One of the pioneers and champions of farm-to-table cuisine in the Finger Lakes,
at Red Newt Winery in Hector, New York is known for its thoughtful menus that pair well with its extensive wine list.
Executive Chef Brud Holland has been with the bistro since 2011, working to redefine classic comfort food, upscale restaurant classics and wine pairing experiences.
Red Newt Bistro is so dedicated to local, that last year’s Restaurant Week inspired the kitchen staff to design their 2013 menu entirely around local products. The new menu was revealed with the bistro’s seasonal opening in April and, says Holland, “We’ve been doing restaurant week for two months already!”
He and his staff strive for what he calls “simplicity, and the essence of the Finger Lakes” in their dishes.
Everything – and he means everything – on the menu is hyper-local and seasonal, from the duck cooked confit-style in pork fat (three miles down the road, or else from a farmer in Penn Yan), to the grilled Romaine salad with pea shoots and a creamy “100 brix” dressing.
To make the dressing, Holland reduces Verjooz, a tart green grape juice, until it is ten times more concentrated. “It’s our version of a Caesar salad – without being a Caesar.”
Holland is even looking to source local herbs for his menu. And if they’re not available he he has a simple solution: grow his own. Holland is planning on cultivating his own herbs to supply other local chefs with the local flavor they crave. It’s that kind of fanatical dedication that makes the plates at the bistro so special. Eating at Red Newt is always a treat, but this Restaurant Week, it’s sure to be an experience.
Red Newt Bistro - 607.546.4100
Rochelle is a food and wine writer with a focus on seasonal cooking and sustainable agriculture. She’s also a classically-trained chef who spent the last year working on a full-diet, draft-powered farm in Central New York. Visit her at rochellebilow.com, on Twitter at @RochelleBilow or on Instagram at RochelleBilow to learn more.
Looking for a unique way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend? Why not treat your loved one to a weekend getaway in Finger Lakes Wine Country? There are plenty of things to do in the region to honor the important women in our lives. Whether they prefer wine tasting, touring local museums, hiking among waterfalls, shopping, or dining; you can find it all in Finger Lakes Wine Country.
May is an ideal time to visit the region. With the
celebration in full swing, there are many special month-long promotions at wineries, accommodations, and tourism businesses throughout the region. On May 11, 2013, Finger Lakes Wine Country celebrates National Wine Tourism Day. Wineries, hotels, restaurants, and other wine tourism businesses are offering special events to celebrate the importance and fun of wine tourism. Many of the wineries are offering wine and food pairings as well as educational experiences throughout the day. Many are also donating their tasting fees or a portion of wine sales to the local food bank in their respective county that day. In addition, some of the businesses participating, such as accommodations, have special Mother’s Day Weekend packages. For the mothers who love wine, this weekend could not be more perfect. For specific Wine Tourism Day details,
If you are looking to treat your mother to a cultural experience, Corning is a great place to do so. With two world-class museums and a lovely downtown, there is plenty to see and do. Visit the
where you can see a collection of glass spanning thirty-five centuries from ancient to contemporary. If your mother likes hands-on experiences, make a pit stop in The Studio where she can choose from a variety of glass-making classes and create her very own memento.
to see the “finest American Western and Native American art collection this side of the Mississippi.” Currently on view is the National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West; an incredibly, thought-provoking collection of powerful images encompassing 125 years of the American West.
If shopping is a must, the opportunities are endless and unique to boot. The region is home to the charming villages of Corning, Elmira, Hammondsport, Watkins Glen, and Penn Yan that offer nice selections of shops and local vendors. For more shopping information,
has many interesting shops; you can find anything from antiques and local pottery to jewelry and clothing. The GlassMarket at the Corning Museum of Glass and the Trading Post at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art are two gift shops you must not miss for specialty items at every price point. A one-of-a-kind shopping experience is a visit to Windmill Farm & Craft Market between Dundee and Penn Yan.
hosts nearly 200 local producers, craftsmen, and food vendors.
