Presidents’ Day Sale!

Presidents’ Day Sale!

Founding father George Washington helped create a brand new country, but he wasn’t as successful at making his own wine.*In fact, Washington tried to make a go of his own vineyard at Mt. Vernon for 11 years before giving up. You, on the otherhand, will succeed with Wine Expert’s International Juice Kits for sale all this week in honor of Presidents’ Day.

Choose from these selected International varieties:

Australian Cabernet Shiraz

Australian Shiraz

Chilean Pinor Noir

Chilean Merlot

French Cabernet Sauvignon

French Merlot

New Zealand Pinot Noir


$98.99 this week only

Kits only. Expires Saturday, February 23, 2013.


*Source: Virgina Wine: Virginia Wine HistoryGrapes02



February is Dry White Wine Month at Lakeland Winery

February is Dry White Wine Month at Lakeland Winery

I might have a sweet tooth, but when it comes to wine preferences, I’m a dry aficionado all the way. I like my wines less sweet and arid like the desert.  This is why I’m so excited for our February special.

All this month we’re honoring dry white wines: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cayuga White, Pinot Grigio — they’re all on sale this month, buy one, get one-half off. So if you can’t decide which white will go best with that romantic Valentines dinner you’re planning, get them both!
dry white

Creating Your Own Wine Cellar

Creating Your Own Wine Cellar

Serious wine drinkers keep their vintages in designated, temperature-controlled places and so should you. Once you have more wine than just the few you bought for a dinner party, and especially when you make your very own, it’s time to make those wines last and age to perfection with your own wine cellar.

But don’t worry — a wine cellar doesn’t have to be subterranean. There’s no need to clean out the cobwebs in your basement if you don’t want to. You don’t need to install an expensive, temperature-controlled vault. And, you don’t even need a large amount of space.  All you need is a designated place in your home that gets no direct sunlight, and stays at a constant and relatively cool temperature. You can even use the back of a closet for a wine rack.

Here are some tips on creating your own wine storage space:

1. Wine doesn’t rot, but if not stored carefully, the taste will, um, not be so great.

2. Store wine in a space not subject to extreme temperatures. So you know, keep wine out of the bathroom, the sun room in July or an igloo in Antarctica. Experts say the best temperature for wine is between 50 F and 65 F.

3. So what’s the deal with humidity? Some humidity is good because it keeps the corks from drying out. You also want to protect labels from peeling or drying out so 30 years from now that vintage will look as lovely as ever. If possible, a place where humidity is between 50 and 80 percent works best.

4. Wine racks are good as long as you keep wines on their sides to keep the corks wet and to prevent too much oxygen from getting into the bottle.

5. How you organize your bottles and where you end up keeping them really depends on your favorite wines. Personally, I’m a bit of a Riesling snob. Rieslings need to be kept at cooler temperatures, so you might want to keep those on hand in a wine cooler stored in your kitchen — or by the couch. It’s wherever you need your wine.

6. If you’re looking for wine racks, we have some great deals right now at Lakeland Winery. Hint hint: A wine rack makes for an excellent holiday gift. Contact Christina at [email protected] for more details or just come to the winery.


Stems and Bowls: Selecting the Right Wine Glass for Your Wine

Stems and Bowls: Selecting the Right Wine Glass for Your Wine

Drinking wine from the right glass didn’t matter much to me once upon a time when I was younger and lazier. What was important was having something from which to drink the wine — you know, like a clean mug found in the back of the cupboard, an empty plastic cup found at a party, or, oh heck, the bottle. But having since developed a refined palette that doesn’t include Boone’s Farm, I can’t drink wine out of anything but an actual wine glass. As it turns out, the type of glass you serve your wine in does matter.

I promise you this is not some arbitrary wine-snobbery. Some wine glasses really are meant for different types of wine.

Let’s say you’re having a tasting party with your classiest friends and you want them to really get the best experience from the different wines you serve. Here are the basic wine glasses you’ll need:

1. Red wines need to be studied and savored and the best way to do that is with a glass with a wide bowl. A glass with a big bowl lets you easily swirl the wine and release its bouquet.

2. Because they’re usually chilled, white wines, are served in narrow wine glasses in a smaller serving than red wine.  Tulip-shaped glasses are the best for white wines because they hold in the delicate aromas.

3. Dessert wines and ports should be served in short, flute-shaped glasses. Dessert wines are usually imbibed in smaller amounts because they’re so concentrated with sweetness.

