Rebecca Wolf

This blog is a chronicle of my daughters' growth - born July 2003 and May 2007. Be sure to check out the Thriving Babies homepage, for videos and instructions on how to use every type of baby carrier. For literacy and homeschooling tips, visit my Rochester-based Learning Center blog at

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Finger Lakes

Can I just say, I LOVE the Finger Lakes?

We just got back from a wonderful weekend at Joyce's lake house on Keuka Lake. We always have a blast hanging out with Joyce -- she just knows the hot spots for every season in that area and Arianna adores her. But we've never gone wine-tasting before.

Now I realize all of the fun I've been missing! I'm not a big drinker mind you. I probably have one drink once or twice a year. It's rare that I find an alcoholic beverage that I like well enough to commit to an entire glass.

A little taste is an entirely different matter. After a few samples, my pallette became more discerning and I started to understand the wine terminology as I experienced each description. It was like learning a new language and falling in love at the same time. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

On Saturday, we went to the Windmill, where we found the most delicious variety of local seedless grapes called "Einset." We discovered fresh-pressed grape juice is also a real treat -- like wine without the after-effects. This was just a prelude to my affair with wine-tasting, though.

I also found two elegant pearl necklaces (Happy Birthday to Me). They were only freshwater pearls, but they were so inexpensive (only $30 for the pair) it seemed foolish not to surrender such a paltry sum in exchange for these little treasures and the regal way they feel around my neck.

Delighted with my purchases, we went to Hunt Country vineyards for our first wine-tasting experience of the weekend. We all agreed on the Vignoles 2004 (Joyce cleverly asked for a bottle already chilled, for our dinner) and the Foxy Lady Blush. Andrew loved the Cream Sherry, but refused to buy himself a bottle because I didn't like it (silly boy). We went back to the lake, took a quick swim and had a lovely meal of roasted vegetables and pork -- Joyce really knows how to put out a spread! Then we had some strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert.

We hadn't planned to go wine-tasting on Sunday, but we simply couldn't resist! Our next stop was Chateau Frank a.k.a. Dr. Konstantin Frank. The awards won by this vinifera were outstanding. We received quite an education about wine from the guide there. The clear winners of the day were the Dry Reisling and the Chateau Frank Brut Champagne. They were all sold out of the Rkatsiteli, which is one of Joyce's favorites. Too bad, because our tastes seemed to be similar to hers. The folks here were the most erudite of all the wineries we visited and I appreciated the knowledge they shared with us.

Then we went to Heron Hill and had a picnic overlooking the west bend of Keuka Lake -- breathtakingly beautiful! We didn't partake of the wine here because Andrew and I were feeling light-headed after the lengthy education we received from Dr. Frank. Joyce said the Eclipse wine was good; we'll have to come back and try it later. I sure enjoyed the view.

Our last stop was Bully Hill. It was by far the most entertaining trip, with the comedy act given by the wine guides (replete with sales pitches for Bully Hill's private label glow-in-the-dark underwear), but the wine itself was most disappointing. I bought some fruity, wine cooler-sweet Pink Catawba wine and some grape juice. They have the most creative wine labels I have ever seen (which they sold for ten cents a piece) and they definitely earn an A+ for personality.

Needless to say, we are already planning our next trip to wine country.

Thank you, Auntie Joyce, for the initiation into the glorious world of wine-tasting and for taking such excellent care of us this weekend -- you are the best!


P.S. Arianna says she likes her Auntie Joyce because she is very nice. I second that!


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Sunday, October 2, 2005 10:16:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous keukajoyce said...


What a beautiful set of memories of your visit to see me at Keuka! I had a wonderful time, and you, Andrew, and Arianna are welcome anytime to explore, wine and dine!

Hugs, Joyce

Monday, October 3, 2005 3:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bibliochef said...

Ages later, but great to see someone who loves the Finger Lakes.

Check out my site -- and send it to others. It is called Cooking With Ideas and does focus on the Finger Lakes in part.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:48:00 PM EDT  

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