At Anthony Road

John Martini, owner of Anthony Road Wine Company, in the vineyards

John Martini, owner of Anthony Road Wine Company, in the vineyards

The second day of the 2015 Wine Bloggers’ Conference pre-excursion started at Anthony Road Winery. Anthony Road is on the west side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. The current owners, Ann and John Martini, planted their first grapes at the vineyard in 1973. They initially sold their grapes, but, in 1990, decided to start making their own wine and opened Anthony Road Winery. Now the family-run business grows grapes at two different vineyard sites and produces its own wine.

Me and wine barrels at Anthony Road Wine Company

Me and wine barrels at Anthony Road Wine Company

John Martini took us to the vineyard that is part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension: Finger Lakes Grape Program. The program conducts research and provides the grape and wine industry in the region with information on a variety of different topics, and this vineyard is part of research on the practicality and sustainability of growing Gruner Veltliner in the Finger Lakes.

Bottling at Anthony Road Wine Company

Bottling at Anthony Road Wine Company

We returned from the vineyard to a glass of the 2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rose. With glass in hand, we were then off to see the winery operations, getting an up close view of the stainless steel tanks and oak barrels, as well as watching the winery’s bottle process in action. After that, we had a chance to taste some of the other Anthony Road wines and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It was a great way to start the day!

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rosé

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rosé

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rosé ($18)
Beautiful color with a vibrant nose and good fruit flavors–mostly strawberry and cherry. The wine was light-bodied with bright acidity. It was a good summer wine that would pair nicely with cheese.
3.5 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Unoaked Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Unoaked Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Unoaked Chardonnay ($17)
Very pale lemon yellow. There were some green apples along with a hint of pears, pineapple, and something minerally. The wine was light-to-medium bodied. An easy sipper.
3.5 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Chardonnay (price not listed on Internet)
This wine was reminiscent of its unoaked counterpart, but in a way I didn’t enjoy as much. It had a medium lemon yellow color with some green apples and pears on the nose. In the mouth, there were apples and something bitter. The wine had a medium body and acidity.
3 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Dry Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Dry Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Dry Riesling ($18)
Lots of citrus–oranges and grapefruits, along with a hint of lemon and lime–mixed with white flowers. There was also some minerality. The wine had a light-to-medium body and good acidity. This vintage is sold out, but I ended up buy some of the 2013 vintage, which I will review separately.
4 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Riesling(price not listed on Internet)
For as much as I liked the dry Riesling, I disliked the skin fermented one. In fact, this was my least favorite of the wines, mixing some baking spices with citrus and apple notes.
2.5 Corks

A taste of the 2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren

A taste of the 2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren

2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren ($75)
Pure lusciousness. It was full of tropical fruits–mango and pineapple–along with apple and pear notes. It was full-bodied with nice acidity.
4.5 Corks

Question of the Day:  Do you visit wineries or breweries?  Do you think it changes your opinion of the wine or beer?

An Evening With the Wine Women of the Finger Lakes

Clean duvet postitAfter leaving Villa Bellangelo on the first day of the Wine Bloggers’ Conference pre-conference excursion, we had an hour to settle into our rooms at the Hampton Inn in Geneva, NY. While not overly fancy, the hotel was clean (even leaving a little sticky note on my headboard ensuring me my duvet cover and sheets had been freshly cleaned), the staff was super organized and friendly, and the location was walking distance to Seneca Lake and downtown. It was perfect for our group.

FLXWineWomen

FLX Wine Women–Martha Macinski from Standing Stone Vineyards, Chef Heather Tompkins from OPUS Espresso and Wine Bar, Jenna Lavita from Ventosa Vineyards, Erica Paolicelli from Three Brothers Wineries & Estates, and Liz Leidenfrost from Leidenfrost Vineyards

Once we were cleaned up, we headed to Ventosa Vineyards for a night of food and wine with the FLX Wine Women– Chef Heather Tompkins from OPUS Espresso and Wine Bar, Erica Paolicelli from Three Brothers Wineries & Estates, Jenna Lavita from Ventosa Vineyards, Liz Leidenfrost from Leidenfrost Vineyards, and Martha Macinski from Standing Stone Vineyards. Each of the women gave a presentation, highlighting not only what was unique about each of their vineyards, but also what was unique about them and their experiences being a women in an industry that is often dominated by men.   Then, during dinner, they each spent one course with one of the four tables, giving us the opportunity to talk with them one-on-one.

