Adirondack Wine & Food Festival, Lake George NY 

Lake George, NY

The last few months of our lives have been insane, and that is absolutely why the husband and I needed a day trip out of Ithaca! Thanks to Lenn and New York Cork Report, I was gifted a pair of tickets for a day at the Adirondack Wine and Food Festival in Lake George (ADK FEST LAKE GEORGE LINK)–excellent opportunity for a day trip, so we hit the road on a sunny Finger Lakes Saturday morning for a three hour escape to Lake George and the Adirondacks.

Lake George, NY is a quaint, picturesque town in the Northeast of NY that comes alive Memorial Day-Labor Day: cottages, restaurants, boaters, and mini golf are the main things I recall from my youth, I spent a bit of time in elementary school at a friend’s lake cottage in the village–bbq’s, lake swimming, and dock jumping, mostly…but I randomly remember a Paul Bunyan mini golf course, and rainy days of complete, excruciating boredom.img_5080-1

My first reaction to a Food and Wine fest in Lake George was  initially surprise; would that little town attract enough wine lovers to make it an actual festival, or more of a little gatherings? There were over 60 vendors in attendance, from wineries, distillers, cideries, breweries, food trucks, and local artisans selling products ranging from goat milk soap and local cheeses all the way to fresh cut, organic potato chips and baked goods. Saturday looked like a sell out, and the crowds were enjoying the weather, the fresh air, and everything that the vendors had to offer. Long lines were friendly, and almost always worth the wait.

image

Lake George, NY

image

Lake George, NY

Right through the gate, we saw the booth pouring for Hudson Chatham Winery. I met winery co-owner Carlo DeVito at a Taste Camp event in the Hudson Valley two years ago, and am always on the lookout for their fantastic Old Vine Baco Noir. I had a chance to taste the 2014 vintage, which was absolutely one of my favorite wines of the afternoon…dark berry color, lots of body, and a smooth, lingering finish.

imageFinger Lakes wineries pouring included Americana Vineyards, Sweedish Hill, Goose Watch, Tug Hill, Miles Wine Cellars, and Three Brothers. Long lines and hot sun kept me from tasting many FLX wines, considering how close we are to the lake trails. I definitely had a great time tasting things that are harder to find at home.

Nine Pin Ciderworks out of Albany had some fantastic dry hard ciders; I really enjoyed the Signature Cider Blend, as well as the Ginger Hard Cider (infused with ginger and orange peel) and Blueberry (sparkling blush color, and infused with tart blueberries) for a surprisingly dry, but fruity cider. Really nice on such a hot, sunny day!

Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery is located just east of the Hudson River and situated on a 290 acre apple farm. Along with AppleJack and Vodka made with their own apples, they produce Core Black Raspberry Vodka, an incredibly light, fresh, and dry raspberry infused vodka. It would be incredible as a mixer, or standing on its own over ice, with a splash of seltzer. I need to make an effort to tour their distillery before we head for the West Coast. I love craft and local farm distilleries.

All in all, the festival was large enough to enjoy, but the crowds were manageable (except for a few food trucks) and everyone was really about enjoyment. I was very surprised at how many people in attendance were heavily tattooed, as well! Definitely not something I remembered about Lake George, but I was definitely asked for business cards, more than once!

Side note, the gal at the ID gate exclaimed our tattoos looked so ‘hardcore’ and asked if husband and I had any matching tattoos (which we do, but I had a momentary lapse of memory) which almost got me into trouble 😂 yes, we have matching Eiffel Towers that we had done at the Paris convention, two years ago!

img_5086

Lake George, NY

 

BoozyLife VIDEO from Holiday Ink 5 — A Weekend for Artists in Pertuis, France

holiday ink bannerHoliday Ink 5

Lefty and I are home from another great trip to Europe this year! This time, we were invited to Holiday Ink 5 artist retreat in Pertuis, France — CHECK OUT MY VIDEO ON YOUTUBE –>>> CLICK ON THE LINK –>> HOLIDAY INK 5 VIDEO

Pertuis with friends!

