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Wine and Science in the Finger Lakes

Last Build Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 05:40:00 +0000


Ithacork takes on biodynamics

Wed, 18 Aug 2010 05:40:00 +0000

Hello, strangers! Ithacork is back from a summer hiatus and ready to get our science on! I’ve been working on a series of pieces for the New York Cork Report discussing the science of biodynamic and organic winegrowing. I’m up to my ears in Rudolf Steiner, Nicolas Joly, Maria Thun, Jamie Goode, and a whole bunch of scientific literature. My first post went up last Thursday and has generated a slew of comments in spite of containing little controversial content. I’ve also been interviewed about this project for the popular wine blog saignée, and that interview has also generated significant feedback. The interview explains a lot about my motivation behind this project, which I have been meaning to undertake for quite a while. Hopefully by the end of the series, we’ll discover which biodynamic practices have some scientific merit and which ones are better left in the realm of the spiritual. Throughout the series, I will be referencing my posts on NYCR and adding extraneous or supplemental information on this site. The official posts will go up on Thursdays over the next several weeks at The New York Cork Report.

Richard Pliny is going on vacation

Thu, 03 Jun 2010 19:29:10 +0000

I’m heading to the South Pacific for a few days.  Look forward to a review of some native beer and a discussion regarding fermentation temperature coming soon! In the mean time, check out the Mermaid Tavern (Guam’s only brewery since Pacific Universal Brewers and San Miguel closed), Samoa Breweries and Palau Brewing Company.

Malt Monday: The Warrior

Wed, 19 May 2010 04:47:44 +0000

by Richard Pliny, Beer Correspondent Roosterfish Brewing  Hop Warrior Style: Double IPA  Color: dark orange-amber ABV: 8.7%  Price Point: $7 for 22oz  Technical Notes: OG 1.081    TG 1.015    Color 14.68  IBU 120.2 Hedonic Notes: The pour is a slightly hazy orange amber color with a light caramel colored crown of foam.  The bubbles fade quickly, but the beer remains somewhat effervescent. Citrus hop notes form the bulk of the aroma with a great deal of lemon and grapefruit.  Some grassy notes and a very strong sweet caramel malt backbone.  A bit of alcohol solvent aroma rears its head as the beer warms. At first, the flavor is of strong sweet malt.  A strong American-style Cascade-like bitterness follows.  The citrus notes that are present in the aroma are backed up by a strong piney bitterness , but the grass flavor does not appear as much, or is perhaps  overwhelmed.  The beer is quite bitter, but the malt is strong enough to balance it and make the beer drinkable despite the alleged 120+ IBUs.  The beer finishes quite clean with a nice lingering citrus note. After the very strong sweetness and high bitterness, one might expect a viscous and dry {mouthfeel}.  Such was not [...]

Malt Monday: Out of This World!

Mon, 10 May 2010 22:39:11 +0000

by Richard Pliny, Beer Correspondent Style: “Blended IPA” Color: Orange-straw ABV: 9% Price Point: $8 for 22oz Technical Notes: From the Southern Tier website, “High in the winter sky, two parallel stick figures are visible & known as “the twins,” or the constellation Gemini. The astronauts of the 1960s flew as teams of two in a program named after the celestial pairing. At Southern Tier, we have our own fraternal twins, Hoppe [reviewed here] & Unearthly. Blended together & placed in this vessel, the mission of our Gemini is to travel high & take passengers on a journey far into the heavens.” Hedonic Notes: The beer pours a translucent pale orange with very little foam.  That foam which does form is characterized by large bubbles and a brilliant white shade.  There is a slightly cloudy appearance and the bottom of the bottle has a healthy amount of sediment. Floral, aromatic hop notes pervade the aroma.  A slight bit of citrus follows, accompanied by a thick, almost honey like malt backbone.  The hop notes are complex yet subtle, with hints of pine and grass mixing with the stronger floral and citrus notes. As the beer warms, the subtler hints become more [...]

Malt Monday: For Your Eyes Only

Tue, 04 May 2010 20:42:51 +0000

by Richard Pliny, Beer Correspondent Style: “Chocolate Stout” Color: Black ABV: 10.6% Price Point: $22 for 750 mL Technical Notes: From the bottle, “Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a robust stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy and hidden from everyone else at the brewery.  Supposedly Black Ops was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with Champagne yeast, creating big chocolate and coffee flavors with a rich underpinning of vanilla-like oak notes.  They say there are only 1,000 cases.  We have no idea what they’re talking about.” Hedonic Notes: The beer pours an inky black with a coffee colored head.  Bubbles in the foam are small and persistent even as the beer warms. A malty caramel smell with faint bourbon notes make up the aroma.  As the beer warms a very distant solvent flavor can be detected.  Vanilla notes come out as the beer reaches near room temperature along with slight coffee scents. Sweet, thick, roasted malt flavors form the start of the taste and are followed by a vanilla and oak notes, with a faint red fruit flavor in the middle.  [...]