Background on the wineries and the restaurant

Seneca Lake and a glass of NY Cider at Ventosa Vineyards

Seneca Lake and a glass of NY Cider at Ventosa Vineyards

OPUS is located in Geneva and specializes in freshly roasted espresso, homemade, Paninis, fresh baked pastries…and wine, of course. While I didn’t get a chance to visit OPUS during the trip, Chef Heather prepared a decadent dinner made from local ingredients that highlighted the wonderful things each of the local winemakers are doing with their wines. Should I find myself in Geneva again, I will definitely be visiting OPUS in person.

Three Brothers Wineries & Estates actually is made of three wineries–Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars, Passion Feet Wine Barn, and Bagg Dare Wine Company–and a microbrewery called War Horse Brewing Co. that makes both hard ciders and beer. They actually have two locations if you’re looking to taste–the location in Geneva, as well as a storefront in Eastview Mall.

Liz Leidenfrost from Leidenfrost Vineyards

Liz Leidenfrost from Leidenfrost Vineyards

Ventosa Vineyards consists of 23 acres overlooking Seneca Lake. They’re known for producing dry red wines like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese. The night WBC15 was at Ventosa, they were awarded the 2015 Governor’s Cup for Best Red Wine–the 2011 Ventosa Vineyards Lemberger.

Standing Stone Vineyards is 41 acres and was originally planted in the early 1970’s as Gold Seal Vineyards. Owners Tom & Marti Macinski bought the farm in 1991 and have grown it from a vineyard that produced 800 cases of wine in 1993 to one that now produces about 8000 cases.

Leidenfrost Vineyards has been owned and run by the Leidenfrost family since 1947. It’s located on the east side of Seneca Lake in Hector, NY and produces about 3000 cases of wine annually.

The FLX Wine Women Dinner Menu

The FLX Wine Women Dinner Menu

Dinner and the wines

Candy Beet Melon-Arugula Salad with Red Jacket Cheribundi-Curry Vinaigrette, Stony Brook Pumpkin Oil and Seeds, and First Light Goat Cheese paired with a 2014 Three Brothers Winery & Estates Pinot Noir Rosé and Leidenfrost Vineyards Blanc de Blancs

Candy Beet Melon-Arugula Salad with Red Jacket Cheribundi-Curry Vinaigrette, Stony Brook Pumpkin Oil and Seeds, and First Light Goat Cheese paired with a 2014 Three Brothers Winery & Estates Pinot Noir Rosé and Leidenfrost Vineyards Blanc de Blancs

2014 Three Brothers Winery and Estates Pinot Noir Rosé
Sadly, I couldn’t find any information about this wine on Three Brothers’ website, but it was a very pleasant rosé and I recommend trying it if you see it. The wine offered some lighter red fruit notes and had good acidity, which helped it hold up to the oil and cheese in the salad. It would be a great sipper on a hot summer day.
4 Corks

Leidenfrost Vineyards Blanc de Blancs ($25)
The is a traditional Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine made from Chardonnay grapes. It was very subtle, with some honeysuckle, cream, and a hint of toast. It was a favorite at my table, and the bottle was empty before I had a chance for seconds. I particularly liked it with the pumpkin seeds in the salad.
4 Corks

Sweet Corn-Muranda Cheese, Cheddar Studded Risotto Cake with Summer Tomato and Fennel Coulis and Jalapeño-Orange Mascarpone paired with a 2012 Ventosa Vineyards Pinot Noir and a 2013 Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer

Sweet Corn-Muranda Cheese, Cheddar Studded Risotto Cake with Summer Tomato and Fennel Coulis and Jalapeño-Orange Mascarpone paired with a 2012 Ventosa Vineyards Pinot Noir and a 2013 Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer

2012 Ventosa Vineyards Pinot Noir ($25)
100% Pinot Noir grapes
Produced: 210 cases
The Pinot Noir was a light ruby color with bright cherry notes, low tannins, and a bit of acidity. The acidy and lighter body helped cut through the fat in the cheese and risotto cake, keeping both the flavors of both the food and wine fresh in my mouth.
3.5 Corks