Pertuis with friends!

image

Hosted by David De Pertuis and his incredibly dedicated family and crew, the weekend included artist only events (machine tuning and building seminars), tattooing, painting, vendors, evening dinners and entertainment for artists and their families, and an opportunity for relaxation and networking in Southern France. Not a bad way to spend a July weekend, to be sure!

Lefty setting up for Holiday Ink 5

Holiday Ink 5

Holiday Ink 5

 The weather in Pertuis was HOT, but everyone was in great spirits, and clients lined up from early in the day on Saturday to have work done by artists from around the world. We weren’t the only Americans there, but I think we were the only New Yorkers! Despite the language difference, everyone was very receptive to us and my husband’s artwork, and helpers were working overtime to translate and relay ideas.

Holiday Ink 5

The vibe in the shop was upbeat, busy, and all around jovial, as artists worked in close quarters while clients and onlookers checked out the tattoo process and artistry on display. The entire town came out for the party, and the support was definitely a welcome change–the tourism board there understands the DRAW of quality tattooing and artists, and local stores also benefitted from the crowds!

Chilling rosé in AIX Provence

Chilling rosé in AIX Provence

                                                From restaurants to boutiques, everyone welcomed the tattoo show, and we reciprocated–whole heartedly. While I sort through even more photo links and wait for the official video, have a look at some of the first video I put together– from the shop of David De Pertuis, to dinner under the stars after a day of creativity! Lots more to come from this trip, stay tuned –fine wines, foods, and experiences not to be missed!

FEARLESS knuckles by Lefty in Pertuis

FEARLESS knuckles by Lefty in Pertuis

FEARLESS knuckle tattoos by Lefty

FEARLESS knuckle tattoos by Lefty Molina from NY

The head of our dinner!

Rosé Soirée 2015 – The Finger Lakes Through Rosé Colored Glasses

The Rosé Lineup! (Photo by David Diaz)

The Rosé Lineup! (Photo by David Diaz)

image

It truly was the perfect night for a Rosé Soirée in Geneva, NY on Saturday evening. A warm summery day gave way to a coral and light pink sunset, and Finger Lakes wine lovers sipped rosé, sampled foods and local culinary temptations (including incredible hotdogs, sausages, and goodies from Fingerlakes Wienery!!), and socialized under strung carnival lights. The atmosphere was light, jovial, and oh so pink!

Blurs of pink and coral

Blurs of pink and coral

Over twenty local vineyards and winemakers were on hand to pour their dry rosé wines and talk shop. The event was a great introduction to several new dry rosé wines that I had not tried yet, and also a nice chance to meet the men and women that are the vino creators themselves! it’s always fun and interesting to be able to talk to individuals that are so proud of their wines.

image

Me n Ronata

There were so many different flavors and variations to the wines, it was incredible. Many were made from Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, or a blend of the two. Lemberger often made an appearance in the blends, and Dr. Constantine Frank’s Rosé was a blend that included Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc as well.

I tried to make it to as many tables as I could, and I had a good head start on the Finger Lakes rosé tasting as it is. I’m already a fan of a few: Damiani’s Pinot Noir Rosé is killer, Sheldrake Point has a lush Cabernet Franc Rosé, and Lamoreaux Landing’s Rosé is always my bottle for home (I pour in the tasting room at Lamoreaux a couple of days a week…how could I not want to work in a winery?). Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Rosé is always a hit for the table, the blend has a hint of Chardonnay that adds another level of depth. Hosmer didn’t bring my favorite rosé that they made, Rosé of Merlot, but if it’s not sold out yet I’m sure it will be soon!

Action shot of rosé colored roses!

Action shot of rosé colored roses!

As the night went on...with the Barry crew

As the night went on…with the Barry crew

There were also definitely a bunch of wines that were new to me. I finally got to try Ian Barry’s (of Barry Family Cellars) Cabernet Franc Rosé, which was absolutely dry, with a bright acidity and ripe cherry. I also really liked his Gamay Rosé, a lightly sparkling petillant wine that brought out an earthy fruitiness. The end ferment in bottle, with the unfiltered Gamay, creates a very unique wine. August Deimel, head winemaker for Keuka Springs Vineyards, brought his delicious, bone dry Cabernet Franc and Lemberger Rosé that had the most beautiful, light color and fragrant nose. Also on the list for lightest color and dry, herbal notes was Knapp’s Rosé of (mostly) Cabernet Franc and (a bit of) Pinot Noir. Head winemaker for Knapp Winery (and Glenora), Steve DiFrancesco has created a very food friendly and easy drinking wine. The Italians always score when it comes to wines that are great with foods! When is a rosé ever difficult? Barnstormer Winery’s Rosé was also quite a surprise, mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Cabernet Franc-savory and herbal, with strong notes of mint on the nose.

