Finger Lake’s Finest — The New York Wine and Culinary Center

December 11, 2010 at 2:50 am Leave a comment

New York State Wine and Culinary Center

Inside the Tasting Room and Store

If you have only one day to spend in the Finger Lakes and you want to sample a bit of everything, make sure you visit the New York Wine and Culinary Center.

The Center (or NYWCC) offers cooking classes, tastings for local wine, beer and spirits, a gift shop and a restaurant.

New York Wine and Culinary Center

A peek into the cooking classes

We wandered in on a moist Sunday afternoon. There was a cooking class in progress and they looked very serious.

We continued down the hall to the Tasting Center, wanting to try ALL of New York’s Finest. We started with a couple of the wine flights and kept going. Below is our tasting list, plus our generous sommelier allowed us to try the pear cider! Bear in mind, we are red wine fans at heart, and are happiest wandering around the Russian River valley of California. My one word description:  “YUMMY!”

These wines are selected for being the best — not your typical winery selection, so prepare yourself to be wowed. I have bolded our favorites.

Flight 1: “Best of Category” Empire

  • Arbor Hill Griesa Hill Iona Rosé NV, Finger Lakes—Best Rosé Wine
  • Bedell Cellars Cabernet Franc 2008, North Fork of Long Island—Best Red Wine
  • Casa Larga Fiori Vidal Ice Wine 2007, Finger Lakes—Best Dessert Wine
  • Keuka Lake Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling 2009, Finger Lakes—Best White Wine
  • Swedish Hill Riesling Cuvée, Finger Lakes—Governor’s Cup & Best Sparkling

Flight 4: Semi-Dry, Sweet & Dessert Wines

  • Arbor Hill Griesa Hill Iona Rosé NV, Finger Lakes
  • Niagara Landing Wine Cellars Rosebud Gold NV, Niagara Escarpment
  • Standing Stone Gewürztraminer Ice 2008, Finger Lakes
  • Torrey Ridge Winery Scarlet Red NV, Finger Lakes
  • Thousand Islands Winery Wellesley Island White NV, New York State

Flight 7: Spirit Flight

  • FLD Seneca Drums Gin, Finger Lakes
  • Harvest Core Vodka, Hudson Region
  • Hidden Marsh Queen’s Flight, Finger Lakes

The Core Vodka was superb AND gluten-free, as was the Pear Cider.

Now for your education:  New York State has 36,600 farms using 7.1 million acres of land to produce an array of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats. New York farms are known for producing milk, apples, grapes, cabbage, cauliflower and pumpkins.

I promise an entire post JUST on cabbage in the future, as Phelps is our saurkraut capital, and right in the center of the Finger Lakes. Back in the early 80s I endured a very parsimonious summer — $10 a week for groceries— with cabbage serving as one of my main staples. I can make a mean cole slaw and I love cabbage soup.

What I did not know was that since the 1600s, grapes have been growing on NYS soil, and that there are over 250 wineries operating today!

New York State Wine and Culinary Center

A view into the restaurant at NYSWCC

For those on a budget, Thursdays is BYOB. No corkage fee while you enjoy your wine with lunch or dinner in the restaurant while overlooking beautiful Canandaigua Lake.

The Culinary Center is a not-for-profit with a mission to introduce the world to the food and wine that is representational of New York State.  It also has a special interest in introducing children to cooking and what is produced in New York State. These programs require underwriting support.

Front entrance to the Culinary Center

The front entrance

Last summer twenty children from the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester were  able to attend a Culinary Kids Summer Camp through camperships provided by a major donor.

The facility was the inspired collaboration of founding partners Constellation Brands, Wegmans, RIT, and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.

The Center is located on the northern shore of Canandaigua Lake , 800 S.Main St 585-394-7070

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Entry filed under: Canadaigua Lake, Dining, New York, Organic Farming, Wineries. Tags: , , , , , , .

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