For the outdoor adventure-seeker moms,
is a must-stop destination. Now open for the season, the gorge trail winds over and under nineteen waterfalls. As you traverse the path, the view is ever-changing, especially in Spring as the landscape comes to life. Overlooking the gorge on either side are two rim trails offering different perspectives of the land and the gorge below.
As a tribute to all loving mothers and for a nice way to cap off your weekend, why not share in the joy and delight in a delicious brunch with your dear ones?
Here is a list of restaurants offering Mother’s Day Brunch, follow the links for details:
at Americana Vineyards
at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars
Spring is in full swing in Finger Lakes Wine Country! As the landscape transforms in color to brilliant greens and yellows, and the flowers start to bloom, the Wine Trails are beginning to liven up, welcoming the hustle and bustle of the busy season. Summer is near and the excitement resonates throughout the region.
The month of May offers visitors many events and opportunities to explore the wines of Finger Lakes Wine Country and all the while enjoying the sunshine that is becoming increasingly prominent. The three major Wine Trails, Cayuga, Keuka, and Seneca, are celebrating spring in different ways through spring-themed events.
Along the Cayuga and Keuka Lake Wine Trails, two upcoming wine and food pairing events treat visitors by highlighting wine and herbs at the height of springtime. In addition, the events allow visitors to build their gardens as they receive a potted flower, an herb, a vegetable, or a combination of the two at each member winery:
| 21st Annual Wine & Herb Festival | May 3 – 5, 2013
Celebrating their 30th Anniversary, this year on Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is an exciting one. Join in the festivities and visit the sixteen members of the trail during their annual Wine & Herb festival. You will receive a souvenir wine glass, potted herbs or vegetable plants from Schaefer Gardens at each winery, a plant carrier, and recipe cars. Enjoy the wines at the wineries paired with savory herb-inspired creations. Using the recipe cards you’ll receive, you can recreate the experiences at your own home. Participants are eligible to win an array of Grand Prizes through the weekend event. Tickets are $40 per person or $60 per couple. Special rates apply to designated drivers. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here. For Wine Trail packages that include accommodation, transportation, and tickets to the event, click here.
Keuka Lake Wine Trail | Keuka in Bloom | May 4 – 5, 2013
Tour the seven member wineries of the Trail and receive a different flower herb, each in a four inch pot. While tasting the wines at each member winery, you can enjoy delicious herb-inspired cuisine. At the end of the event, you will return home with a multitude of springtime goodies – wine, recipes, and the best part; sixteen herb and flower plants to start your own garden! Also, each participant will receive a complimentary signature wine glass. Tickets are $35 per person plus tax or $50 per couple plus tax. Special rates apply to designated drivers. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail just celebrated their annual Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend. Although the event has passed, there are still plenty of reasons to visit and tour the Wine Trail. Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s Riesling to Visit Passport is a nice option for non-event weekend visitors as well as those who live relatively close:
Seneca Lake Wine Trail Riesling to Visit Passport | Valid through July 31, 2013
The Riesling to Visit Passport celebrates the award winning Rieslings of the region. The passport allows wine enthusiasts to explore twenty-five participating wineries along Seneca Lake, enjoying a free flight of wine at each place along the way, most of which include samplings of Riesling. The cost is $18 plus tax per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
What is nice about this passport is that it allows you to make repeat visits to the region exploring the twenty-five participating wineries in a leisurely manner. It makes for a unique visit to Seneca Lake; one that concentrates on the regions’ diverse wines through a more intimate tasting.
Another unique and exclusive happening along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is the last installment of the series, Winemaker Wednesdays, on May 8th. This experience caters to the most passionate fans of wine. The fifteen participating wineries in this series have developed special educational activities or tasting experiences offered that day usually led by the owner, winemaker, or vineyard managers.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more exciting trail events coming this June. There is plenty of fun to be had in Finger Lakes Wine Country!
