Archives for July 2007

Needed: one woman to crush fresh picked blueberries.

When I received the mailed notification from Stan’s Blueberry Patch in West Monroe that  blueberry picking opened today, I was there first thing this morning picking those monster size delicious tasting blueberries. The berries were so dense and easy to pick I only went 50 feet, and 4 hours later two 5 gallon buckets were full. I missed the rain sprinkles by only seconds this afternoon.

That was back breaking work, but now for the fun part. In keeping with tradition of “only woman touch the grapes”, I need a volunteer to stomp on these beautiful, juicy berries, just like Lucy. Naturally, you will receive a free bottle when it has finished fermenting.


Lakeland Winery has a Vineyard!

When I think of a winery, I think of more than just wine.  Big or small, a winery should be about the whole experience – the friendships, the food, the winemaking process, and of course, the natural beauty of a vineyard.   The murals adorning the interior walls of Lakeland Winery depict rolling hills and harvest images of such a place – I can never look on them for long without feeling a bit “transported.”   On one such occasion last year my thoughts changed from “Ah, I wish…” to “Hey, let’s do it.”

After many months of planning, weeks of preparation, and days of hard labor, Lakeland Winery now boasts a vineyard of 94 Riesling vines. Thank you Liza, Jenn, Bob, Janis, Andy Bashford and family, Mike, Kathy and husband for your pleasant company and assistance with the preparation and planting!

Riesling was an obvious choice.  Like Central New Yorkers, Riesling vines are a hardy breed that weather the cold Syracuse winters. I chose grapes from Hermann Wiemer’s nursery because they’re earning world-class notoriety, winning gold medal awards at some international wine tasting competitions. What could be nicer than a gold medal from the Taster’s Guild International competition, won by Lakeland Winery!   For now, the vines simply provide ambiance and greenery.  But when they’re mature in five to seven years, the little vineyard will produce about 280 gallons (that’s 47 carboys) of delicious wine!   After primary fermentation in new large stainless steel tanks, the wine can be racked to glass carboys and customized to individual tastes via the “adopt a jug” program.   From there, the possibilities are almost limitless – more or less sweetness?   French or American oak flavor?  Perhaps a slight hint of elder flowers?   While the vineyard won’t produce enough grapes to sell directly to customers, it may yield a few clippings for you to grow your own vines.   (Of course, then, you would be expected to carry on the proud tradition of these grapes, enter a competition, and win gold for yourself!)  By the way, our next-door-neighbor, the owner of Lakeland Car Wash, wants me to plant vines on his property too.   I’m still thinking about that one…

Why wine is becoming more popular

Why wine is becoming more popular

Wine Glass

Steve Bachmann gives the top 10 reasons why wine is becoming more popular these days. And number 1 is:

People want “experiences” – Drinking wine is a sensory experience, like food, and wine offers a wide range of experiences based on different choices in grape types, regions, and wine-making styles.

Go check out the rest: Top 10 reasons driving wine’s growing popularity [via The Wine Collector]

Winemaking News [7-9-2007]

Surfing and winemaking on CA’s central coast [Wine Enthusiast]
“There’s always been a romantic ideal attached with winemaking; the creation of a fine wine, the upscale image. Conversely, there’s been a carefree ideal attached to surfing; hanging out at the beach without a care in the world.”

Fashionable new world Rieslings, Roses are ideal summer wines [Bloomberg]
“Crisp, fruity riesling and dry, pink rose spent decades as unfashionable wallflowers waiting to be noticed. Now, the two Rs are being discovered by wine lovers…”

Italian winery turns labels into art exhibits [Washington Post]
“Many people say making wine is an art and an Italian winery once owned by Michelangelo has extended that notion right down to its labels.”

Best ways to get your wine home [San Jose Mercury News]
“Driving to a winery? Take a tour and buy a few bottles. Getting your purchases home is never a problem.But what if you’ve flown out to California to tour Napa, or you’re planning a trip to explore the vineyards of Bordeaux or Tuscany? Carry-on restrictions prohibit you from bringing bottles of wine onboard with you.”

California wine makes people eat 12% more [Pinotblogger]
“According to a Cornell University study, folks who are given a glass of wine before a meal and told it is from California eat 12% more than when they are told the wine is from North Dakota.”

Water vs. Wine

Received this in an email:

It has been scientifically proven that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of Poo. However, we do not run that risk when drinking wine (or rum, whiskey, beer or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.



Ergo: It is better to drink wine and talk stupid than to drink water and be full of crap. There is no need to thank me for this valuable information; I am doing it as a public service.