Monday, August 22, 2011

The Other Side of the Table

By Chrystal Corsino aka "The Babysitter"

I received a phone call a few weeks back from Dominique the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery asking if I could help pour at the 1st Annual Putnam County Wine Festival.  Without hesitation I agreed. I was a little scared as I do not know all the technical terms in the wine industry, I can barley open a bottle of wine without help, and I had some but not to much experience with Hudson-Chatham wine.

On August 13, I ventured to Carmel, NY to a park off Gypsy Trail Run, to find out what it was like to be on the other side of the table. 

Before anyone showed up I of course had to taste the wines so I could easily speak about them.  Bottles open and uh-oh no wine glass now what?  Dominique showed me a camping trick of hers, we used the tops to our water bottles one for dry wines, one for sweet wines. I dare you to try tasting wine like this and  not laugh and get it all over you... I succeeded somehow. I also quickly learned how to use the cork screw she bought and got wine bottles open with ease.  

The wines offered by Hudson- Chatham were :
Seyval Blanc- very dry citrusy wine
Guartzerminer- dry white with afloral noise and grapfruitty finish, very refreshing
Hudson River Valley Red- mainly Dechaunac grape and unoaked, a diffrent taste for a red but still smooth
Empire Reserved-  This is by far my favorite local red it has Merlot form long island, Baco Noir from Hudson Valley and Cab Sauvignon from Finger Lakes, great with a steak
Salamagundi- sweet but not to sweet white wine, almost a blush
Lindenwald White- made form the niagra so very grapey "adult grape juice"
Raspberry Dessert Wine, which was port base with raspberry wine mixed in and the raspberries are grown on their farm.
A very good range of wines to show exactly what the winery is about and enough variety for all.

As for the festival it ran 10-7 and it was very dead,  only 6 wineries showed and many did not return day 2.  Business was good 12 to 3 , otherwise all the vendors were catching up and tasting and trading wine. I do not think there was enough promotion, but maybe for year 2 they will be better prepared.

I did get to taste wine from Fox Run, Prospero, Inspire Moore and  Thousand Island.  El Paso and Cereghino Smith were also at the event but I did not have time to taste.

Fox Run had an excellent Riesling, very flavorful with a pineapple finish yet not sweet and a great Pinot Noir smooth, blackberry noise yet again not sweet.

Prospero had an excellent sparkling strawberry wine, very flavorful and very different.

I enjoyed pouring wine more then expected, I felt I learned quick and followed Dominique's lead.  Hearing peoples stories and experiences with wine was a lot of fun. I can not wait to work another event truly a day to remember.
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