Spring has arrived in Finger Lakes Wine Country and many exciting events are starting to pop up in the region that you certainly want to add to your calendar. Although wine is a staple here, the region is home to many notable microbreweries and distilleries that use the freshest, highest quality ingredients in their products.
A microbrewery you must not miss along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake is Wagner Valley Brewing Company. The brewery, established in 1997, is part of Wagner Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in the Finger Lakes region. Wagner Valley Brewing Company currently produces six standard brews and several specialty brews, most available by draft or bottle. In addition to their wide selection of award-winning beers, the brewery tasting room boasts an incredible view of the lake combined with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. With this combination, your craft beer experience will be unforgettable indeed.
At the brewery, a must-attend event is quickly approaching. A release party is taking place on Wednesday, April 10th from 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Wagner Valley Brewing Company’s Head Brewer, Brent Wojnowski, and Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Katie Roller, are pleased to announce the release of a new and exciting beer; a small batch of bourbon barrel aged Doppel Bock called “Fassen Bock.” What makes this beer so enticing is that it was aged for just less than 3 months in McKenzie Bourbon Barrels from Finger Lakes Distilling, right down the road.
We are fortunate to receive the inside scoop from Brent and Katie themselves. Both Brent and Katie are ecstatic over the collaborative creation of Fassen Bock. With enthusiasm, Katie stated “that’s what is so great about our community here in the Finger Lakes; we love collaborating!” She describes Brent as a very creative brewer with a plethora of ideas for more barrel-aged craft brews. Though they will not disclose any future projects, you can’t help but be intrigued. Brent revealed that his spirit of choice is bourbon or scotch, making the creation of the beer very fitting. He spoke of a visit to Finger Lakes Distilling where he asked the owners, Brian and Thomas, about purchasing some of their used bourbon barrels as barrels are traditionally used only once when aging bourbon. Back at the brewery with the his “new” used barrels in tow, Brent had an idea to fill them with Doppelbock. For him, it was a perfect way “to make something unique using essentially a byproduct of our neighbors” and did not forget to add this simple detail, “Bourbon aged beer is awesome!”
The reason for throwing the release party is simply to reach out and reconnect with neighbors and fellow industry members and to share in this new, intriguing product. There is no cost to attend the event on the 10th. Each person in attendance will receive a complimentary sample of Fassen Bock and a sample of McKenzie Bourbon. Wagner Valley Brews will be available for purchase by the flight, pint, pitcher, or growler. A variety of delicious snacks will be offered for guests to enjoy; delicious BBQ Pork Sliders on Spent Grain Rolls, made by Village Bakery, an array of cheddar cheeses from Sunset View Creamery, and some other finger foods.
Now, let’s delve into the most important component of the evening: Fassen Bock. “Fassen” is a German brewing term literally meaning “to fill a barrel”. Brent describes the bourbon barrels as adding some sweet caramel notes, a really nice toasted coconut characteristic, with a bit of a smoky finish to the Doppelbock during the 3 month aging period. The barrels, where the McKenzie Bourbon spent 5 years, are American Oak. The ABV (Alcohol by Volume) is currently being tested, but the brewery’s Sled Dog Doppelbock has an ABV of 8.5%. Brent can assume that the ABV for the Fassen Bock will be a bit higher. As it is a specialty item with higher alcohol content, it is only available in 10 oz. glasses. Katie and Brent only anticipate this small batch being available for a very limited time, so come and taste it while you can! It will be available at the brewery, also at Ithaca Coffee Co., and possibly a few other local bars that serve specialty beers, details are not yet specified.
Katie and Brent offered their recommendations for the perfect foods to enjoy with a nice, cold draft of Fassen Bock. Katie recommends pairing it with a nice aged cheddar cheese, like the 7-year aged Diamond Cheddar from Sunset View Creamery, while Brent suggests a classic, rich and smoky barbeque to accompany the beer. At the party, you will be able to taste these flavors for yourself alongside the Fassen Bock. The Fassen Bock Release Party is not one to be missed! Come and enjoy the company of your friends and neighbors while sipping the highly anticipated Fassen Bock, sampling delectable treats, and taking in the glorious landscape of Seneca Lake. It is shaping up to be a great kick-off to spring!
