expansion of the brewery will include a restaurant and an expanded store. These will add to the 30,000+ tourists that the brewery already draws annually. The restaurant will be serving local foods and promoting the local farmers. The current store sells local cheeses and condiments in addition to beer. The expanded store plans to provide a larger variety of locally produced products in addition to the beers produced on site.

Schoharie County:

$750,000, Cobleskill Brewery. Independently owned spin-off of Butternuts Beer and Ale, Inc. of Garrattsville will open a contract brewing manufacturing plant at the site to be acquired from Schoharie County. The site is the long vacant industrial development park in Cobleskill. The contract brewing company will open with a capacity of 25,000 barrels per year and expand within five years to 100,000 barrels. Excess space in the industrial park will be offered to local for-profit and not-for-profit entities until the brewery can assume full occupancy of this 460,000 square foot building.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Awards, Brewery


• Wine Spectator generous to NY wine lists

The annual list of Wine Spectator magazine awards for best restaurant wine lists in the nation is anything but an exclusive one.

Although the magazine is a major arbiter of what the wine scene in America will be, its three-category awards list goes on forever. In New York State, for example, nine establishments received Grand Award status, the top level; 81 received the awkwardly-named Best of Award of Excellence honors, and 190 more received the Award of Excellence. That’s 280 awards.

Nine restaurants achieved Grand Award status. They are:

New York City

  • 21 Club
  • Daniel
  • Del Posto
  • Gilt
  • Tribeca Grill
  • Veritas


  • Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua (Westchester County)
    Friends Lake Inn Chestertown (Washington County)

Long Island

  • The American Hotel, Sag Harbor

You can see the entire list of New York award winners here.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 15, 2011 in Awards, Wine


• W’chester spot NY’s best on top wine lists

A venerable Westchester County restaurant is the top New York restaurant named one of Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top 100 wine restaurants in the nation.

Crabtree’s Kittle House, located in a Chappaqua building dating to 1790, has a legendary wine cellar holding more than 60,000 bottles, and offers 5,500 selections to go with its internationally-influenced American cuisine. This is a repeat appearance on the list for Crabtree’s.

The magazine cites what it refers to as “destination bottles,” meaning the editors rate the trip worth making just for these offerings. At Crabtree’s, they are 25 vintages of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (Côtes de Nuits), 18 vintages of Domaine Jean-François Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne, and 12 vintages of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville).

Other Upstate entries on the list:

  • Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills. Destination bottles: Frank Cornelissen NV Magma Rosso 6 (Etna), Schäfer-Fröhlich 2002 Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese (Nahe), and Domaine A. Clape 1989 Cornas.

New York City entries on the list:

  • Adour, at the St. Regis Hotel, East 55th Street. Destination bottles: Château Signac 2007 Combe d’Enfer (Côtes du Rhône Villages),Château Certan de May 2001 Pomerol, Pisoni Vineyards 2007 Miura Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands).
  • SHO Shaun Hergatt, Wall Street. Destination bottles: Jean-Francoise Coche-Dury 2007 Corton- Charlemagne, Domaine de Terrebrune 1987 Bandol, Red Hook Winery 2008 Split Rock Cabernet Franc (New York).
  • Del Posto, 85 Tenth Avenue. Destination bottles: Terlano 1966 Pinot Blanco (Alto Adige), Giacomo Conterno 1978 Monfortino (Barolo), Tenuta San Guide 1985 Sassicaia (Tuscany).
  • Veritas, 43 East 20th Street. Destination bottles: Screaming Eagle 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville), Henri Jayer 1985 Cros Parantoux Premier Cru (Vosne-Romanée), Henri Bonneau 1978 Réserve des Célestins (Châteauneuf-du-Pape).
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Awards, Restaurant, Wine


• Eastern Wine Competition goes West

HEALDSBURG, CA — The annual International Eastern Wine Competition this year was held in the West. Go figure.

However, New York State wines did as well as ever in the event sponsored by Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine, with several “Best of Class” awards against a field of 1,100 wines.

The competition this year was conducted at Villa Chanticleer, a farming complex in California’s Russian River Valley that is part of the Santa Rosa Junior College, which trains many of California’s wine industry professionals. The site change, according to Jim Trezise of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, came about because “The New York wholesaler who received the competition wines all these years was unable to do so, for whatever reason, so this year alone a change in venue was required, and next year it will move back east.”

Trezise was among the judges, many of whom were from New York.

OK, that’s out of the way. Now, on to New Yorkers’ awards.

Double Gold/Best of Class

• Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Finger Lakes Pinot Blanc
• Hazlitt White Stag
• Hickory Hollow Liquid Wisdom
• Keuka Spring Vineyards 2010 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Lucas Vineyards 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling

Other Double Gold

• Coyote Moon 2009 Naked Chardonnay
• Dr. Konstantin Frank 2010 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Hosmer 2010 Cayuga Lake Riesling
• Keuka Spring Vineyards 2009 Seyval-Chardonnay
• Lime Berry Estate Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Thirsty Owl 2010 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling


• Coyote Moon 2010 New York State La Crescent
• Dr. Konstantin Frank 2009 Reserve Gewurztraminer
• Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Gewurtztraminer
• Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling
• Hosmer Sparkling Wine
• Thirsty Owl 2009 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Thousand Islands 2010 New York State Frontenac

Go here for the full rundown of medalists.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Wine


• Thirsty Owl tops ‘Golden Nose’ again

CANANDAIGUA, NY — The Thirsty Owl Wine Company won the Finger Lakes Resling Championship by a … well, AT the 5th Golden Nose competition, held at the New York Wine & Culinary Center here.

The honor was part of the consumer-driven event and was the second year in a row Thirsty Owl won the award, this time over 58 other entries. More than 200 wines representing more than 20 varieties from 34 Finger Lakes wineries were entered this year.

Thirsty Owl is located on the western side of Caygua Lake.

