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Posts Tagged ‘drink local’

Federweisser: A Riesling Harvest Celebration at Johnson Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

PHOTO/ Johnson Estate Winery

The 2012 harvest is underway and the Riesling grapes at Johnson Estate will be picked on Columbus Day with hopes that the sunny summer will yield another delicious, gold medal vintage. Johnson Estate is located in western New York, a region whose climate is similar to Germany’s, with Lake Erie as its “Moselle”. It is the ideal climate for growing high-quality Riesling grapes for world-class wines.

Johnson Estate will celebrate this year’s Riesling harvest in Germanic style by serving Federweisser – a partially fermented white grape juice similar to apple cider. “Federweisser” means white or light feather, referring to the color of this sweet, slightly fermented, pale-colored juice with an alcohol level of roughly 4%-10%, depending on the duration of fermentation. As they do in Germany, the winery will serve the well-chilled Federweisser with a traditional onion tart for the next two weekends, October 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th. No reservations are required; a generous serving of Federweisser and tart, prepared by CJ’s of Westfield, will be $5/person.

Taste Three Rieslings at the Winery

When at the winery, do taste all THREE Rieslings made at Johnson Estate. The first two are made from Johnson’s 2011 estate grapes and carry the Freelings Creek label. The third, a new release for the winery, is made from Finger Lakes grapes and is a limited production of just two-hundred cases. All three Rieslings were vinified in the classic German Riesling style and range in sweetness from dry, off-dry, to semi-sweet.

PHOTO/ Johnson Estate Winery

Beverage Testing Institute Awards Johnson Estate’s Rieslings GOLD Medals

Winemaker, Jeff Murphy, submitted samples of each of Johnson’s three Rieslings to the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI), an independent rating agency for the quality of wines, liquors, and beers. The two estate wines (Dry Riesling, 92 points and Riesling, 93 points) were awarded Gold/Exceptional medals along with two other vintages: a Vidal Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Finger Lakes Riesling was awarded a Silver medal.

Free Shipping for Riesling Sampler or Straight Cases – October Only

During the month of October, in recognition of Johnson Estate’s Riesling Harvest Celebration, shipping will be free on a “Riesling Sampler Case” OR straight cases (12 bottles) of any of the winery’s Rieslings. The Sampler Case will feature four bottles of each of the three Rieslings made by the winery. Johnson Estate is currently licensed to ship to nearly 40 states. Customers may call the winery or visit the winery’s website to place an order.

Johnson Estate Winery, the oldest estate winery in New York State, is a member of the Lake Erie Wine Country (formerly the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail). For more information please visit, or, or call 716-326-2191 or 800-Drink-NY.

Pinterest, Parties and Prizes!

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm

PHOTO/Carole Topalian

Do you like free stuff? How about free stuff from great local farmers and producers?

What about fall? Dinner parties? And how about Pinterest?

If any of this sounds good, we’ve got a contest for you! Starting Monday, October 1st we’ll be launching a month-long contest on for readers- the Edible Buffalo Ultimate Autumn Dinner Party. The official rules and instructions will be posted and you can start pinning that evening, but we’ll let you in on a little tidbit for now- the prize!

The winner of Edible Buffalo’s Ultimate Autumn Dinner Party Contest will receive a $250 gift card to Farmers & Artisans in Williamsville, NY, as well as a personal shopping experience with advice and information from their in-house chef, baker, and farmer Julie Blackman! It’s a great opportunity to make your dinner party dreams a reality while supporting local business.

Check back here Monday evening for the full details- and start brainstorming! You can check us out on Pinterest in the meantime and learn more about Farmers & Artisans at their website:

A Recipe For Your Weekend- Spider Bite Mixed Drink

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Black Willow Winery’s Black Widow Berry wine shines as a mixer for a spectacular beverage. Try it out at your next get-together with friends- it’s super simple.


1 bottle Black Widow Berry wine
2 cups crushed ice
6 oz. coconut rum (non-sweet)
3 oz. lime vodka

Stir and serve! Makes enough for a 2 qt. carafe.