4. The tall, thin Champagne flute is best for those sparkling wines. These glasses help keep the bubbly bubbly.

Of course, you can get wine glasses for all types of varietals. If you’re partial to drinking Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier or Bordeaux, glasses are made specifically made for those.

OK, so what if you’re not having a tasting party? What if you’re just sitting at home enjoying a glass of wine because you’re a wine blogger with lots of student loans? You can use a universal wine glass. Yes, one type of wine glass to hold your reds with their big aromas and your whites with their delicate flavors. An all-purpose wine glass should not be too-wide but not t00-narrow, and it should hold about 10 ounces of wine.

A tip: A wine glass with a thin rim can make for a better tasting experience than a glass with thick rim. A glass with a thin rim is less intrusive and helps you get the full effect of the wine’s flavor and aroma.

And, do yourself a favor. Hold the glass by the stem so your hand doesn’t warm up the wine.


New Groupon Deal From Lakeland Winery

New Groupon Deal From Lakeland Winery

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery$114 for Winemaking Party for up to 15 People ($228 value)

Our latest Groupon deal is for up to 15 people to make 30 bottles of the award-winning Island Mist wines.

Up to 15 people come together to make 30 bottles of Lakeland Winery’s award-winning Island Mist wines under the guidance of passionate oenophilia. The five-step winemaking process is simple and engaging; it involves slowly mixing water with bentonite, juice, and then additional ingredients such as elderflowers or oak. Later, after fermentation, groups will cork and label each bottle to take home. Groups are encouraged to bring their own hors d’oeuvres to the party.

Lakeland Winery’s expert winemakers guide you through the five-step winemaking process. Bring your own hors d’oeuvres to the party. Island Mist combines the crisp freshness of distinctive varietals wines with delicious fruit flavors.

Choose From:

  • Blackberry Cabernet
  • Blackberry Merlot
  • Green Apple Riesling
  • Exotic Fruit Zinfandel
  • Peach Apricot Chardonnay
  • Strawberry White Merlot
  • Wildberry Shiraz
  • Kiwi Pear Sauvignon Blanc
  • Blueberry Pinot Noir
  • White Cranberry Pinot Gris
  • Pomegranate Zinfandel
  • Cranberry Malbec

The Fine Print:

  • Expires November 14, 2012
  • Limit 1 per customer, may buy 1 additional as a gift
  • Must be 21 or older
  • Must use promotional value in 1 visit
  • $5 tasting fee per person not included

All Hail the Wine Queen

All Hail the Wine Queen


I’m not really one for beauty pageants, but I think Germany’s Wine Queen pageant is one I can get behind.

The Vinography blog met up with the 2012  German Wine Queen, Annika Strebel, at ProWein, Europe’s largest wine exhibition. Becoming the German Wine Queen is no joke.

Vinography notes:

”The wine queen program is a remarkably savvy idea that celebrates many of the best things about wine and culture without falling prey to the trashier aspects of many beauty pageants. By celebrating beautiful, intelligent young women that are passionate about wine, the program both serves to attract younger people to the culture of wine, while at the same time demystifying and glamorizing it.”

Wine queens not only have to be lovely and enchanting in evening gowns, but these women must also be serious wine connoisseurs. Wine Queen contenders must pass a series of tests to win the crown. Vinography reports that the hopeful Wine Queen must give an impromptu speech on a randomly chosen German wine region; she must be able to answer questions about the differences between wine regions and grape varieties; perform a blind sensory analysis of a sample of wines; describe winemaking techniques for any type of wine; and make a speech about German wine in English using key words provided by the jury. Phew.  I’d stumble over that like a certain 2007 Miss Teen USA contender from South Carolina every single time.

The Wine Queen devotes an entire year to her reign, and according to Vinography, it’s a huge time commitment. Past queen Mandy Grossgarten told Vinography that being wine queen ”pretty much turns your world upside down.” Many wine queens are students who must take a year off from their studies to participate in hundreds of publicity engagements. Strebel recounted that she participated in an underwater wine tasting in SCUBA gear as part of her queenly duties.

Strebel, who is taking a year off from her studies at the  prestigious viticulture and enology program at Geisenheim in Hessen, Germany, plans to eventually take over winemaking at her family’s Weingut Strebel winery.