Awards are based on blind tastings by 22 consumer judges who were schooled in the fundamentals of wine judging prior to the event, assisted by eight Finger Lakes wine industry professionals. Panels of 4-5 judges determined initial awards, and “best of class” designations were decided. Double Gold honors indicate a unanimous vote of the panel. Gold honors denote a majority vote.

This year’s event was organized by Shannon Brock, NYWCF wine coordinator, and Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

The other awards:

Best of Class

  • Sparkling Wine — Goose Watch NV Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
  • Vinifera White — Sheldrake Point 2010 Gewurtztraminer
  • Vinifera Red — Wagner Vineyards 2007 Meritage
  • Dessert Wine — Anthony Road 2008 Riesling Trockenbeeren
  • Hybrid Grape Wine — Villa Bellangelo 2010 Moscato
  • Native Grape Wine — Americana Vineyards NV Crystal Lake

Double Gold Medals

  • Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Riesling Trockenbeeren
  • Dr. Konstantin Frank 2010 Dry Riesling
  • Goose Watch Winery NV Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
  • Goose Watch Winery NV Classic Cream Sherry
  • Knapp Winery 2010 Vignoles
  • Lucas Vineyards 2009 Semi-dry Riesling
  • Penguin Bay Winery 2010 Semi-Sweet Riesling
  • Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2010 Gewurztraminer
  • Swedish Hill Winery 2010 Dry Riesling
  • Swedish Hill Winery NV Doobie Blues
  • Thirsty Owl Wine Co. 2010 Diamond
  • Villa Bellangelo 2010 Semi-Sparkling Moscato

    Gold Medals

    • Americana Vineyards NV Crystal Lake
    • Billsboro Winery 2010 Pinot Gris
    • Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Iced Vidal Blanc
    • Goose Watch Winery 2010 Melody
    • Lakewood Vineyards 2009 Lemberger
    • Lime Berry Winery NV Riesling
    • Lucas Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc
    • Red Newt Cellars 2009 “Circle” Label Riesling
    • Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2009 Dry Riesling
    • Swedish Hill Winery NV Blue Waters Riesling
    • Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Reserve Chardonnay
    • Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Valvin Muscat
    • Swedish Hill Winery NV Viking Red
    • Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2010 Riesling
    • Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2010 Vidal Blanc
    • Ventosa Vineyards NV Vino Rosso
    • Wagner Vineyards 2008 Dry Riesling
    • Wagner Vineyards 2007 Meritage
    • Wagner Vineyards 2008 Vidal Blanc Ice

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    1 Comment

    Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Finger Lakes, Wine, Wineries


    • Newcomers top Esquire’s best bars list

    Esquire magazine’s 6th annual Best Bars In America list is anything but a salute to tradition. This year, it consists of bars that, for the most part, are less than two years old. And, only one is in New York.

    The just-released list was curated by David Wondrich, the magazine’s drinks writer.

    Wondrich, incidentally, has a chapter in my upcoming whiskey anthology “Barrels and Drams,” to be released in September by Sterling Publishing.

    The list:

    • The Thirsty Crow, Los Angeles
    • Painkiller, New York City
    • Maison Premiere, Brooklyn
    • Spirit of 77, Portland, Oregon
    • Comstock Saloon, San Francisco
    • Cure, New Orleans
    • Bar Congress, Austin, Texas
    • The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
    • The bar at Sra. Martinez, Miami
    • The Drawing Room, Chicago
    • The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Philadelphia

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Awards, Bar/Tavern/Lounge


    • Coyote Moon earns right to howl

    CLAYTON, NY — Coyote Moon Vineyards is not among the most recognized wine labels in New York, but it is making a name for itself on the West Coast.

    Winemaker/co-owner Phil Randazzo (near right) had entries took a trio of gold medals in the recent “Consumer Wine Awards” competition held in Lodi, CA, with his LaCrescent, River Run Rose and unoaked Naked Chardonnay doing the trick.

    And, proving you have to catch the consumer’s eye before you capture their palate, house artist/co-owner Mary Randazzo (right) spearheaded the Thousand Islands company’s entry that won “Best Label Series” in the recent Pacific Rim Competition in which its wines also took 10 medals. Rich Clarke of Clarke Graphics and Tim Tice of Label World also worked on the project for the Rochester area entry.

    You can see the list of awards Coyote Moon has won over the past few years by going here.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.


    • NY winemakers strike gold in California

    HEALDSBURG, CA — New York State entries, all of them from Upstate, took 16 gold medals in the recent 2011 Grand Harvest Awards competition held here.

    The event, sponsored by Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, is the only wine judging event in North America that is based on terroir — a group of vineyards or even vines from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making style, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine.

    In other competitions, this factor is not taken into consideration, according to the V&WM organizers. At the Grand Harvest, judges taste wines with other wines of the same appellation. Thus, with cross-regional competition removed, the inherent quality of wines can be seen without the influences that sometimes eclipse even a wine of very high quality.

    Gold medal New York wines, by terroir:

    Cayuga Lake (AVA)

    Treleaven, King Ferry Winery, 2008 Late Harvest Riesling, $29.99

    Finger Lakes (AVA)

    Anthony Road Wine Company, 2008 Tierce Riesling, $30
    Belhurst Estate Winery, 2009 Dry Riesling, $18.95
    Belhurst Estate Winery, 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling, $17.95
    Hunt Country Vineyard, Hunt Country Vineyards LLC, NV Classic Red, $10
    Lucas Vineyards, 2009 Dry Riesling, $13.99
    Thirsty Owl, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, 2009 Dry Riesling, $14.95
    Thirsty Owl, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, 2009 Riesling, $14.95
    Thirsty Owl, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, 2009 Diamond, $9.95
    Thirsty Owl, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, 2009 Vidal Blanc, $11.95
    Ventosa Vineyards, 2009 Riesling, $17

    Lake Erie (AVA)

    Liberty Vineyards & Winery, Liberty Vineyards, LLC, 2010 Dry Riesling, $14.99
    Liberty Vineyards & Winery, Liberty Vineyards, LLC, NV Cat Noir, $8.99
    Liberty Vineyards & Winery, Liberty Vineyards, LLC, NV Diamond, $9.99
    Liberty Vineyards & Winery, Liberty Vineyards, LLC, 2009 Traminette, $12.99

    New York (state appellation)

    Winery of Ellicottville, NV Vidal Blanc, $12

    Other New York medalists, as an overall group, after the jump:
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Wine


    • NYC bartender shatters Guinness mark

    NEW YORK — There must be a limit to the number of cocktails a bartender can sling together in an hour, but as each year goes by a seemingly unsurpassable figure gets surpassed.