Courtesy of Black Willow Winery / reposted with permission from CityGirlCountry.


Celebrate the harvest

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Zucchini with goat cheese. PHOTO/Michelle Blackley

The Niagara Wine Trail welcomed the 2012 harvest season with wine and food pairings at select wineries last weekend. The ticketed event included wine tasting at each participating winery, food samples and a commemorative glass. Patrons learned how to make pizzelles and what wine to pair with them, at the Winery at Marjim Manor. They tasted fresh tomato basil roll-ups at Niagara Landing, and dared to try their seasonal Hot Pepper Wine!

Harvest bread, goat cheese, and locally harvested apples also tempted palates. Swiss cheese wrapped with Parma prosciutto – a sweet, crisp, nutty, smoky and salty, savory delight, was found at Black Willow Winery; Eveningside Vineyards served pumpkin cupcakes paired with their Reserve Chardonnay.

There was also live music at Schulze Vineyard and Winery, pottery and glass wares for sale.

The Niagara Wine Trail is the fastest growing wine trail in the country and is open year-round. For more information about upcoming events, visit You can read more about Black Willow Winery and one of their more unique offerings, mead, in the upcoming fall issue.

Niagara Wine Trail Wineries Awarded Recognition at New York Wine & Food Classic

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

PHOTO/Carole Topalian

From  Niagara Wine Trail USA:

The Niagara Wine Trail is honored to announce that our wineries were awarded last week at the 2012 New York Wine & Food Classic. Over 770 New York State wines, ciders and spirits competed against one another at Watkins Glen, NY event. Resulting from the competition, Niagara Wine Trail wineries were honored with a number of Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. Four of the Niagara Wine Trail wineries were awarded with a total of 23 medals combined.

Awarded wineries include Freedom Run Winery’s Double Gold for their 2010 Meritage, Silver for Freedom Red, and Bronze awards for their 2010 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve, Cabernet Franc, Meritage, and Freedom White. Leonard Oaks Estate Winery was honored with Gold for their 2009 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Silvers for their 2010 Chardonnay, 2011 Riesling Reserve, 2011 Riesling, 2011 Traminette, Steampunk Cider, and Bronze awards for 2010 Chardonnay Reserve, 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve, 2011 Vignoles and Vihno Tesouro. Schulze Vineyards & Winery was decorated with Silver for Crackling Catawba and Ruby as well as Bronze awards for 2011 Vidal Blanc, 2011 Siegfried and 2010 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. Rounding off the winners, Chateau Niagara Winery brought home Bronze for their 2010 Pinot Noir, and Vizcarra Vineyards at Becker Farms also brought home Bronze for their Spiced Apple.

Awards won may be viewed on the Niagara Wine Trail website at Comprehensive lists of the winners of the 2012 New York Wine and Food Classic may also be viewed online here.

Eat Drink Local, Day 10: Drink Local at Sweet Sixteen Café

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Sweet Sixteen is a bakery. A bakery and a café located in Lockport, to be exact. So why is it the final drink destination for Eat Drink Local Week? It’s because Sweet Sixteen is leading the pack locally when it comes to the nonalcoholic drink trend that’s sweeping the area.

The store’s inviting, comfortable interior is a great place to sit down with friends for a “signature drink.” The breadth is surprising- being a café, they do serve up coffee-based beverages like the “Summer Wake Up” (a hazelnut iced coffee), but there are also a good deal of teas, lemonades, and sodas. Their Peach Melba Italian sodas is a great warm-weather treat, as is their Pomrazzle soda. They also offer up hot tea and coffee if you’re looking for something outside of cooler drinks.

The drinks are great, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their bakery and menu offerings. They have a “Pick 2” lunch special that allows customers to pick and choose between their soups, sandwiches, salads and quiches prepared fresh every day. There are interesting vegetarian options for those looking to steer clear of meat, like a grilled eggplant wrap with fresh mozzarella. The menu is true to the season too, with gazpacho offered up in the summertime alongside their “Cherry Blossom” salad.

