A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions.
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Notes On Napkins
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
|A rough outline of a proposed beverage trail|
|Randee Daddona photo,Moka Graphics layout|
|Photo courtesy of Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail|
HARRISBURG, PA -- A plan proposed by House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County, would allow shoppers to buy their wine where they get their pasta and sauce -- in the normal grocery aisles instead of a segregated café area of the store.
The measure is part of a series of new privatization bills House Republicans have rolled out to further dismantle Pennsylvania’s government-run liquor system. Other measures would allow grocers to sell spirits as well as beer and wine, and a separate bill to allow privately-run liquor stores.
There are about 220 grocery and convenience stores in Pennsylvania selling wine and beer in cafe settings. Pennsylvania has about 600 state-run liquor stores. Turzai’s bill would allow any grocery store to sell wine in the main store area by paying the state a $250,000 application fee per store. The House Liquor Control Committee has scheduled a vote on the measure for next Tuesday April 18).
|Beer and wine are sold in this California theater where clip-on trays also holds food items.|
|A look at the main tasting and dining area. (photos provided)|
|Al Kovaleski visiting the Anthony Road Winery in Penn Yan. (Chris Kitchen/University Photography)|
Months before northern vineyards burst into their lush summer peak, the delicate grape buds holding the nascent fruit in its tiny core must first withstand the freezing onslaught of winter.Go here for the full story.
Understanding how grape buds respond to subzero temperatures is of paramount concern to vineyard managers in New York and other northerly grape-producing states. Some of the more popular varieties used in the wine and juice industries can survive temperatures far below the freezing point of water. By a process known as supercooling, cellular mechanisms within the bud maintain water in liquid state down to around minus 4 to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the species. Beyond a certain low-temperature threshold, ice forms inside the cells, cellular functions cease and the bud dies.
Horticulturists have long relied on traditional methods to study freezing in plants. Now a researcher in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is using powerful technologies on campus to explore in new ways the cellular mechanics that allow grape buds to survive brutal cold. The research has implications for vineyard economics, especially as climate change opens more northerly land for cultivation and current growing regions experience more extreme weather.
With all the recent drama in Washington, DC it can be easy to forget that hundreds of lawmakers in state capitols are busy drafting and debating bills that could impact their constituents -- that's you.
The 2017 legislative season is currently under way in most states. And ,because the 21st Amendment to the Constitution delegates much of the power to regulate alcohol to the states, there are plenty of proposals that could change the way you buy and consume wine and other alcoholic beverages.
From the endless direct shipping wars to changes in blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for driving to excise tax increases and exemptions to diapers and wine ice cream, here's a guide to the proposed laws now under debate.
|Under-development visitors center. (Drawing provided by NYS Parks Dept.)|
|Showing off a new look at Wölffer Estate. (photo provided)|
|Craig Hosbach at work. (photo provided)|
|In the Bellangelo cellar. (photo provided)|
|Home of New York's wine ice cream.|
Legislation that would allow fans of wine ice creams to enjoy their treats in smaller containers has been introduced by State Senator Joseph A. Griffo.Go here for the full story.
Mercer’s Dairy, located on Route 12 in Boonville, Oneida County, is known for its wine-infused ice cream line, which includes cherry merlot, chocolate cabernet, lemon sparkling, peach white zinfandel and red raspberry chardonnay, among others.
A pioneer in this segment of the ice cream market, it developed the adult treat in 2006. It is sold in the U.S. and foreign countries. Griffo’s bill would do away with a New York State Agriculture and Markets Deprtment requirement that the dessert be sold in containers of at least one pint.
“Every event or venue we’ve had access to has been asking for smaller Dixie cups for people to eat wine ice cream out of, since many people don’t come to these venues looking to carry around pints of ice cream,” said Roxaina Hurlburt, Mercer’s director of marketing. “But, out of the 22 states we sell in, New York is the only state that has size restrictions on wine ice cream.”
• “How is it possible to celebrate the wedding and have a party if you lack what the prophets indicated was a typical element of the messianic banquet?”