    The latest claim on the Guinness Book of World Records standard for such things by an individual eclipsed it this week by 381.

    Sheldon Wiley, who tends bar at Riff Raff’s on 26th and Park, made 1,043 cocktails in one hour during an event at the Empire Room in the Empire State Building. He shattered the record of 662 made by Chris Raph.

    According to Guinness, the world record for the most cocktails made in one hour by a team is 1,541, achieved by an eight-man team from the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild.

    Under Guinness records, each cocktail is required to have a minimum of four ingredients, no cocktail may be repeated, and each must be prepared individually. This particular event was co-sponsored by 360 Vodka, a Missouri organic vodka distiller.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Awards, Bar/Tavern/Lounge


    • 600 hopefuls in ‘Ultimate Spirits Challenge’

    NEW YORK — More than 600 entries were in the field for the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2011, held here in the Big Apple.

    This was the second year for the event, a fact that in itself belies its name. If something is truly “ultimate,” it cannot be repeated or topped. Oh well, the language is falling apart, so why not drink to it.

    Entries were scrutinized by a diverse panel of 37 judges earlier this month, however the official results were not released until this week.

    Here are the final results:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Awards, Competition, NYC


    • 4-gold days for pair of NYS wineries

    HEALDSBURG, CA — Rieslings continue to be the star of New York State wines, as results in competition after competition keep proving.

    The latest came at this week’s Grand Harvest Awards, held at Villa Chanticleer in this Sonoma County wine region. New York wines took 16 Gold medals, including 9 from Riesling entries, among its 62-medal haul in the judging.

    Two wineries — Liberty Vineyards & Winery in the Lake Erie region, and Thirsty Owl from the Finger Lakes — each won four Golds with a range of different wines. Liberty’s Golds were for its 2010 Dry Riesling, Cat Noir, Diamond and 2009 Traminette. Thirsty Owl’s Golds were for its 2009 Dry Riesling, 2009 Riesling, 2009 Diamond and 2009 Vidal Blanc.

    Other New York Golds:

    • Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Tierce Riesling, a collaborative wine made by the winemakers from that winery along with Fox Run Vineyards and Red Newt Cellars

    • Belhurst Estate Winery 2009 Dry Riesling and 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling

    • Hunt Country Vineyards Classic Red

    • King Ferry (Treleaven) 2008 Late Harvest Riesling

    • Lucas Vineyards 2009 Dry Riesling

    • Ventosa Vineyards 2009 Riesling

    • Winery of Ellicottville Vidal Blanc

    Grand Harvest is focused on “terroir” and conceived by Bill Moffett and Hope Merletti, former owners of the Vineyard & Winery Management company now owned and run by Rob Merletti. The concept, in addition to evaluating wines and awarding the best, is to try identifying common aroma and taste characteristics which may be reflective of the climate and soil in a particular region. When a sufficient number of entries from a region warrants it, they’re grouped into “terroir” flights which include a range of varietals, styles, and colors, and the judges are asked to cite common characteristics. Sometimes it’s simple, sometimes not, but it always stimulates discussion and the excitement of learning the region after guessing what it is.

    Complete results of the competition are expected to be posted online in the next few days.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Wine, Wineries


    • Saratoga newcomer making its wine rep

    CORINTH, NY — The boutique northern Saratoga County operation that calls itself “the winery in the woods” is gaining a place in the sun.

    Ledge Rock Hill Winery released its first commercial vintage just last year. In its brief lifespan, owners Gary and Debra Akrop have been picking up some nice honors here and there, but their latest is making them even more of a force to be reckoned with.

    Their 2009 Marquette was given a Double Gold (unanimous award by the judges) and moved into the Sweepstakes round in last week’s prestigious Florida State Fair Wine & Grape Competition in Tampa. (Details of how New York entries did overall are here.)

    Gary calls the Marquette “a Minnesota” variety wine,” not surprising since he works with cool-climate grapes. The Marquette hybrid was developed at the University of Minnesota’s Agricultural Experiment Station. Gary earned a silver medal with his 2008 Marquette in the amatauer winemaker category of the Indy International Wine Competition in 2009, a nice honor before turning pro.

    At Ledge Rock, fruit harvested from its vineyard as well as fruit purchased from several vineyards is used in production of the wines.

    “Our fermentations take place in food-grade macro-bins or stainless steel tanks under controlled conditions,” Gary explains. “We hand tool punch down during fermentation and press our reds as gently as possible. All of our transfers are done with the least amount of turbulence to preserve the freshness of our wines. Our red wines are made from grapes we crush at our winery. We age our red wines in American and/or French
    oak barrels. … Our white wines are fermented at cool temperatures and aged in stainless steel to bring the true varietal character of the grape forward. “

    Ledge Rock is located at 41 Stewart Dam Road, Corinth. The interior of the production facility still is being renovated and the tasting room (seen above) is closed from January through March. Phone: (518) 654-5467.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Adirondacks, Awards, Upstate, Wineries


    • NYS wines shine in Florida test

    New York State wines collected 150 medals — 14 of them Double Gold — in the Florida State Fair International Wine & Grape Competition in Tampa this week.