The evening was intimate, informative and delicious.  This is one of the reasons we live here in the Finger Lakes! Keep an eye out for most of these wines on the trails, or in your local wine store. Also a big thank you to Microclimate Wine Bar, for letting us buy the last bottle of Local bubbles from Wiemer 🙂

Atwater Estate Vineyards Rosé of Merlot and the first day of Ithaca Farmers Market

Rosé of Merlot

Rosé of Merlot

image

imageI made a special trip up Seneca Lake (after a visit to the first outdoor Ithaca Farmer’s Market of the year) specifically to taste Atwater Estate Vineyards 2014 Rosé of Merlot. I had a haul of root veggies and sunchokes (also called Jerusalem Artichokes, they are the tuber roots of a type of sunflower. Taste just like artichokes, roast or use just like you would potatoes), and was finally starting to readjust to real life and post Europe jet lag and exhaustion. My husband was home, in between a month long tour and going back to work at our home tattoo shop The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor, and I felt like making a nice meal and having a lovely bottle of vino to go with the return to our local reality. Pork loin, veggies, and a bottle of rosé…and I already had one in mind. The joy of living in the Finger Lakes! Hop in the car for a quick trip to one of the hundreds of local wineries…

I love the Merlot grape, I always have, and the more styles I try, the more hooked I am. Atwater’s 2014 release of the Rosé of Merlot has taken Double Gold at the 2015 Rosé Competiton at Simi Winery in California, which is a nod for the Finger Lakes area as well! According to the tasting notes: “The first vintage from our young Merlot block, planted in 2011 on the south farm, just above the water’s edge. Hand picked and cold soaked on the skins for two hours before pressing off. Limited to 38 CASES.” I heard from the tasting room that this very first harvest of merlot was almost blended into another wine, and that the rosé was a very happy accident, and incredibly limited in production to thirty-eight cases (twelve bottles per case, people. That’s it!) While I tasted the Rosè of Cabernet Franc (which I enjoyed the very delicate acidity and fruitiness) and their Pinot Bubble (which was fun with strawberry and raspberry notes and slightly sparkling), I left with a bottle of the Rosé of Merlot, even though it wasn’t available at the tasting bar. Limited release doesn’t always afford for pre-tasting! So glad I grabbed one, will be back soon for more. Very soon, considering it’s such a limited bottling! Sometimes the best wines come in th smallest batches, especially in the Finger Lakes. Winemakers here often take risks that would only happen in an up-and-coming area like this, which is still a bit on the wild side….which is more than fine with me. This merlot rosé might just be one of my new favorites!

Veggietastic

Veggietastic

My farmers market goodies

My farmers market goodies

A very simple oven roasted pork loin over fresh root veggies (and lots of garlic) was a great meal with the rosé. The Merlot was a drier rosé wine than others I had tasted at Atwater, but the light cherry/red fruit flavors and bright acidity was balanced and very complimentary with our meal. It showed very nicely with both the pork and roasted veggies-even the sunchokes! I’m glad I gave it a shot, the best experiments often happen at home around here. Perfect springtime coral pink color against a blue sky, this is a bottle of wine to grab if you have the very limited chance! (BTW Right after I went and tasted, the crew at Atwater refinished the tasting room original wood floor. I’m sure it looks spectacular-make sure to look down next time you’re there!)

April is Discover Dry Rosé Month in the Finger Lakes! Great Reason to Drink Pink

Rosé in Paris

Rosé in Paris

With April comes the start of spring-longer days, warmer temperatures, welcome sunshine and the snow melt. Blue skies see people coming out and about on the local wine trails, so the Finger Lakes has made the most of it! The month of April starts Discover Dry Rosé Month (follow the link for the website and more info) in the Finger Lakes, and it’s also THIS BoozyWife’s birthday month…a happy coincidence that I plan to take advantage of!