Richard Pliny to Return to Full Time Soon

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 19:02:41 +0000

Illness has taken my ability to taste properly, but I will return next week with a review of Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Ops Stout! For the time being, check out an article by Jon Abernathy about indigenous American beer styles over at the Hop Press.  For all of you still trapped in Europe, here’s a helpful language primer: how to say “cheers” in forty languages from Beeriety. Skál!

Wine Blogging Wednesday 68: Got Gamay?

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 22:15:14 +0000

This post is part of Wine Blogging Wednesday, the monthly event where bloggers across the internet drink similar stuff and write about it. This month’s theme: Gamay. Thanks to Frank Morgan at Drink What YOU Like for hosting this month. Sheldrake Point Gamay 2007 Appellation: Finger Lakes Grape: Gamay Noir ABV:12.5% RS: 0.1% Price Point: $18 Closure: Natural cork Technical Notes: Info from the website. TA: 6.7 g/L, pH: 3.44. Hand harvested at 22 Brix, 8.2 g/L TA, 3.29 pH. Seven days on the skins. Six months in neutral French and American oak. Hedonic Notes: Dark ruby color in a normally lightly-colored grape, but 2007 was a hot, dry year in the Finger Lakes, so I guess a high tide raises all boats. Cherry and raspberry on the nose, a hint of spice, and a little floral component. Like many Finger Lakes wines, acidity supports the structure, but it’s not as zingy as a Riesling might be. A bit of woody oak on the finish. There’s also a persistent dairy-like flavor on the palate. It’s kind of like cheese, but it’s OK among the other aromas. A slight bit of {astringency} reminds us that it’s a red, but for the [...]

Ithacork to Ignite Ithaca

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 20:46:37 +0000

Tonight at 7PM Ithaca geek haven Pixel Lounge, a unique and interesting gathering of ideas will occur.  According to the website… IGNITE ITHACA is a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea–and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd. Run by local volunteers who are connected through the global IGNITE network, IGNITE is a force for raising the collective IQ and building connections. Some of the scheduled talks include: “Grand Theft Faust — Illegal File Sharing at the Dawn of Print” “Ithacka: Why Ithaca Needs a Hackerspace” “Childhood Dreams: Why They Are Important” “Sacred Cows – Anatomy of a Recycled Logo Project” I’ll be giving a 5-minute talk on appreciating wine science and some of the biases that we can encounter when enjoying and purchasing wine, with a heavy shout out to NY state wine, of course. Once the event’s over, I’ll try to get a video of the talk up on here. If you’re in Ithaca, come to Pixel at 7 to have your mind blown by all kinds of crazy Ithacan ideas. You can follow the event on twitter @igniteithaca.

Malt Monday: Wild Thing

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 04:51:17 +0000

Style:“American Wild Ale” Color: Gold ABV: 7% Price Point: $10 for 750 mL Technical Notes: From the Ithaca Beer website: “Brewed with vintage local hops, American Barley, Wheat and Corn, Brute is fermented on Oak for many months with Brettanomyces, then finished with a blend of three Champagne yeasts.  Enjoy the turbid citron hue, mature aroma, brash tartness and dry, quenching sparkle.” Bottle-conditioned. Hedonic Notes: Brute pours a brilliant orange gold with a slight opacity and a great deal of carbonation.  A tall white foam forms instantly with large bubbles and dissipates quickly as well. As soon as the cork is pulled, tart Brettanomyces barnyard scents mixed with champagne notes fill the room.  Orange peel and lemon are noticeable upon further inspection, perhaps with a hint of pineapple.  The effervescence tickles your nose as you reach for a stronger scent. The first sips remind one of a sour candy as sweet citrus and sour Brettanomyces flavors mingle.  Champagne with a clear grape flavor fills the middle of the palate, bringing balance to the mouth-puckeringly tart Brettanomyces flavors.  The oak used to age this brew is quite faint, masked almost entirely by the drink’s sourness, but lingering on the palate a [...]

Malt Monday: Yes We Can

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 03:22:53 +0000

Butternuts Beer & Ale’s Porkslap Style: Pale Ale Color: amber ABV: 4.3% Price Point: $7 for 6-12 oz cans Technical Notes: From the Butternuts Beer and Ale Website:  “Porkslap Pale Ale is brewed with 2 row North American barley and English crystal malt. The beer is flavored with crystal hop and a touch of fresh ginger to create a distinct flavor only a porkslapper can love. At 4.3% abv this beer is designed to have a good ale flavor and a crisp mild finish.” Hedonic Notes: The beer pours a medium red-amber with a cream colored foam.  A think, cream colored head forms with small bubbles and persists for some time. Sweet malt makes for most of the aroma while faint hints of citrus hops dance in the background.  Even when warm, the aroma is very mild. Malt flavors are very prevalent in the palate.  Pale malts impart a slight sweetness to the beverage, while mild earthy/spicy hops linger in the background.  A faint hint of ginger sits in the middle of the palate and imparts a unique spice like flavor that becomes increasingly obvious as the beer warms. A medium mouthfeel is accompanied by a surprisingly mouthcoating linger hop dryness [...]