The Pick 2 special also comes with a cupcake. They aren’t an afterthought, though- Sweet Sixteen also has a great variety of baked goods available for purchase, like their popular cake pops (moist and covered in chocolate or cream cheese icing), cookies, dessert bars and energy bars. The store also makes custom-order cakes in several flavors.

Sweet Sixteen has only been in business since 2010, but the Lockport bakery and café is well on it’s way to establishing itself in the area. It’s a welcome addition.

For more information you can visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @Sweet16cafe.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 9: Drink Local at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

Nestled in rich soil along the Niagara Wine Trail are four generations of grape growers. Leonard Oakes Estate Winery produces wine that is standing the test of time, due to a stellar reputation and multiple awards. Owned and operated by the Oakes Family, the estate near Lake Ontario is home to almost 100 years of agricultural experience. Old world philosophies combined with forethought makes them a must-stop on the Niagara Wine Trail. Come taste the fruits of their labor.

As Leonard Oakes’ great grandson, Jonathan Oakes may be a fourth generation fruit farmer but he is the first in the family to make wine. His attention to detail and dedication to producing premium wines would make Leonard proud. Thanks to Jonathan’s vision and talent, the estate Leonard started is getting much-deserved acclaim.

Oakes and the winery, recently received the “Best Dessert Wine” acknowledgment for their 2008 Vidal Ice Wine at the NY Food and Wine Classic.

Outside of wine, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery’s Steampunk Cider has been 10 years in the making, and Jonathan sees his approach as being closer to that of craft beer that winemaking. As opposed to the over processed and usually syrupy sweet flavors commonly found at the grocery store, Steampunk Cider seamlessly blends the structure and complexity of English ciders with the fruit forward qualities of American style cider. With aromas of fresh picked apples, this cider delivers a mouthwatering sparkling texture with the most refreshing balance of crisp acidity and ripe fruit character.

Steampunk Cider was recognized with a double gold award, at the NY Food and Wine Classic.

Summer is the perfect time to try their popular Fuji Wine, made with Fuji Apples grown on the property. Hand harvested and selected for their natural sweetness and crisp acidity, this wine is bold yet elegant.

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in located in Medina, NY and is open year round. January through April: Noon – 6 pm Sunday – Friday; and 10 am – 6 pm Saturday. April through December: 11 am – 6 pm Monday – Friday; 10 am – 6 pm Saturday; and noon – 6pm Sunday. Find them online at, or on Facebook at Leonard-Oakes-Estate-Winery; and follow them on Twitter @OAKESWINERY.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 7: Drink Local at Johnson Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Nestled in the hear of Lake Erie Wine Country along the shoreline is Johnson Estate Winery, New York’s oldest estate winery. Estate wineries use grapes from their own vineyards to make wine. The entire vinification process from the crushing of grapes to the bottling of the wine is done at the winery. You can’t get any more local than that!

Back in the early part of the 20th century, the now farm winery was originally founded as a tree fruit and Concord grape farm by English immigrant Fredrick Johnson. Sunnyslope Fruit Farm (as it was originally named) specialized in apples, cherries and peaches and concord grapes. The building that was once cold storage for the farm is now the winery’s tasting room.

Today Johnson Estate Winery grows more than Concord grapes. They grow a variety of European vinifera style grapes including Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling; some French-hybrid style grapes such as Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, and Traminette. In addition, they grow indigenous grapes such as Catawba and Niagara. The variety of vineyards allows the winery to produce a broad range of wines that meet the needs of most tasting palates.

Johnson is hosting some exciting events this July including Sunday morning vineyard walks (something we highly recommend if you’ve never done it) and a Locavore Wine Pairing Dinner on July 27, 2012. For more information visit their website at or find them on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 6: Drink Local at Community Beer Works!

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

New on the local drink scene is Community Beer Works, Buffalo’s first nanobrewery. Now providing fresh, high quality, local beer to downtown haunts: Cole’s, Mister Goodbar, Blue Monk, Blackrock Kitchen & Bar, and The Village Beer Merchant.