    Eight of the Double Golds also were included in the final Sweepstakes round (noted by as asterisk). Leading the way were Lakewood Vineyards and Lucas Vineyards. Overall, the competition included more than 1,000 entries from 34 states and nine foreign countries.

    Lakewood, on Seneca Lake, received Double Golds for its 2009 Riesling*, 2009 Dry Riesling* and 2009 Vignoles. It also won a Gold for its 2009 Chardonnay, along with a Silver and three Bronze medals.

    Lucas, on Cayuga Lake, received Double Golds for 30th Anniversary Sparkling Wine*, Miss Behavin, and 2009 Cayuga White, as well as seven Silver and six Bronze medals.

    Other Double Gold wines from New York that made it into the Sweepstakes round were Heron Hill Winery 2008 Riesling Ingle Vineyard, Knapp Winery 2009 Vignoles (Estate Grown, Cayuga Lake), Ledge Rock Hill Winery 2009 Marquette (a new winery with a “Minnesota” variety wine), Liberty Vineyards Diamond, and Thousand Islands Winery 2010 Frontenac (another “Minnesota” variety).

    New York Other Double Golds (non-Sweepstakes):

    Casa Larga Vineyards 2007 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
    Chateau Frank Celebre Rose Methode Champenoise
    Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards White Stag

    New York Gold medalists:

    Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren Martini Reinhardt Selection
    Belhurst Estate Winery Isabella Sparkling
    Casa Larga Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine and 2009 Riesling
    Coyote Moon Vineyards River Run
    Dr. Frank 2008 Riesling Late Harvest
    Glenora Wine Cellars 2009 Barrel Fermented Pinot Blanc and Cayuga White
    Goose Watch Winery Pinot Noir Brut Rose and 2009 Diamond
    Hazlitt 1852 Brambleberry
    Heron Hill Winery 2009 Semi-Sweet Riesling
    Hunt Country Vineyards 2009 Cayuga White Estate Bottled
    Keuka Spring Vineyards Clara’s Red, Crooked Lake White, and 2009 Millers Cove Red
    Knapp Winery Superstition Concord
    Swedish Hill Winery Blue Waters Chardonnay and 2009 Dry Riesling
    Thousand Islands Winery Raspberry Isle
    Torrey Ridge Winery Scarlet Red, Cousin Emmy Lou, and Niagara

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on February 12, 2011 in Awards, Winemaker


    • Nightclub & Bar Awards, and one smarmy judge

    The results are in from the judges who sifted through more than 300 nominees for this year’s Nightclub & Bar Awards from the magazine of the same name.

    “This year’s winners are a diverse group, reflecting the range of concepts and innovation on today’s nightlife scene,” says Donna Hood Crecca, publisher and editorial director of Nightclub & Bar. “Each of these winners combines innovation with great execution, which is the secret to success, especially in the recent challenging economy. These bars and clubs won the respect of our judges and of the entire industry, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in Las Vegas.”

    The latter was a reference to the March 7 awards event at at Caesars Palace during the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas.

    The major award winners, two of which are located in NYC (you can find more here):

    • Mega-club of the Year: The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City
    • New Club of the Year: FLUXX, San Diego
    • Nightclub of the Year: Webster Hall, New York
    • Ongoing Promotion/Party/Event of the Year: Fashion Industry Nights at Baja Sharkeez, Hermosa Beach, CA.
    • Resident DJ of the Year: Chris Garcia at Playhouse, Los Angeles
    • Single Promotion/Party/Event of the Year: Moulin Rouge Anniversary Party at Kiss & Fly, Austin, TX
    • Ultralounge of the Year: SL, New York

    I was particularly struck by the blog comment from one of the judges, a Steve Lewis of BlackBook. He writes (I have bold-faced some words for emphasis):

    “It should be noted that SL picked up the award for ‘Ultralounge of the Year.’ A couple of weeks ago, I offered up my top eleven relevant joints around town but I did not list SL, despite numerous protests from readers. My reasoning was this: For what SL offers, venues like Avenue, Provocateur and 1Oak are better. I have not been to SL more than a few times, as I have found the crowd to be very white, very 20-something, and very straight. None of those three things are acceptable to me when I go out. I want a mixed crowd. I guess that for the 20-something, Caucasian, hetero set it is heaven, and so be it, as a panel of my peers has pronounced it victorious.”

    So, Lewis finds it “unacceptable” to socialize with too many white, straight 20somethings. What some might describe as the majority of the population in the U.S. Nice case of reverse snobbism — or worse.

    Oh, by the way, take a look at this video of Mary J. Blige at SL and, if you have nothing else to do, count the various ethnicities.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on February 7, 2011 in Awards, Bar/Tavern/Lounge


    • NYers do well in Winemaker Challenge

    Six New York State wineries — five of them from the Finger Lakes — earned medals in the just-completed Winemaker Challenge international competition in San Diego.

    The best of that bunch was Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars with a Platinum, two Golds and a Silver medal.

    Here is the complete list of New York medals:

    • Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars

    Gold 2009 Gewurztraminer, Reserve Finger Lakes $25
    Gold 2009 Gruner Veltliner Finger Lakes $20
    Platinum 2008 Rkatsiteli Finger Lakes $18
    Silver 2009 Riesling Semi Dry Finger Lakes $15

    • Chateau Frank

    Silver 2006 Blanc De Blancs Finger Lakes $30
    Silver NV Celebre Rosè New York $21

    • Goose Watch Winery

    Silver 2007 Chambourcin Finger Lakes $13
    Gold NV Golden Spumante Finger Lakes $13
    Gold NV Pinot Brut Rosè Finger Lakes $18
    Silver 2009 Diamond Finger Lakes $10.00
    Silver 2009 Traminette Finger Lakes $13

    • Red Tail Ridge

    Silver 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling, RTR Vineyard Finger Lakes $16

