Mead Made Locally

There is a nice new wine trend that is about to happen. Some say it is more like wine, others…

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There is a nice new wine trend that is about to happen. Some say it is more like wine, others like beer, but in looking at the chemical synthesis, I would say it should be classified as a wine. Honey Wine. MEAD.

Mead is mentioned in a lot of Norse Mythology, which is very interesting. Its origin was definitely from the Germanic roots. As a lover of mythology, knowing Zeus and other gods were sipping on some Mead is pretty cool! (Greek Mythology is littered with Mead references, honey Nectar of the gods for sure.)

The Fermentation process is pretty standard at this point in time. Honey being the fermentable sugar, it can ferment from 8-20% ABV. It has a taste of wine and beer at the same time with a neutral honey flavor. A pale yellow color, some can be unfiltered and some not. You can get strong notes of honey on the nose the minute you open a bottle.

Utica, NY has seen a very large growth of local farms, breweries and restaurants join this clean living, farm-to-table lifestyle. One farm in particular, Heartsease Hill, honey and honey product producers have gotten into the Mead industry. Sue and Joe Kappler have become close personal friends of mine, and their product of Mead is high quality and evolving everyday for the best. They sell their product at the Oneida County Public Market. You might even be able to find this Mead on tap at Nail Creek in the near future. Playing with different styles and flavors, this style of wine has become my favorite after dinner Digestif! Sweet, but not sugary. As a fan of dry wine, I think everyone should give it an opportunity.

Heartsease Hill MEAD – 10% ABV

As the NYS Craft Beer and Wine industry begins to expand, you should be seeing a lot more high quality and unique products from very talented people.

Keep an eye out, wine lovers!

XOXO, Cheers!


Cinco de Cuatro

Today is the day before Cinco de Mayo. Let's be honest, it is a day we all like to drink,...

Today is the day before Cinco de Mayo. Let’s be honest, it is a day we all like to drink, so let’s talk about the wine and cocktails you should drink to imbibe fully in the Mexican holiday and in your beverage.

Cocktails – Stop in to Nail Creek and see ERICA! Ask for a Mango-Jalapeno or Watermelon Margarita! Joe at the Tailor and the Cook will be able to make a killer cocktail, ‘Tailored’ for your tastes and the holiday!

We all know the first drink that comes to mind when thinking Mexican. MARGARITA. That bowl of sugar, citrus and tequila with half a lime and salt alllll around the rim. Sometimes there may be a similar sized corona poking out of the cup upside down. Don’t get me wrong, I have sat down to one of these and stood up an hour later with limited ability to use my legs, but I prefer to sip something a little more savory, classic and funky.

  1. Margarita – As someone who doesn’t like too much sugar or pinch of salt, you would think a margarita isn’t for me. But mixed well with fresh squeezed citrus, cointreau, soda water and heavy on the tequila, the classic margarita is what I sip.
  2. Paloma – A paloma is such a fun summer drink for outside. Nail Creek has been serving a KILLER Salted Sage Paloma: but make sure this is Sage Simple Syrup on tap!
  3. Bloody Maria – Take a Bloody Mary. Throw out the Vodka. Dump in your choice of Tequila or Mezcal. I have made my own tomato juice from scratch. I choose to leave out horseradish and worchestershire sauce, and blend tomatoes and peppers from scratch. Half a lemon. And one metric ton of Cayenne and black pepper to bring out all the flavors in the Tabasco Sauce.

Again, there are so many different drinks you can make with these two spirits.

So what’s the difference between Mezcal and Tequila?

These to liquors have similar flavor profiles. The carry the same nomenclature of aging as well.

  • Abacado/Joven — clear; unaged
  • Reposado — aged in wood barrels for 2-11 months
  • Añejo — aged in wood barrels for a minimum of 12 months


  • can be composed with 28 different varieties of agave
    • mainly Espadin agave
    • second Blue agave
  • produced around the city of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • in-ground pits
  • smoky, (sweeter & richer)


  • single agave plant
    • blue agave
  • can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and small section of four other states
  • above ground oven
  • technically a Mezcal

My favorite Mezcal drink is a Bloody Maria. Smoky, pepper and tabasco filled Bloody Maria. I hand blended the tomato juice myself with tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, horseradish, cucumber, Cholula hot sauce and a TON of Cayenne Powder. Ask me for the recipe!

Cinco de Mayo


Mexican wines…. have you ever even heard those two words in the same sentence. The history of wine making for this nation is what spurred America’s ability to make wines. One of the oldest wineries in the New World region resides in Mexico. With the latitude that Mexico has, they found growing grapes for wine making difficult in the more coastal regions. With trial and error, grapes were planted in high altitude vineyards that receive cooling effects from wind and fog from the Pacific Ocean and this climate has allowed grapes to propagate.


Many reds being produced from Mexico are following the winemaking trends of Bordeaux, France. Red blends containing complex flavors and powerful varietals. Many traditional varietals including Tempranillo, a traditional Spanish varietal and Pinot Noir, the ever popular Noble Grape.


I am a sucker for a great Spanish Albarino. That is what I would drink to celebrate the holiday, even though it is Native to Spain. In keeping with tradition, I would go for a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or minerally Pinot Gris! They will pair well with whatever Mexican food you have set your heart on for the holiday!


Sparkling wine can also be designated as Cava in Mexico. It’s a holiday! So pop a Cava cork and get the bubbly going and your weekend started!!! You can never go wrong with bubbles.

Beer – Head over to Nail Creek for a Modelo!

  • Modelo
  • Dos Equis
  • Corona
  • Bohemia

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Drink up!


Dr. Larixx

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FRANC-ly I Don’t Give a Damn

Let’s talk about the underestimated Cabernet Franc.