• “Water is necessary to live, but wine expresses the abundance of the banquet and the joy of the feast.”
• “A wedding feast lacking wine embarrasses the newlyweds. Imagine finishing the wedding feast drinking tea! It would be shameful!”
He then concluded, “Wine is necessary for the celebration.”Click here to visit my archive of Celebri-Quotes on drinking.
Tennessee grocery stores have been able to sell wine for nearly nine months, with varying degrees of success.Go here for the full story.
Some stores have done better than others, but generally, allowing wine sales in state grocery stores has been a boon to the merchants and their customers, said Rob Ikard, president and CEO of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association.
“Wine sales across Tennessee seem to be very strong, and in many cases have exceeded expectations,” he said.
If I proclaimed that the most exciting red wines in the United States come from New York State, would you believe me?Go here for the full story.
On Long Island, classic Bordeaux varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon have flourished since their first plantings in the early 1970s. And in the Finger Lakes, where Riesling was long considered the only viable Vitis vinifera variety, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and other reds are gaining momentum.
Exemplifying a sense of balance often elusive elsewhere in the New World, the state’s best red wines marry ripeness and restraint, richness and acidity. They have a distinct, sometimes haunting transparency, says Finger Lakes winemaker August Diemel of Keuka Springs Vineyard. “They show everything you do to them,” he says. Unburdened by excessive alcohol or jammy, overripe flavors, they possess a purity of fruit that uniquely expresses New York’s climate, soils and vineyard conditions.
|Syracuse.com file photo|
SYRACUSE -- The biggest winery and vineyard trade show in the East, and the second largest in the nation, is about ready to pop its cork in downtown Syracuse.Go here for the full story.
The Eastern Winery Exposition returns to the Oncenter on Wednesday through Friday, March 22-24. The event last was held in Syracuse in 2015.
The expo lures almost 2,000 visitors. Some are exhibitors, showing everything from vine trellis systems to bottle- and barrel-washers to fermentation tanks and chilling units. Others are experts who will conduct seminars on topics ranging from new containers (think cans and plastic pouches) to the next big red wine varietal for cool-climate wineries (Lemberger, perhaps). The rest are people who own or work in wineries, vineyards and related businesses from as far as Canada, the Atlantic Coast, the South and the Midwest.
|Mark Oldman (photo provided)|
|Cuomo at one of his beverage summits|
|Tending vines at Catherine Valley Winery (Spectrum/TWC photo)|
BURDETT, NY -- Over the past few days people across the region have taken advantage of some unseasonable weather. The warm spell brought hundreds out to the Seneca Lake Wine Trails.Go here for the full story.
"Everybody wants to get out, a little cabin fever," said Don Kilcoyne, Catherine Valley Winery co-owner. "Everyone wants to see what's going on. We've had an increase in people. It's been nice."
Although most have enjoyed the warm weather, some question whether it will make a difference in this year's grape crop. Management at Catherine Valley Winery say they aren't worried just yet. Kilcoyne says the vines haven't acclimated to the warmth so far, which is a good thing.
"All of the vineyards and a lot of my local friends with vineyards around here, we've all kind of echoed the same sentiment," said Kilcoyne. "The vines are still very cold hearty. The buds are very dormant. Things have not broken free yet."
However, if the warm spell continues later into the season and then gets drastically cold, it could spell trouble.
"If you ... looked up at the date stamp on this column because you thought this might be a reprint of some classic article from 2005, you'd be forgiven. Wasn't Granholm v. Heald, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court a dozen years ago, a case about a Michigan law that barred out-of-state wineries from shipping wine into the state? And didn't the Supreme Court rule that Michigan's law was unconstitutional?
Yes and yes. And yet, here we are.
Indeed, the new Michigan law and lawsuit raise startlingly similar dormant Commerce Clause and 21st Amendment questions that many assume were settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in Granholm. Three years after Granholm, a federal court ruled against Michigan in another wine-shipment case that was even more on-point.
Just what the hell is Michigan doing?"
|The "Best in Show"|
|The deck at Vila Bellangelo|