Planning a weekend getaway to Finger Lakes Wine Country during the month of April? Spring in Wine Country is one of the most beautiful and exciting times to visit the region. The distinct Wine Trails of the three major lakes, Cayuga, Keuka, and Seneca are packed full of events to usher in this change of season. As the sun begins to shine and the landscape starts to come alive in the Finger Lakes, the timing is perfect to finally kick those winter blues and embrace the coming of summer.
Each wine trail is offering a unique and affordable wine and food pairing event during the month of April. With two spring-themed events featuring local cheeses and herb prepared creations, and another that brings you the flavors of Italy, all accompanied by the fine wines of the region; possibilities are endless when it comes to planning your weekend in the FLX.
Here is a breakdown of the happenings along the Wine Trails:
Keuka Lake Wine Trail | Viva Italia! | April 6 – 7, 2013
Escape to the Keuka Lake Wine Trail to experience the cuisine of Italy at the seven member wineries. Focusing on simple preparations and high quality ingredients, wineries along the trail will explore the rich, flavorful specialties of the different regions of Italy, further enhancing the flavors with wine pairings from their vineyards. You will receive a complimentary wine glass, taste twenty-eight wines and enjoy over twenty food creations. Advance tickets for the whole weekend are $25 and tickets for Sunday only are $19; special discounted rates apply to designated drivers. Prices increase at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail | 21st Annual Wine & Herb Festival | April 26 – 28, 2013
As the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail celebrates their 30th anniversary, join the festivities and delight in the arrival of spring by building your garden during the Trail’s Annual Wine & Herb Festival. Visit the sixteen members of the trail and receive a souvenir wineglass, potted herbs or vegetables from Schaefer Gardens at each winery, a plant carrier, as well as recipe cards. As you taste the wines along the trail paired with savory herb-inspired creations, you can look forward to recreating the experience at your home with the recipe cards you receive at each place. Also, participants will be eligible to enter to win a multitude of grand prizes throughout the event. Single tickets are $40 and couples tickets are $60 in advance; special discounted rates apply to designated drivers. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here. For Wine Trail packages that include accommodation, transportation, and tickets to the event, click here.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail | Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend | April 26 – 28, 2013
Indulge in the classic pairing of wine and cheese along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail during this popular wine trail event, co-sponsored by the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. Taste the local cheeses of the region through cheese-themed dishes alongside the unique wines of the thirty participating wineries around Seneca Lake. This event offers an excellent opportunity to explore an incredible variety of wine and food combinations. Each attendee will receive a handmade cheese cutting board, crafted by Fish Woodworks from wood harvested in the Finger Lakes. Advance tickets are $35 per person; discounted rates apply to designated drivers. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
If you are unable to attend any of these wine trail event weekends, don’t worry, there are more options in April! Each wine trail offers an on-going passport program that includes tasting discounts and other special features:
Keuka Lake Wine Trail Passport | Valid through December 31, 2013
Present your passport at each of the seven member wineries to receive a free standard tasting for two people. The passport includes discounts and coupons for the wineries and partner businesses. The passport is an affordable $12 plus tax per person. To purchase, click here.
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail Vino Visa Coupon Book | Valid through December 31, 2013
This Vino Visa, valued at over $300, allows you to visit the sixteen member wineries and receive special tasting and retail deals at each place. A number of accommodations, attractions, restaurants, and transportation services offer great deals as well. The Visa itself costs $15 plus tax per person. Purchase two and receive two free 30th anniversary wine glasses. For tickets and information on various deals, click here.
