Posts made in August, 2015

Finger Lakes Distilling

Finger Lakes Distilling

While at the Wine bloggers conference held this year in Corning New York just a few short miles from the Finger Lakes AVA I had the chance to visit a few distilleries. Brian McKenzie owner of Finger Lakes Distilling facing Seneca Lake shared his spirits with me during my visit on August 13th. I have always been a fan of Brian and Thomas’s work and it was such fun to visit.

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What I tasted on August 13th 2015
1. Vintners Vodka- This is super clean with a hint of honey smooth and definitely a sipping vodka.
2. Apple Brandy- Savory pine, stone fruit and baked apple pie with spice. Combo of 2 and 4 years pot still brandies.
3. Seneca Drums Gin- Herbaceous, lavender, dill, cucumber and smoked juniper. This is a clean and soft gin.
4. Wheat Whiskey- this and great example of a wheat whiskey and how good they can be. Creamy and grainy with honey suckle and baked pear.
5. Bourbon- spicy, lead pencil, toasted oak, caramel and nutty.
6. Catskill Provision NY Honey Liqueur- not cloyingly sweet, fresh fruit and honey dipped stone fruit.
7. Cherry Liqueur- very balanced with notes of cherry candy it’s clean and taste like natural cherry not extract.
8. Riesling Grappa- Clean and crisp, very little spice and notes of licorice and tropical fruit.
9. Grape Brandy- soft baked fruit with notes of caramel apple and nougat
10. Cassis- noted of baked blackberry, decent structure
11. Raspberry- awesome clean finish with fruit forward notes.
12. Maple Jack- Butterscotch, maple candy this is very well balanced and nicely done.

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I look forward to visiting again, I have so much more to say about the finger lakes…

Justin

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Small Town, Huge Personality!

Small Town, Huge Personality!

Beauty I thought only existed in nature is now being molded and tortured into the most breathtaking glass you will ever see. During my visit to the Finger Lakes, the conference I was attending had an excursion to the Corning Museum of Glass. Yes, that Corning.

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Inside is a luxurious setting with blown glass everywhere with a modern feel. I had just seen a glass blowing demonstration a few months back at another conference so I snapped some shots and then took to wandering the halls.

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I stumbled as I often do into the ancient wing, which possessed some of the oldest and rarest glass that was owned by king and queens, pharaohs and despots.

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It was during this time alone I sat down to write and reflect on my so far short stay in upstate NY. I was floored by the hospitality, the attention to detail and even the city of Corning itself which struck me as a great town to raise a family. One could live in Corning’s rolling green hills and be content surrounded by friendly faces and quaint appeal. I have often wondered if I should forgo the big city lifestyle and move to a small town. I would like to think that if I did, Corning NY would be the type of place I might end up.

While dodging security and roaming the halls I realized I was late for dinner, which was also the awards banquet for some of the best bloggers in the world. I sat down just in time to get the appetizer and met some new friends as well. Dinner was interesting, zucchini fritters, smoked corn chowder, Beef all served with FLX wines that paired wonderfully and since we got to pick from two per course there was lively debate at the table. The overall feel I got from my visit was excitement, and taking time to enjoy the pleasures of the day. After all, that is what hedonism is all about.

Justin

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Tranqs, Lobos & Zipheads…

Tranqs, Lobos & Zipheads…

Aside from the obvious perk of getting to stare at a women’s breast under the pretense of looking at their name tag (inside joke, come on people) I quite enjoyed my first bloggers conference. Held this year in the scorching heat of August in the Finger Lakes it was none the less a raving success. During the several days of speed tasting, seminars, excursions and dinners I met some amazing, hard-working, funny and eccentric bloggers; all who seems excited that they could exchange ideas and drink with their comrades in a laid back environment.

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Walking the grounds with Steve Fulkerson who’s family arrived in the Finger lakes in the late 1700’s you get the feel that they know what they are doing in the wine business. Tasting the dozens of exceptional wines you know that the Finger lakes as a whole kicks ass and most likely will only get better. I have been a fan of FLX wine for years but had never been, now I cannot wait to go back. The new and hopefully continual home of aromatic whites the Finger lakes of New York are are stunning example of how far American wine has come in a short time.

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I thought it would be blood sport; there is no one on earth more opinionated than a wine writer but it was tame and an noncompetitive nature seemed to dominate the while experience either by design or the caliber of attendee. The overall friendliness of everyone I met seemed unending and I look forward to next year’s conference in Lodi, CA which is 20 minutes from where I live for those who are spiritually included. (Pun intended)….
All in all Zephyr Adventures put together one hell of show and I will return as often as I can.

A personal note; I was a scholarship recipient this year and would not have been able to make the trip without it, so thank you to all the sponsors and bloggers who believed in me. I hope never to let you down.

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By the way I hope you got the back to the future reference if not you should be ashamed. Much more to come on the Wine Bloggers conference 2015

Justin Koury

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