One of the main reasons, or the main reason, we went to the Finger Lakes was to drink their wine. I enjoy wine a great deal but I know zero about wine because every time I go to learn about wine I drink too much wine and forget everything the wine teacher says. It never fails. I do know I prefer white and I MOST prefer bubbles but like the sweeter bubbles like Cava or Prosecco or (plot twist!) Lambrusco (THE PERFECT PIZZA WINE!) so I don’t really like champagne at all but if you give it to me and it’s free I will drink it.
Anyway this will be a novice, layshan recap/interpretation of the wines of the Finger Lakes and Keuka Lake in particular because that is the lake we were by and those are the wineries we went to so deal with it.
First on the list is PALS. This was not a winery but the van service we hired to drive us to wineries so we didn’t have to drive. This was the responsible adult thing to do and if you don’t do this I think you’re a dumb dumb because I’m pretty sure 90% of people driving drunk get DUIs up there. This is not a real statistic I just made it up but don’t drive drunk because DUIs are expensive and inconvenient AF. I don’t know from experience but I don’t judge you if you do. I read about it on the internet. The expense and inconvenience that is.
ANYWAY, PALS was a great service to use and they gave us a snack and water bag “Survival Kit” and it had a cute little wine charm as a closure at the top and everyone loves a cute little wine charm closure. If you don’t you can get the heck out. Our driver’s name was Stefan and he was great. This is going to make us sound like bitchy millennials but we really appreciated Stefan’s discretion and judgement when it came to chatting. As in, he didn’t try to make too much conversation with us but asked us where we wanted to go while also making good decisions for us and giving us some interesting information from time to time but didn’t try to chat too much with us beyond that. We were friends trying to catch up! We didn’t want to make new friends! Why do I feel like I have to defend myself on this?! Stefan was great. Thank you, Stefan and PALS. You are truly pals.
Ravines was the first winery we stopped at and Stefan took our pic there (thank you, Stefan) and it was great! They asked if we were “Ravinous” AND WE WERE. We had heard they have the best cheese plate but we weren’t yet ready for cheese so we missed it so now we have to go back, it’s the only way. We did a tasting and Carolyn poured for us. She was cool because she teased my one friend for being the mean drunk even though we weren’t drunk yet and my friend isn’t mean but the irony was truly side splitting. That’s sarcasm which I hate but UN-sarcastically Carolyn was great. I think she gave us the most info out of any of the wine teachers. Or maybe she was just lucky that I paid the most attention to her because I was still not drunk yet while under her tutelage.
We did a tasting of 5 wines at most of the places but at Ravines I sprung for a 6th and tried the sparkling which is my JAM but the bottle was out of my price range (not even that expensive but I was trying to keep things under control since I had been spending like a maniac) so I got a small bottle of Ayre that has a cute pic of a hot air balloon on it and Carolyn said I could make a mean wine slushee out of it. A. WINE. SLUSHIE…SOLD!
At Ravines we were most offended by the rose. That sounds dramatic but we were appalled by being shown the sulfuric taste it has before it “decants” (SEE THAT WINE KNOWLEDGE?!). They provided a glass of the decanted (!!!) rose for us to use for the sniffing step of the tasting of the rose and that smelled fine. But the rose we were DRINKING smelled like SULFUR and we couldn’t get away from it. It tasted fine and I’m sure it’s fine but we had a traumatic moment.
There was also a great view from Ravines and the view could be seen right behind Carolyn as we were tasting.
Next up was Domaine LeSeurre and if you didn’t already realize it was Frooonch. There was something with the Finger Lakes and similarities with France but looks like I already forgot it. This one had an awesome view as well, with cute little cafe tables outside. As you did the tasting inside you could look out at the view of the lake but it wasn’t right over the shoulder of the wine teacher like it was at Ravines. But that’s fine.
I think I liked the Gewürztraminer best here and I believe I tried a Gewürztraminer at each place we did a tasting because I had never heard of it before and in my mind that day it was 100% invented in the Finger Lakes but I didn’t feel like piping up and asking a question because that is one of my worst nightmares so I’ll have to google it and get back to you. It’s a white that’s not too sweet and also not disgusting, barf inducing, “buttery” (RETCH) like Chardonnay.