2013 Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer ($15)
Produced: 1218 cases
This wine caught my attention because it was very different from the others. It had a light body and good acidity, like many of the other wines, but the rose petals and passion fruit notes combined with its food-friendliness made it very memorable. Plus, the price point makes it a nice every day option.
4 Corks

Grilled Petit Finger Lakes Farms Filet Mignon and Scallop with Wilted Baby Kale, Piggery Bacon Vinaigrette, Cayuga Blue, and Pickled Red Onion paired with Three Brothers Winery and Estates 0 Degree of Riesling and a 2011 Ventosa Vineyards Cabernet Franc

Grilled Petit Finger Lakes Farms Filet Mignon and Scallop with Wilted Baby Kale, Piggery Bacon Vinaigrette, Cayuga Blue, and Pickled Red Onion paired with Three Brothers Winery and Estates 0 Degree of Riesling and a 2011 Ventosa Vineyards Cabernet Franc

Three Brothers Winery & Estates 0 Degree of Riesling ($14)
This Riesling was clear, crisp, and stunning…especially at this price point. There were some nice apple and pear notes, mixed with a refreshing minerality and a bright acidity. I was nervous about pairing it with the filet portion of dinner, but it held up surprisingly well. That said, I couldn’t get enough of it with the scallop.
4.5 Corks

2011 Ventosa Vineyards Cabernet Franc ($27)
100% Cabernet Franc grapes
Produced: 285 cases
Nice medium ruby color with black cherry and earthy notes. I could have used a touch more body on the wine to match the nose, but it was still delicious. In fact, while it’s a little pricey, it was my favorite of the Ventosa wines and paired beautifully with the filet and scallop.
4 Corks

Red Jacket Peaches and Ginger Galette with Seneca Salted Caramel and Shaved Seneca Salt Bark Dark Chocolate paired with Leidenfrost Vineyards Cabaret Port and a 2014 Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer Ice

Red Jacket Peaches and Ginger Galette with Seneca Salted Caramel and Shaved Seneca Salt Bark Dark Chocolate paired with Leidenfrost Vineyards Cabaret Port and a 2014 Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer Ice

Leidenfrost Vineyards Cabaret Port ($25)
Holy cow…this port was absolutely luscious. There were ripe raspberries mixed with vanilla and a hint of baking spice. It was like drinking liquid velvet. Pairing it with the salted caramel and dark chocolate was just decadent.
4.5 Corks

2014 Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer Ice ($25)
While I always enjoy a good sweet wine, I usually only enjoy them while dining out. This wine left me wondering if I should keep a bottle on hand at home. It’s a full body, sweet wine with good acidity. There are golden raisin and honey notes, and the wine just lingers in your mouth.
4.5 Corks

Question of the Day: One of the FLX Wine Women wondering during her presentation about the benefits of focusing solely on women in the wine industry.  Statistically, there are more men winemakers than women.  Is gender something that makes a difference to you when deciding what wine to buy?  Is this something that you think people should be talking about?

Sunset over Seneca Lake at Ventosa Vineyards

Sunset over Seneca Lake at Ventosa Vineyards

Villa Bellangelo Riesling (and one Outstanding Rosé)

Wine and Tweeting at Villa Bellangelo during WBC15

Wine and Tweeting at Villa Bellangelo during WBC15

I started my Wine Bloggers’ Conference (WBC15) experience on the pre-conference excursion to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail (SLWT). Seneca Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes and the deepest lake in New York State. The SLWT is home to 35 wineries. While Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir are the dominate grapes, wineries are experimenting with grapes like Blaufränkisch/Lemberger and Grüner Veltliner, as well as some of the native and hybrid grapes.

Villa Bellangelo Riesling lineup

Villa Bellangelo Riesling lineup

The first winery stop was to Villa Bellangelo (@BellangeloWine), which is on a hill overlook central Seneca Lake.  We were greeted with a rosé, and then had the opportunity to taste their wines at our own pace.