Started by five guys with a love for beer and community spirit, Community Beer Works also prides itself on being environmentally friendly. They donate their spent grain to the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

Ethan Cox, Rudy Watkins, Dan Conley and Gregory Patterson-Tanski are setting out to “Embeer Buffalo”. They not only want Community Beer Works to succeed, but the overall beer culture of Buffalo to thrive. A former hub for beer hops and beer production prior to Prohibition, this group believes Buffalo can again be one of the premiere beer destinations in the country.

Their brewery has one-and-a half barrels, and brews on a three-burner Psychobrew system using Stout kettles and fermenters. On average, a double batch is brewed, filling up two conical fermenters. Their clarification methods start and end with crash cooling the beer to drop the yeast out of suspension. They do not filter or use clarifying agents on their beer, which leave in more nutrients and keep it vegetarian.

Taste the proof in their products. Their American Pale Ale (the Frank) has a mellow malt base and reveals the hops as they compete with sweet grains. Loaded with zest, pine and a touch of citrus. Be sure to try their Whale, a brown ale beer that is nutty with a hint of sweetness, but not overwhelming. It also appears to have some dark malt characteristics but good on a warm spring day. It may be suitable for a post-meal drink.

**Located on Lafayette Ave., Buffalo, Community Beer Works does not have a retail license yet and therefore not open to the public; however, meet the guys this summer at local events. From 6 – 9 pm July 13 they will be at Bricks and Brews, at the Darwin Martin House; and from 5:30 – 9:30 pm August 10, they will be at Buffalo Brewfest.

For more information about Community Beer Works, visit, find them on Facebook at communitybeerworks or follow them on Twitter @communitybeer.

Listen here to the podcast of our radio interview with Ethan Cox and Rudy Watkins!

**This post originally ran in June 2012. Since then Community Beer Works has received their retail license and is currently open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm-7pm at 15 Lafayette Avenue, Buffalo. Additionally  they can be found at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market every Saturday during market season. Growlers and kegs available.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 5: Drink Local at Arrowhead Spring Vineyards

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

Photo courtesy of Arrowhead Spring’s Facebook page

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards produces the highest quality, barrel ages wines from their estate vineyard and locally grown grapes. Handcrafted in small lots with a focus on quality make them a popular stop on the fastest growing wine trail in the United States, the Niagara Wine Trail.

Winemakers Robin and Duncan Ross aim to raise the best grapes possible in the most natural way they can. Their wines reflect the rich soil and climate the region below the Niagara Escarpment is known for. With a deep respect for the area, maintaining their land and focusing on sustainable farming and living naturally, their wine list deserves the recognition it has received.

Edible Buffalo magazine named Arrowhead Spring Vineyard a Local Hero Award Winner in 2010 for Beverage Artisan Wine Recognition; and their wine selection has grown every year since. Red, White, Rosé and Ice Wine; there is something to please every palate.

The 2008 BeauVine Rosé is a light, fun, easy-drinking sweet red wine, with floral notes on the nose, reminiscent of roses and is smooth on the palate. It is a perfect wine for a picnic or sipping amongst friends, or use in Sangria or as a mixer. The Reserve Meritage from the same year is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc; this wine has been aged in French and American oak barrels. Undertones of dark chocolate and cassis, it is well matched with hearty meals.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards is known for their Pinot Noir and their 2010 Pinot Noir has a beautiful nose of raspberry, cranberry and the scent of fall leaves will greet drinkers of this bountiful Pinot Noir. A chalky backbone, silky tannins, and lively acidity that make this a prime example of the Niagara Pinot mark the palate. Aged one year in French oak.

If white is on the menu, try their 2010 Semi Dry Riesling, a delightful semi-dry wine, with a refreshing nose and a clean finish; or their 2009 Chardonnay a lightly oaked Chardonnay with lively acidity and a fresh clean taste.

Join Arrowhead Spring Vineyards online at, follow them on Twitter at @ArrowheadSpring or find them on Facebook at arrowheadspringvineyards.