This was the one place I noticed the snacks and cheeses very nicely on display and I enjoyed that so thank you. They may have been nicely displayed at other places but I was too far gone into a wine induced stupor to take notice.
We rolled up to Weis ready to meet my one friend’s family friend Sherry. SUP SHERRY. We had been receiving tips and ideas on places to go from Sherry and she was pretty much a legend among our group at this point and we were pumped to meet her. As we walked in she was finishing another tasting but the other wine teacher was like “oh I’ll let you guys wait for Sherry” and we were like “THANK YOU SO MUCH SHERRY IS OUR WINE GOD.”
We settled in for the tasting and Sherry chatted with us and gave us some info but at this point it was the 3rd winery on the tour and I was just straight partying so I don’t remember the education part and just remember Sherry being fun and cool and our wine goddess and then I got a bottle of Perle which is a white that is a little bit bubbly and I found it delish. Sherry let us know she would be making her sons serve this at their weddings. WATCH OUT FOR THE PERLE TO RAIN DOWN AT YOUR WEDDINGS, SHERRY’S SONS.
Weis also had a SUPER NICE barn area that I believe is brand new that will be used for events in the future. It was so very nice that it made my friend reconsider her wedding venue. She texted her fiance and everything.
After Weis we were MORE THAN READY for that cheese plate and Sherry had given us some ideas but we ALSO had some ideas but time was starting to run low and we began to get a little panicked BUT Stefan saved the day because he knew just what to do and he took us to McGregor.
McGregor…HOME OF THE CHEESE PLATE. McGregor was one of the highest-up seeming wineries as far as altitude and it had an awesome view. They had rocking chairs on their porch and the chairs had perfect cheese plate sized tables next to them. I think I got the Gewürztraminer here again because we didn’t do a tasting, just each got a glass, and I didn’t feel like thinking so I was just like “Gewürztraminer! I’m here for the party!” (there was not a party).
The best thing about McGregor was that…THERE WAS A DOG! I take pride/interest in identifying dogs (unlike wine, I do remember what I learn about dogs, I’m sorry) And I drunkenly identified this dog as what one would call a Cur Dog but if you know more about dogs let me know if I’m way wrong. I took this opportunity to take out my new tripod I’m obsessed with for a moment and take pics of myself with it.
I didn’t finish my glass of wine because I spent too much time at the dog/tripod party but I do remember that I enjoyed it. The meat and cheese plate I remember very clearly because it was LIFESAVING but my approach to cheese is similar to wine and everything I learn about it goes in one ear and out the other so I don’t know what cheese it was but I do know that it was delicious.
After McGregor we had time for one more so Stefan took a quick pic of us (thank you, Stefan) then loaded us into the van and took us to…the next one…
omg what was the last one…I’ll call it “Tripod”
Because at this one I REALLY busted out my tripod.
We arrived, quite drunken, and didn’t have time for a tasting so got a bottle of white. I’m assuming it was Gewürztraminer or Dry Riesling as they seem to rule the roost up there. This could be just my perception and not fact-checked and therefore wrong. But it was a white and it was good and we got a bottle.
The others started to play cornhole (see my thoughts on games here) and I set out on my own with my tripod to take pictures of myself spinning around in the scenery. I finally convinced the others to also take pictures with me but their enjoyment/tolerance was short lived. They were good sports overall as far as photos for the whole weekend though, not everyone thrives on narcissism and I recognize and appreciate that. I swear.
We sat at a picnic table to finish our bottle of wine and looked out at the badass view. We thought about how lucky we are, to be 4 gals that have the time and the means and the ability to go on a gal trip and frolic around giddily and carelessly for a few days in a bucolic setting, and we were glad. We cheers-ed to our friendship and our good fortune, but I would not cheers to cornhole.
Oh! I looked through my records (crumpled up fliers and tasting lists of wine at the bottom of my backpack) and remembered. This final one was Keuka Spring. Ur welcome.
Have you ever been to the Finger Lakes? Or the “FLX”? What about Keuka Lake? Or “QKA”? Are you a gal that likes to frolic with your gals? Do you like wine? What wine do you like? Do you hate this whole idea and think I’m ridiculous and offensive with my blatant disregard for wine knowledge? Oh well.