Let’s talk about the underestimated Cabernet Franc. (more…)

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The Tailor & the Cook NYS Wine Takeover

At The Tailor and the Cook, wine, food, beverage and service are held with high esteem.

At The Tailor and the Cook, wine, food, beverage and service are held with high esteem.


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Stop and Smell the Rosé

It was the summer of 2014 and I had just only begun delving into the true knowledge of wine that…

It was the summer of 2014 and I had just only begun delving into the true knowledge of wine that would begin my journey. I was sitting at my favorite bar and restaurant at the time, which has sadly closed, and I was drinking a typical dry Malbec, which was my signature red of the time. The first red I had outside of the standard red spectrum (Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir = Red Noble Grapes). This Mediterranean hole in the wall in Philadelphia had become my home away from home. I began to learn a lot about high-end food and beverages here, just by befriending the owner, chefs and very talented staff.

I have had sweet and unaccomplished rosés before, but it never was something I looked forward to. The bartender and my friend said “No. Try this new rosé.” In my head, I was not looking forward to it. Sweet pink wine? I prefer to drink dry and stiff, and rosé should be dry as bone. I took a sip of this Portugese rosé, made with Malbec grapes, and thought to myself, ‘I’ve entered another planet.’ It was crisp, ever so slightly carbonated, and dry. A light perfume taste that was pleasing to every single one of my taste buds. It was a match made in heaven, and since that day, I have been in love with Rosé.


First question: Is it white or red? Rosés are made from dark skinned grapes. Wine makers do have the ability to blend a red grape into a vat of white, after certain steps of the process red grapes go through. The grapes are fermented at lower temperatures, about 12-22°C. The contact of the skin and the pulp of the grape are held at much shorter times, 12-36 hours.

[Crushing >> Fermentation (punch down & pump over, extract tannin and color) >> Fermentation (regulated tank) >> Maturation (Stainless Steel Tanks) >> Bottling]

What kind of varietal is rosé? This is simple to answer. Any red grape can make a rosé with the proper treatment and care. Many red grapes will have better nuances and flavors for a rosé, but all can be used in production.

I enforce this notion very frequently: Every day is a sparkling wine occasion. It is not just for celebration. It is good for the soul I believe. Sparkling rosé is even more perfect to sip in my opinion. I have always LOVED Moët & Chandon & Veuve Clicquot, their rosés are perfect. I won’t write too much on them because I will frequently mention these champagnes, and they are so well established, that if you haven’t tried them you should. And if you don’t like them, well, I feel sad for you!

One question I was able to answer for myself is why do so many rosés have screw caps and not corks. I am very neutral on the style of corking every winery likes to choose, but I have observed that so many rosés use screw caps. It isn’t much, except science, that explains the reason; and that reason is filled with purpose. Rosés are meant to be drank young, and the wine makers are letting you know how they would like you to drink it by putting a screw  cap on.


Rosé tastes different with each different grape it is from, the method in which it is produced and also the region. Again, terroir comes into play frequently in rosé because of some of the flavors and nuances a rosé has. For instance, the mineral characteristics of soil are more easily picked up in white and rosé wines.

Old World rosé will typically be more lighter in color, crisper, delicate and filled with tangy fruit. New world rosé will have heavier, bolder and more tannic characteristics.


The truth is, not many places are picking up on this dry rose trend. It’s hard to acquire some of these lovely wines unless you are going to the winery or vineyard, love finding a local hotspot to frequent or will find the time to track down a great wine at a local store. I have a mix of all three for you!

Sheldrake Rose

Sheldrake Point, Dry Rosé, 2015


  • Cayuga Lake, NY
  • Varietal: Cabernet Franc
  • Dry
  • Where to Find?
    • The Tailor & The Cook (Per Glass/Per Bottle) (Utica, NY)


Knapp Rose

Knapp, Dry Rosé, 2014


  • Cayuga Lake, NY
  • Varietal: Pinot Noir
  • Dry
  • Where to Find?
    • Seneca Liquors (New Hartford, NY)


KJR Rose

Kelby James Russell, Rosé, 2014


  • Seneca Lake, NY
  • Varietal: Cabernet Franc
  • Dry
  • Where to Find:
    • The Annex, Wine Bar (Clinton, NY)



Keuka Spring Rose

Keuka Spring, Dry Rosé, 2014


  • Keuka Spring, NY
  • Varietal: Lemberger, Cabernet Franc
  • Dry
  • Where To Find:
    • Kindred Fare (Geneva, NY)



Glenor Rose
Glenora, Rosé, 2015
  • Seneca Lake, NY
  • Varietals: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc
  • Dry
  • Where to Find:
    • Seneca Liquors (New Hartford, NY)





Mluderbosch Rose

Mulderbosch, Rosé, 2014


  • Stellenbosch, Germany
  • Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Semi-Dry
  • Where to Find:
    • Seneca Liquors (New Hartford, NY)



Broadbent Rose

Broadbent, Rosé, 2014


  • Vinho Verde, Portugal
  • Varietal: Malbec
  • Dry
  • Where to Find:




M. Chapoutier, Rosé, 2015
  • Côtes du Rhône, France
  • Varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
  • Dry
  • Where to Find:
    • Bremer’s (New Hartford, NY) [Abundant]



Mumm Napa Rpse

Mumm Napa, Brut Rosé, 2015
  • Napa Valley, California
  • Varietals: Pinot Noir
  • Dry; Sparkling!
  • Where to Find:
    • [Abundant]



JCB No 69

JCB N0 69, Rosé, 2015
  • Burgundy, France
  • Varietals: Pinot Noir
  • Dry; Sparkling!
  • Where to Find:
    • The Annex, Wine Bar



Drink up. Drink wine.


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