    • Swedish Hill Vineyard

    Silver 2007 Optimus Finger Lakes $22
    Silver NV Viking Red New York $9
    Silver 2003 Brut Finger Lakes $23
    Gold NV Blanc de Blanc Finger Lakes $15
    Silver NV Naturel Finger Lakes $18
    Gold 2009 Dry Riesling Finger Lakes $16

    • Wolffer Estate

    Gold 2008 Diosa Late Harvest Chardonnay The Hamptons, Long Island $37

    Here is Dr. Frank’s rundown on the 2008 Rkatsiteli that took the Platinum:

    “The grapes were picked mid-October after a long cool ripening season. The grapes were crushed, pressed and the juice was cold settled. The juice fermented in stainless steel and the fermentation was stopped after four weeks with a small amount of natural sugar remaining. The wine was racked, filtered, cold stabilized and adjusted for bottling. The Rkatsiteli shows its characteristic fruity complexity resulting from early bottling. Along with the intense fruit are the typical spicy notes as well as pineapple and mango notes. The wine is presented in a dry version with the crisp acidity, the residual sugar and the tremendous fruit providing a very pleasant balance. “

    The wine sells for a suggested retail price of $17.99. It has an alcohol content of 11.14%, acidity of 0.68g/100ml, a pH level of 3.38, and sugar content of 0.76g/l.

    Curious how your non-New York favorites fared? Go here for the full list of awards.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Awards, Wine


    • Rhône Valley named world’s top wine region

    Not that it needed another accolade to burnish its centuries-old reputation, but the Rhône Valley of southeastern France has been named “2010 Wine Region of the Year,” part of the annual Wine Star Awards.

    According to the editors of The Wine Enthusiast Magazine, who made the selection, the Rhône Valley’s excellent vintages and quality work made it the first French region to be so honored in the history of Wine Star Awards.

    New Yorkers dotted the awards list as well. In the category of “American Winery of the Year,” the Finger Lakes operation Hermann J. Weimer finished second; the New York City company Sherry-Lehmann finished second in the “Retailer of the Year” niche; Tom Colicchio was named “Restaurateur of the Year” with Danny Meyer third.

    “When we considered its recent string of top vintages and growing environmental stewardship, it emerged as a clear favorite choice … ,” said Joe Czerwinski, the magazine’s senior editor and tasting director, said of the Rhône award.

    The valley, located along the Rhône River between Lyon and Avignon, is known for crafting one of the world’s most diverse collection. It has more than 6,000 vineyards and produces about 400 million bottles of wine every year, reaching out to approximately 150 countries, as per 2009 figures. Currently, the U.S. is the second largest export market for Rhône Valley wines.

    The full list of Wine Star Awards:

    Wine Region of the Year

    Rhône Valley (France)
    Ribera Del Duero (Spain)
    Russian River Valley (California)
    Prosecco (Italy)
    Willamette Valley (Oregon)

    American Winery of the Year

    Barefoot (Modesto, CA)
    Hermann J. Weimer (Finger Lakes, NY)
    J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines (San Jose, CA)
    Pacific Rim (Columbia Valley, WA)
    Shafer Vineyards (Napa Valley, CA)

    Winemaker of the Year

    Frederic Bonnaffous and Guillaume Pouthier, Dourthe (France)
    Bob Cabral, Williams Selyem (California)
    Genevieve Janssens, Robert Mondavi Winery (California)
    Zelma Long, Vilafonte, (South Africa)
    Phillipe Melka, Melka Wines (California)

    European Winery of the Year

    Gérard Bertrand (France)
    Louis Latour (France)
    Mastroberardino (Italy)
    Sogrape (Portugal)
    Viña Sastre (Spain)

    New World Winery of the Year

    Achaval-Ferrer (Argentina)
    Bodega Catena Zapata (Argentina)
    Craggy Range (New Zeland)
    DGB (South Africa)
    Viña San Pedro (Chile)

    Distiller of the Year

    Beefeater Gin
    Cooper Spirits (St-Germain)
    Hangar One
    Jack Daniel’s
    Milagro Tequila

    Importer of the Year

    Aveníu Brands
    Fine Estates From Spain
    Kermit Lynch
    Preiss Imports
    TGIC Importers

    • Retailer of the Year

    Bounty Hunter (Napa Valley)
    Sherry-Lehmann (New York)
    Stew Leonard’s (NY, NJ, CT)
    Trader Joe’s (nationwide)
    Vino Volo (airports nationwide)

    Innovator of the Year

    Hall Winery (California)
    Alain Juppé (France)
    Libera Terra (Sicily)
    Murphy-Goode (California)
    The New Zealand Wine Industry

    Restaurateur of the Year

    Tom Colicchio (New York)
    Tyler Florence (California)
    Danny Meyer (New York)
    Michael Mina (California and nationwide)
    Gordon Ramsay (worldwide)

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Awards, Wine


    • Swedish Hill wins 2 ‘bests’ in SF

    CLOVERDALE, CA — The monumental, week-long task of judging more than 5,000 different wines has been completed, and the five sweepstakes winners — as well as dozens of other medalists — have been selected in the 8th annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

    The event, which for all eight years has held the title of “Largest Competition of American Wines in the World” racked up 4,913 entries last year and topped it this year with 5,050 from 23 states.

    Judging was conducted at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Sonoma County. Wines were awarded as bronze, silver, gold, and double gold (unanimous gold by the judges). In addition, there were “Best of Class” awards and the prestigious Sweepstake Awards. New York State entries took a range of major awards in a variety of categories, led by Swedish Hill Winery’s two “Best of Class” awards.