Dry rosé wines are gaining in popularity among younger, experimental wine crowds willing to try something different. Rosé is often associated with sweet, pink, fruity wine….and is therefore passed over. Many Finger Lakes wine makers are working hard to change that perception during the moth of April. Dry rosé wines, styled in the more European fashion, are the perfect compliment to cheeses, appetizers, and the lighter, fresh flavors that coincide with springtime locavore menu selections. Easter dinners would love to be paired with Riesling and the local dry rosé of your choice. Both are easy to drink with a difficult mashup of foods, which most large holiday dinners are. Thanksgiving as well! Dry pink (sparkling or non) is always a good bet for the table.

Pink grapes don't always make pink wine

Pink grapes don’t always make pink wine

There has been a lot written recently about the new Dry Rosé trend in the Finger Lakes, and even I wrote a post about it a couple of months back. The New York Post had a recent article ‘It’s time to give dry rosé the recognition it deserves.’ (click the link, winos) which touts the upswing in rosé sales, in addition to enlighten readers on the food friendly nature of this very easy to pair wine. It’s gaining in popularity for a reason, and the producers are noticing. Dry rosé production is way up locally in the Finger Lakes, and sweet was queen here not long ago….sweet rosé is still very popular, but not always the assumed style here nowadays (thank the gods). I personally love a dry merlot rosé, as well as a few of the many blends we have here…and am SO excited to try the new releases this month around the Finger Lakes! I’ll definitely let you in on my favorites (Already looking forward to Atwater, Damiani, Keuka Springs, Hosmer, many others!!) around the lakes this month.

Rosé paired with steak tartare in Paris

Rosé paired with steak tartare in Paris

BoozyWife side note ** I (yes, little old me) paired our incredible meal of steak tartare at Au Boeuf Couronne (after the Mondial tattoo convention) with a lovely dry rosé and it was PERFECT.

Husband highly approved, although even HE was sceptical of a dry rosé on my recommendation. Once he tasted the light acidity with the delicate flavors of the dish, he was sold. Initially, there was some resistance to something he rarely drinks. I think the pairing made an impression on him, but who knows, it could have just been an evening out in Paris.

Happy husband with dry rosé and beef tartare in Paris

Happy husband with dry rosé and beef tartare in Paris

Happy National Drink Wine Day!

National Drink Wine Day

National Drink Wine Day

Today is February 18th, which means its National Drink Wine Day 🙂 Spreading the love of wine through social media, share what’s in your glass! Check out the website to follow along on Twitter and Facebook, and enjoy something fun tonight– let me know if you love what’s in your glass, because I absolutely want to try it 😉

http://www.facebook.com/drinkwineday

http://twitter.com/drinkwineday

My Last Tattoo for 2014: BoozyLife

Ready for round 2

Ready for round 2 and shading

Well, it seems appropriate that my last tattoo sitting this year will be with my husband, in our shop, and will complete the fancy lettering above my knees–BoozyLife. Why appropriate? Lefty traveled to Europe, Korea, and Japan this year, almost exclusively known for his fancy lettering. Now, I will finally have some of it on me to show off! Plus, I’m pretty invested in my new career path of beverage aficionado, so why not? Beverage aficionado, tattooed lady, dog mom. Sweet!

(L-R) Client, Norm, Big Sleeps, Lefty Bastard, Tin-Tin, and Boog Star, Paris 2014

(L-R) Client, Norm, Big Sleeps, Lefty Bastard, Tin-Tin, and Boog Star, Paris 2014

I’ve met some interesting wine writers and professionals that are intrigued by tattoos, and wino tattoo artists that want to tour wineries and distilleries. I’m looking forward to bringing my two favorite things together for another round. Stay tuned, there should be a YouTube channel coming soon…there will be things you need to SEE, not just read about. Trust me, kids.

So, what’s on for 2015? More Finger Lakes wine and spirit recognition, lots more travel, more tattoos….and who knows…who would buy a BoozyLife wine bag? I’m thinking it’s time to start a BoozyLife revolution 😉