Preserving Wine History

Preserving Wine History

If you geek out over history just as much as you geek out over wine, Cornell University’s Eastern Wine and Grape Archive is preserving American winemaking history with documents, records and artifacts dating back to the 19th century. The archive is open to the public and housed in Cornell’s Kroch Library.

The collection started up in 1998 and aims to focus on artifacts from winemakers east of the Mississippi. The collection has documents from the Pleasant Valley Wine Co. in Hammondsport, NY, which opened in 1860, and labeling and advertising documents from what is believed to be the first black-owned winery in New York state.

Cornell’s wine archives are one of a kind in the U.S., and they’re looking for more materials that help tell the story of wine in America, and especially in New York.

Spanish Rose: Perfect for Grilled Meat and Bull Fights

Spanish Rose: Perfect for Grilled Meat and Bull Fights

Some may incorrectly sneer that roses are girly wines (what’s wrong with that?), but one of the most famous of all manly-men, Ernest Hemingway, reportedly loved to imbibe some Rosada before attending bull fighting matches. So if a light-bodied, dry wine can get Hemingway in the mood for bull fights, our Spanish Rose should get you in the mood for warm summer afternoons of eating grilled fish or meats, spicy foods and having good times with friends.

Roses get their blushy, pink color by keeping the red grapes in their skins for a shorter period of time than for red wines. You could even call rose an unfinished red wine. Red wines usually sit in the grape skins for two weeks, while roses are left with the skins for just a couple of days. After the skins are removed, roses ferment as white wine. Roses may also be made by mixing red and white varietals.

Spanish roses can be made from Garnacha or Tempranillo grapes. Our Spanish rose is made with Tempranillo, which means “little early one” because of the grape’s short growing season. Most Spanish roses come from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero growing regions of Spain.

So in preparation for summer, we’re selling our Spanish Rose for $8.95. Whether you’re heading off to a bull fight or just your backyard, come in and pick up a bottle or two!



Another Groupon Syracuse Deal from Lakeland Winery!

Another Groupon Syracuse Deal from Lakeland Winery!

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery

Ends Sunday night May 8th at 11:59pm

Our friends over at Groupon Syracuse have helped us to set up yet another great deal for everyone!

Our previous wine deal on Groupon was such a great success—we sold well over 250(!!)—that we could not help but offer up an even better deal this time around!

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery

  • Deal ends Sunday night May 8th at 11:59pm
  • Invite as many as 29 friends to wine-making party
  • Wide variety of wine flavors
  • Bottle, cork & label wine
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts.
  • Expires Oct 5, 2012

Via Groupon Syracuse:

Winemaking is generally considered the best way to get to know wine, narrowly beating out writing it letters and getting stuck with it on top of a ferris wheel. Make a delicious new acquaintance with today’s Groupon: for $109, you get a winemaking party and 30 bottles of homemade wine at Lakeland Winery (a $218 value).

Under the guidance of Lakeland Winery’s grape gurus, you and up to 29 friends will craft 30 bottles of Island Mist Series wine-based fruit juice. Wine-whisperers commence the 90-minute soiree by choosing from Island Mist’s easy-drinking incarnations of grape goodness, including pomegranate zinfandel, peach-apricot chardonnay, and black-raspberry merlot, while munching on snacks brought from home. Once a flavor is selected, it’s poured into a fermenting bucket, mixed with ingredients like elderflowers and oak, stirred, sprinkled with yeast, and air-locked to hibernate for seven weeks at the Lakeland warehouse.

Following the fermentation, guests return to Lakeland to exorcise, bottle, cork, label, and dress 30 wine bottles. Finally, guests head for home with the bounding bundles of bottled joy, then let them nap in the cupboards, and wake them up just in time for dinner. For an extra fee, customers can upgrade from the Island Mist Series to one of Lakeland’s Estate Series wines.

What Should Wine Newbies Know?

Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass, sh...

Are most of us wine newbies? If you were teaching newcomers to wine, what would you tell them?

Wine Spectator’s Drinking Out Loud blog has the answers:

The key point is this: Most American wine lovers are almost as new to wine as most Asian wine lovers are. I don’t know about you, but I remember vividly the bafflement of wine: all that label lingo (in French no less); the seeming arbitrariness of pricing; the snobbery; the humiliation of facing a big wine list in a restaurant skewed to exorbitantly priced wines. Do you remember all that? I’ll bet you do.

via What Should Wine Newbies Know? | Wine Spectator.