On the 30th of every month, furthering the 30th anniversary celebration of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, each winery along the trail is offering great tasting and retail deals for visitors. Details can be found here.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail Riesling to Visit Passport | Valid through July 31, 2013
The Rieslings of the Finger Lakes are increasingly gaining recognition on the world stage. The Riesling to Visit Passport celebrates the award winning Rieslings of the region. The passport allows wine enthusiasts to explore twenty-five participating wineries along Seneca Lake, enjoying a free flight of wine at each place along the way, most of which include samplings of Riesling. The cost is $18 plus tax per person. For more information or to purchase, click here.
Another event in April that offers a more intimate and educational, behind-the-scenes view into the world of Finger Lakes Wine is the Winemaker Wednesdays program sponsored by the Seneca Lake Wine Trail:
Winemaker Wednesdays | April 10
Targeting the most curious and passionate fans of wine, this custom winery experience is truly one of a kind. Each participating winery, fifteen total, has developed some kind of special event or activity that day. Some activities include cellar tours, tank samples, wine and food pairings, exclusive reserve wine tastings, and more, usually led by the owner, winemaker, or vineyard manager. Appointments are required. For more information on pricing and offerings at each winery, click here.
The earthiness and the medium body of a Cabernet Franc makes it a perfect pairing with a classic risotto with mushrooms. We recently enjoyed this 2010 from Heron Hill Winery on the west bank of Keuka Lake. The wine retails for $15 per bottle and you can purchase the ingredients for the dinner for less than $5 per serving. In our book, that is a perfect pairing!
The gourmet mushroom risotto recipe from AllRecipes.
6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Did you know that the Finger Lakes is one of the premier Riesling producing regions in North America? Here is what James Molesworth, Senior Editor at Wine Spectator recently said about Rieslings from the Finger Lakes - “From dry to sweet versions, the Finger Lakes is slowly but steadily cementing its reputation as this country’s best source for Riesling.”
Are you a Riesling fan? Do you want to join Team Riesling? Simply post a tweet about Riesling using the hashtag #TeamRiesling and we will send you this cool little button.
Visiting Finger Lakes Wine Country in March? With any trip, there’s a lot to consider, especially around how to spend your time. Here’s a quick snap shot of March happenings to help you narrow down the list of possibilities – or perhaps add a few new ones.
March 8 | Cabin Fever (Wine & Beer Tasting) in Corning's Gaffer District
March 9 | 3rd Annual War Horse Brew Fest at Three Brothers Wineries & Estates
March 9,10,20,22,23,24,29 | Elmira Jackals Hockey at the First Arena
March 9-10 | Say Cheese! along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail
March 12-13 | The Addams Family at the Clemens Center
March 13 | Winemaker Wednesdays along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
March 16-17 | Cabin Fever Days at Swedish Hill
March 17 | FREE FunDay Sunday at Rockwell Museum of Western Art
March 21 | 2300° at The Corning Museum of Glass
March 22-24 | Cruisin’ The Tropics Weekend along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
March 25 | Comedy Club 5 at the Clemens Center
March 30 | Preferred Pairings along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
March 30 | “Spice it UP!” Wine Pairing Dinner at Glenora Wine Cellars
The Finger Lakes is a world-class wine producing region that specializes in aromatic white varieties like Riesling, Gewürztraminer… and Sparkling Wine!
|Bottles of Sparkling Wine aging in the cellars of Chateau Frank.
For the same reasons Rieslings thrive in the Finger Lakes – cool climate, limestone-chalk soil, and acidity balance – sparkling wines also flourish.
Winemaking techniques also play a role in the world-class taste of Finger Lakes sparkling wines. Many top producers make their sparkling wines from primarily Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir grapes. They also utilize the traditional methods of production, like méthode champenoise, where the carbon dioxide results from natural fermentation in a bottle. Some producers, like Chateau Frank, manually hand riddle each bottle – every day or two, the winemaker slightly shakes and turns each bottle, one at a time.
Enjoy shopping for sparkling wine from this sampling of producers:Glenora Wine Cellars Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Swedish Hill Winery
Whisk your love away for a Valentine's Day retreat. Find romance-themed accommodation packages in Finger Lakes Wine Country. Rates start at $119. MORE >
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