    The major sweepstakes awards, by category:

    Sparkling: 2006 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Brut Rosé ($42)

    White: NV St. Clair New Mexico Gewurztraminer ($11)

    Pink: 2010 Barnard Griffin Columbia Valley Rosé of Sangiovese ($12)

    Red: Tie between 2008 Thacher Triumvirate Paso Robles Zinfandel ($36) and 2008 Ecluse Wines Lock Vineyard Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($32)

    Dessert: 2009 Alapay Cellars Late Harvest Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc ($30)

    The New York State major winners, by medal category:

    Best of Class

    Sparkling Sweet: Swedish Hill Winery NV Spumante Blush ($12)

    White Hybrid: Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Valvin Muscat ($11.99)

    Double Gold

    Sparkling Sweet: Goose Watch Winery NVV Finger Lakes Golden Spumante ($12)

    Sparkling Dry: Sparkling Pointe 2001 North Fork Brut Seduction ($50)

    Fruit Wine: Montezuma Winery NV Finger Lakes Cranberry Bog ($12.49)

    Red Dessert – RS > 4.0 Double Gold: Casa Larga Vineyards 2008 Finger Lakes Ice Wine Cabernet Franc ($74.99)


    Gewurtztraminer: Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes 2009 Reserve ($24.99); Keuka Springs Vineyard 2009 Finger Lakes ($16.99)

    Riesling RS < 1.49: Casa Larga Vineyards 2009 Finger Lakes ($10.99), Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2008 Finger Lakes Homestead ($18), Keuka Lake Vineyards 2009 Finger Lakes Falling Man Vineyard ($30)

    Viognier Up to $19.99: Goose Watch Winery 2008 Finger Lakes ($18)

    All Other White Varietals and Blends: Coyote Moon Vineyards 2009 Finger Lakes Coyote Moon Vineyards River Time ($13.95)

    White Blush: Coyote Moon Vineyards NV Finger Lakes Coyote Moon Vineyards River Run ($13.95)

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Wine


    • Wine Spectator list ignores NY’s stars

    Photo by Bill Dowd

    You may know that the Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007 ($67) was named No. 1 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines list for 2010, but did you know that just a single New York State wine made the list despite numerous success in international competition this year? Wassup?

    While it was nice to see Hermann J. Wiemer’s Riesling Finger Lakes Dry Reserve 2008 ($23) get the No. 97 position, I think a few other possibilities were severely slighted. Here are a few examples of success elsewhere that didn’t translate into respect from Wine Spectator, excerpted from some of my earlier postings this year. In particular, I endorse Belhurst Winery’s Dry Riesling.

    • Belhurst Winery won “Best of Show/Wine of the Year” honors for its 2009 Riesling over 2,600 other wines from around the world at the 2010 Indy International Wine Competition held at Purdue University. Belhurst also won “Best White Wine” honors at the Long Beach Grand Cru in California two weeks earlier. And, the same wine also earned Double Gold against an international field in June’s San Francisco International Wine Competition, a Gold medal in May in the 23rd annual Tasters Guild International Wine Competition in Grand Rapids, MI, and “Gold/Best in Class” at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, CA, in April.

    • A Finger Lakes wine that already had been crowned as the state’s best wine in the New York Wine & Food Classic in August, heaped on another honor. Sheldrake Point’s 2008 Late Harvest Riesling was named “Best Sweet Riesling In the World” at the 11th Canberra International Riesling Challenge, regarded as one of the world’s premier wine competitions. En route to the honor, it also was named “Best American Riesling” in the competition.

    • Chateau LaFayette Reneau’s 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling and Merritt Estate’s Raspberry Truffle each won double gold (unanimous votes) in the Tasters Guild Consumers Wine Judging in Washington, DC. The aforementioned Belhurst took four golds in the same event, for its Winery’s 2009 Dry Riesling, 2008 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling and Carrie Blush.

    • Goose Watch Winery racked up a trio of major awards in the 2010 New York State Fair Commercial Wine Competition in Syracuse, winning “best of category” honors for its Pinot Noir Brut Rosé NV (sparkling), Cabernet Franc Rosé 2008 (rosé/blush) and its Classic Cream Sherry NV (fortified).

    • Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery’s 2009 New York Riesling won “Best White Wine” in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, topping an international field.

    • Dr. Konstantin Frank took four major medals in the annual International Eastern Wine Competition in Watkins Glen. Its 2008 Riesling Bunch Select Late Harvest took top honors in four categories — Best of Varietal and Best Dessert Wine, plus Best Sweet Riesling and the overall Riesling Championship, the latter two in a subsidiary Riesling competition.

    With such sterling examples of finely crafted, highly lauded wines, the Wine Spectator judges might consider broadening their world.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Awards, Wine


    • 2 Seneca Lake wineries among world’s top 100

    Wine & Spirits editor Joshua Greene (left) and Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV preview five wines from the W&S Top 100.

    Two New York State operations have been included in Wine & Spirits magazine’s latest list of “100 Top Wineries.” Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars and Hermann J. Wiemer, both located on Seneca Lake, were selected by the editors from among all the world’s commercial wineries. In total, 37 American wineries made the list.

    Lamoreaux, which is located in Lodi on Seneca Lake, this year marked its 20th anniversary. It began handcrafting sparkling wines using the Methode Champenoise in 1994. Its first such product, the 1990 Brut, won five gold medals and was named the International Wine Center’s “Best Bet in Sparkling Wine” in 1994. The bulk of its sparkling wines are made from Chardonnay grapes, which come predominantly from its New Passmore Vineyard.

    According to owner Mark Wagner, “The estate vineyard, located closest to the winery, is comprised of our Clone 4 vines that yield fruit with a higher natural acid content and lower sugars, a profile that is ideal for making sparkling wine. Once in the winery, each of the lots is fermented separately, then bottled, spending at least three years en tirage on the yeast lees [sediment that occurs during and after fermentation] before being hand riddled and disgorged.”

    Lamoreaux Landing typically alternates between making Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay) and Brut (typically 70% Chardonnay/30% Pinot Noir), but also occasionally produces Blanc de Noir (100% Pinot Noir).

    The Wagner family has been in the grape business for four generations. Since the 1940s, they have produced grapes for such large-scale wine producers as Taylor and Widmer. Mark Wagner took the reins in 1978 and re-targeted the business to cultivate premium vitis vinifera grapes to supply the new wineries that began popping up as a result of the state’s Farm Winery Act passed in 1976.