2013 Villa Bellangelo Rosé

2013 Villa Bellangelo Rosé

2013 Dry Rosé ($13)
40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 30% Cabernet Franc
Production: 200 cases
One of my favorite wines of the weekend, both because of the quality and the price, and my first Finger Lakes Rosé. This wine had some strawberries, some red delicious apples, and good acidity without it being over powering. It was fantastic with the goat cheese and the prosciutto.
4.5 Corks

2012 Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling

2012 Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling

2012 Dry Riesling ($19, the winery limits purchases of past vintages to 3 bottles)
100% Riesling
Production: 303 cases
Wow…that nose! This wine was everything I expect from a Riesling in one beautiful glass. There was some minerality, Granny Smith apples, grapefruits, and a hint of gooseberry. The winery says this is dry, but there is definitely a touch of sweetness, but the bright acidity and keeps the wine tasting fresh.
4 Corks

2013 Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling

2013 Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling

2013 Dry Riesling ($18)
100% Riesling
Production: 475 cases
This wine didn’t have quite the complexity of the 2012, but there were still some good Granny Smith apple and citrus notes. It was food friendly wine that I would happily buy if I saw it on a restaurant wine list or in my local wine store.
3.5 Corks

2014 Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling

2014 Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling

2014 Dry Riesling
This wine is still unreleased, and I don’t have the price in my notes, but keep your eye out for this one. It was interesting, and while it wasn’t my favorite, I think it would make a nice summer picnic wine at the right price point.  Definitely the most fruit forward, although I wonder if that will calm down a little with some aging.
3.5 Corks

Question of the Day: Now that Labor Day has come and gone, are you going to start migrating away from white wines like Riesling?

Sunday Baking: Lemon Cookies & A French Rosé

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

2012 Côté Mas Rosé Aurore – At $13, this bottle of French wine is a steal, and the pairing with the soft lemon cookies was irresistible. The brightness of the cookies mixed well with the citrus aspects of the wine, while the other characteristics of the wine enhanced the cookie flavors. The one warning I will give is the wine goes down very easily. Cheers! Ratings 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Hello loyal readers! I’m sorry for not posting recently, but work has been all consuming. As you may remember, my day job involves working on federal policy and legislation, and a bill I’ve been working on for about 10 years is moving through both the House and the Senate. This is very exciting, but as there are still changes to be made, it also means a lot of early mornings and late nights. Unfortunately, that also means less time for blogging. Thankfully, though, I’ve still been able to open a few bottles of wine that I’ve been eager to share.

The last Sunday in May brought an end to the Memorial Day Congressional Recess, an end to the hottest May on record in DC. Hubby and I went into that weekend without having turned on the air conditioning, but since Sunday also meant baking night, he was convinced that we would cave and turn it on.   I think the only thing that really kept us from giving in was that the heat was supposed to break on Monday…that and the fact that I baked lemon cookies and opened a French Rosé, both of which were bright and refreshing in the humid summer heat.

2012 Côté Mas Sud de France Rosé Aurore with Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies

2012 Côté Mas Sud de France Rosé Aurore with Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies

It didn’t take me long to decide that this week’s cookies would be the Soft & Chewy Lemon Cookies were from Averie Cooks, a website that has become a go-to for cookie ideas.  For some reason, I associated lemon-flavored desserts with summer picnics. The dough seemed like it would be easy, and the cookies didn’t have a long baking time, so it was perfect for trying to make something summery, while having the oven on for as little time as possible.

The 2014 Côté Mas Sud de France Rosé Aurore (winery, snooth) by Domaines Paul Mas is from the Languedoc region of France and is made with 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah grapes. The wine was a bright pale-to-medium salmon pink. On the nose there were Bing cherries and tart strawberries and hints of something floral. In the mouth, there were tart strawberries with hints of cream and lime. The wine had a light-to-medium body with good acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At an SRP of $13, this bottle of wine is a steal. It’s a wine that has nice flavors that offer something other than just tartness and acidity, which is sometimes difficult to find in a dry rosé. The one warning I will give is that it goes down very easily, especially in the hot weather.

As for the Soft & Chewy Lemon Cookies, they did not disappoint. They were dense, but still had a slight fluffiness to them in the middle that made the strong lemon flavor a surprise with every bite. I dusted mine with some confectioners’ sugar to add a slightly more polished look.