    The name Lamoreaux Landing the name of a 19th Century steamboat landing on Seneca Lake. The complex’s main building is a large Greek Revival style. It was opened on August 30, 1992. The estate controls more than 100 acres of planted vineyards. They are divided into more than 20 different vineyard blocks to pinpoint yields for the cool-climate, estate-bottled varietals. Riesling and Chardonnay are the most prevalent, but Lamoreaux also manages blocks of Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    The winery, located at 9224 Route 414, is open for tastings year-round, although tours are by appointment only. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: (617) 582-6011.

    Hermann J. Wiemer, a native of Bernkastel, Germany, emigrated to the Finger Lakes in the 1960s. He came from a family that had been making wine in the Mosel Valley for more than 300 years. He located in Dundee, on the western shore of Seneca Lake after purchasing 80 acres. Wiemer’s first Riesling and Chardonnay vintages won Gold in New York competitions. Over the past 30 years, his consistency and quality have earned a reputation as one of the nation’s top white wine producers and a leader in Riesling.

    His winery is located at 3962 Route 14. The retail shop and tasting room is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, with all hours subject to change January through March. Phone: (800) 371-7971 or (607) 243-7971.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Awards, Finger Lakes


    • Adirondack wins value-wine medals

    LAKE GEORGE, NY — The fledgling Adirondack Winery, which opened for business just 2½ years ago, is beginning to make some noise. Six of its wines earned medals at the recent 2010 World Value Wine Challenge held by the Beverage Tasting Institute.

    The event is for wines priced at $20 or less. Sasha Pardy, president of the winery, notes, “Adirondack Winery is pleased to provide its customers not only with great wines, but good value, as the majority of its 35+ wine types are priced under $20.”

    Judges evaluating thousands of entries awarded Silver Medals to Adirondack Winery’s Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Red Coat Reserve Merlot, Gewurztraminer and Vibrant Viognier, giving the wines “Highly Recommended” status. They also named Adirondack’s Gewurztraminer a “Best Buy” for being a wine offering “uncommon value” in its category. Adirondack’s Blushing Trees White Zinfandel was awarded a Bronze Medal for being “Recommended” by the judges.

    The Pinot Noir and Red Coat Reserve Merlot now hold two Silver Medals each. The Pinot Noir won a Silver at the 2009 International Eastern Wine Competition and the Red Coat won a Silver at the 2010 INDY International Wine Competition. Not bad for a micro-winery that only began entering wine competitions in 2009.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Adirondacks, Awards, Upstate, Wine, Wineries


    • Sheldrake Point takes a world Riesling title in Australia

    CANBERRA, Australia — A Finger Lakes wine that already has been crowned as the state’s best wine in the New York Wine & Food Classic in August, has heaped on another honor.

    Sheldrake Point’s 2008 Late Harvest Riesling has been named “Best Sweet Riesling In the World” at the 11th Canberra International Riesling Challenge, regarded as one of the world’s premier wine competitions. En route to the honor, it also was named “Best American Riesling” in the competition.

    This is an international step up Sheldrake. Its 2004 (January) Riesling Ice Wine was awarded “Best North American Riesling” at the 2005 competition here. Sheldrake also has earned “Winery of the Year” honors at the New York Wine & Food Classic for two consecutive years. It also was named “Winery of the Year” by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

    The other trophies in the Canberra event:

    Best Riesling in the World – Paulett’s Aged Release Polish Hill Riesling 2005, Australia
    Best Riesling in Australia – Paulett’s Aged Release Polish Hill Riesling 2005
    Best Dry Riesling in the World – Paulett’s Aged Release Polish Hill Riesling 2005
    Best Current Vintage Australia – Gilbert’s Mt Barker Riesling 2010
    Best Australian Museum Class – Paulett’s Aged Release Polish Hill Riesling 2005
    Best Riesling from New Zealand – Lawson’s Dry Hills Riesling 2008
    Best European Riesling – Peter & Peter Merler Stephansberg Riesling Spatlese 2009
    Best South African Riesling – Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest 2009
    Best from the Canberra District – Helm Premium Riesling 2009
    Canberra District Winemakers Prize – Helm Wines
    Best Riesling from Tasmania – Kate Hill Riesling 2010

    Sheldrake’s other medals at the New York competition included:

    Double Gold:
    • 2008 Gewürztraminer
    • 2008 Late Harvest Riesling

    • 2007 Reserve Riesling
    • 2009 Dry Riesling

    • 2008 Riesling
    • 2009 Luckystone White
    • 2008 Cabernet Franc
    • 2008 Riesling Ice Wine

    • 2008 Waterfall Chardonnay
    • 2008 Pinot Gris

    Sheldrake is located on the Cayuga Lake shore. The site was operated as an orchard and dairy farm from 1850 until the mid 1980s. The current operation was founded in 1997. It is licensed as a New York State Winery and owns and operates a 155-acre farm located at 7448 County Road 153 in Ovid. It has a vineyard of 44 acres planted to Vinifera vines, a winery producing 6,000 cases, and the Simply Red Bistro that serves American cuisine. Chuck Tauck is the principal owner and senior managing partner. Partner Bob Madill is the general manager and winegrower. Sheldrake’s phones are (866) 743-5372 (toll free) and (607) 532-9401.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Awards, Wine, Wineries


    • All NY’s ‘Best of’ winners available at one place, finally

    CANANDAIGUA, NY — One of the problems with many of the state’s best wines, as deemed by judges at the annual New York Wine & Food Classic, is that they are in such short supply few consumers get to experience them.

    That situation has been alleviated a bit this year, the first time the New York Wine & Culinary Center located here has been able to source all five “Best of Category” winners, including the Governor’s Cup wine, for an historic tasting flight. They’re being offered to visitors throughout the month. In addition, numerous other state-sourced wines that earned Double Gold, Gold, and Best of Class honors in this year’s competition also are available for sampling and purchase.

    The Riesling Cuvee from Swedish Hill Winery, located near Romulus on the west bank of Caygua Lake, won the Governor’s Cup trophy in August, the top individual award. It surpassed 850 other entries. It also won “Best Vinifera Sparkling” and “Best Overall Sparkling” en route to the top award.

    You can go here for the full list of class honors. And, you can get details of the Wine & Culinary Center’s offerings online.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Awards, Western New York, Wine


    Ain’t that a kick in the head?

    NEW YORK — The Big Apple may be the center of the universe to millions, but you’ll have to go clear cross-country to find the nation’s No. 1 cocktail bar, according to GQ magazine — which is based in Manhattan.

    Editors at the magazine have selected the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle after visiting 21 cities and 102 bars before selecting the winner, announced in the October issue.

    If it seems as if in a nation of 300 million people, 50 states, and thousands of cities that visitng just 21 towns and 102 establishments isn’t a very comprehensive way of ascertaining the top watering hole in the U.S. of A., I’m with you. But, that’s what bar debates are all about.

    Nevertheless, New Yorkers can chant “We’re No. 2!” once they realize the Angel’s Share bar (above right), at 8 Stuyvesant Street in the East Village, came in right behind the Zig Zag Cafe. It’s a Japanese-style spot with imaginative cocktails and hand-carved ice.

    The remainder of GQ‘s top 10:

    3. The Violet Hour, Chicago
    4. Clover Club, Brooklyn
    5. The Alembic, San Francisco
    6. Death & Co., New York
    7. PDT, New York
    8. PX, Alexandria, VA
    9. Comstock Saloon, San Francisco
    10. Holeman & Finch, Atlanta

    The Pegu Club came in at No. 22

    Other awards:

    The Best Spirit-Specific Cocktail Bars: Mayahuel, New York. “Scarred by bad tequila? Never had mescal? These guys can help.”

    The Best Restaurant Cocktail Bars: Prime Meats, Brooklyn

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Awards, Bar/Tavern/Lounge, Cocktails, NYC


    Poll: Finger Lakes world’s most beautiful

    If you’re looking to spend some downtime this fall in the “world’s most beautiful wine region,” get a Finger Lakes roadmap.

    The region has gained that title in Budget Travel magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards. It is featured in the October issue, which went on sale at newsstands this week.

    “We are tremendously honored to be named world’s most beautiful wine region by the Budget Travel readers,” said Morgen McLaughlin, president of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association. “To be recognized by our visitors speaks highly for Finger Lakes Wine Country.”

    About 164,000 votes were cast in the online poll that covered categories ranging from favorite apps to top island getaway. Finger Lakes Wine County and the North Fork of Long Island received 1,978, or 34% of the 5,887 votes in their category. California came in second with 1,477, or 25% of the votes in the category.

    The Finger Lakes region also was named a top value destination, receiving 472 (28%) of the 1,671 votes in the category. The Dominican Republic topped the category with 501 (29%) percent.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Awards, Finger Lakes


    Magazine: Schmaltz is year’s ‘Best Craft Brewer’

    NEW YORK — Their marketing style is funky and sometimes over the top, but that’s not a negative for the Shmaltz Brewing Company. The makers of the new Coney Island Craft Lagers and HE’BREW — The Chosen Beer have been named “Best Craft Brewer 2010″ by Beverage World Magazine.

    The magazine’s inaugural BevStar Awards were based on innovation in ingredients, packaging and positioning, as well as overall uniqueness. Coney Island Craft Lagers won Gold in the craft brewer category, and among all of the winners in all categories it took the “Best In Show 2010″ title.

    Schmaltz was established in San Francisco in 1996, and has sold more than five million bottles of beer to date. Along with the HE’BREW line, its Coney Island sideshow-inspired beers include Coney Island Craft Lager, Albino Python, Sword Swallower, Human Blockhead, Mermaid Pilsner, Freaktoberfest, and Luna Lager. Proceeds from their sale help Coney Island USA, a 501(c)(3) Arts Non-Profit fulfill its mission to defend the honor of lost forms of American popular culture in Brooklyn’s historic Coney Island neighborhood.

    Here is the full list of winners in all categories. Note the success of Brooklyn Brewery as part of the mix:


    Gold Winner: Mr. Q Cumber
    Silver Winner: Sprite Green
    Bronze Winner: RootJack


    Gold Winner: O.N.E. Water
    Silver Winner: Rescue Water
    Bronze Winner: Dream Water


    Gold Winner: Bean & Body
    Silver Winner: Nawgan
    Bronze Winner: ALO

    RTD Tea

    Gold Winner: Honest Tea Half & Half
    Silver Winner: Sweet Leaf Citrus
    Bronze Winner: 3D

    Beer: Large Brewer

    Gold Winner: Bud Light Golden Wheat
    Silver Winner: Blue Moon Pale Moon
    Bronze Winner: Select 55

    Beer: Craft Brewer

    Gold Winner: Coney Island
    Silver Winner: Dogfish Head Sah’tea
    Bronze Winner: Brooklyn Local No. 2

    Wine & Spirits

    Gold Winner: Hennessey Black
    Silver Winner: Rosangel
    Bronze Winner: Lucky 7

    Special Jury Awards: Marketing Campaign

    Winner: Dewmocracy 2
    Honorable Mention: Guinness 250

    Special Jury Awards: Social Media

    Winner: Dogfish Head Gets Social
    Honorable Mention: Jagermeister

    Special Jury Awards: Eco-Leader

    Winner: Four Wine
    Honorable Mention: Re-source Water

    Special Jury Awards: Brand Reinvention

    Winner: Gatorade
    Honorable Mention: Snapple

    Best in Show

    Shmaltz Brewing Co.’s Albino Python, Human Blockhead, and Sword Swallower

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Awards, Beer, Brewery


    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.