Overall, the pairing was perfect. The brightness of the cookies mixed well with the citrus aspects of the wine, while the other characteristics of the wine enhanced the cookie flavors without getting lost in them. Normally, I only taste two cookies while baking…one when it’s hot and a second while it’s cooled off and I’m ready for my pairing. There may have been a couple of extras eaten in this batch though!

Question of the Day:  Do you enjoy dry rosé or do you associate all rose with the very sweet White Zinfandel-style?

Soft & Chewy Lemon Cookies
(*adapted from Avery Cooks: Recipes for the Sweet Teeth)
Yields: 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2 table spoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
Averie Cooks Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies.

Averie Cooks’ Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies.

Directions

  • In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter (1 minute).
  • Add sugars and combine until pale and fluffy (1 minute).
  • Add egg and lemon extract. Beat until well combined (1-2 minutes).
  • Scrape down sides of bowl.
  • Add lemon zest and honey. Beat until well combined (1-2 minutes).
  • Scrape down sides of bowl again.
  • Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Add baking soda, keeping the baking soda in a little mound.
  • Add lemon juice directly on top of baking soda. As long as your baking soda is good, it will bubble and foam (if it doesn’t, your baking soda is expired).
  • Beat on low until just combined (1 minute).
  • Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to days. Baking the unchilled dough will cause the cookies to spread, and you will have thinner, flatter cookies instead of slight puffs of lemon baked goodness.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  • Take a rounded tablespoon of chilled dough and roll between the palms of your hands to create 1-inch balls.
  • Place cookies on lined, chilled cookie sheets. Keep cookies about 1-2 inches apart.
  • Press to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until edges look like they have set. Overbaking will result in the undersides becoming too brown.
  • Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  • Once the cookies are completely cooled, you can dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Suggested Retail Price: $13
Received as a sample.
Overall: 4.5 Corks

I’m Back…with a Joyeuse Rosé

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Hello dear readers…I know it’s been almost two months since my last post, and the best I can do is apologize for the silence.  September hit and life got very busy.  After 8 years of living in 750 sq. ft., I think that Hubby has finally had it with my wine taking over the living room.  Ok…well, maybe that’s not the only reason why we’re looking to move, but the search for a DC rowhouse that we want to call our own is on!  That search, though, has been an all-consuming treasure hunt, which means Sunday blogging has been become all about open houses, appointments with our real estate agent, and half marathon training.  Admittedly, there are still a few more weeks before the half marathon, and the house hunt continues, but I’ve missed sharing what I’ve been drinking with you…so, I’m trying a new, temporary blog schedule.  And with that, let’s dive right in… and what better way to do that than sharing a rosé that is not only a great summer option, but also a wine that would be nice for Thanksgiving dinner?

2013 Anne de Joyeuse Camas Pinot Noir Rosé

2013 Anne de Joyeuse Camas Pinot Noir Rosé

This summer ended up being the summer of rosé wine for me, and on August 28th, I continued the trend.  Work was actually fairly slow that day, but I started things off with an early morning visit to the dentist and ended it with an emergency visit from the plumber.  By the time I settled into the evening, I was ready for a glass of wine and to watch the U.S. Tennis Open.

The 2013 Anne de Joyeuse Camas Pinot Noir Rosé (winery, snooth) is a Vin de Pays d’Oc made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes.  The wine was a light-to-medium orangeish-pink.  On the nose, there were Bing cherries, strawberries, and raspberries.  In the mouth, there were Bing cherries, tart strawberries, and a hint of thyme.  The wine had a light body and lime-like acid.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine/beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At an SRP of $11 a bottle, this wine has a fantastic quality/price ratio.  Is it the most complicated rose you’ll ever taste.  No.  But, is it a solidly enjoyable wine?  Absolutely.  The wine would be perfect to enjoy with cheese or other high-fat appetizers, as well as with a dinner of creamy entrees or buttery side dishes because the acidity of the wine will be a palate cleanser and keep the food flavors a little more vibrant in your mouth.  So, as you think about your Thanksgiving menu, if you’re planning buttery Brussels sprouts or if your like my mother-in-law and serve homemade mac-and-cheese, this is a wine worth considering for your table.

Question of the Day: Do you enjoy drinking rosés all year long or do they tend to be a summer wine for you?

Suggested Retail Price: $11
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks