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Tag Archives: liquor store

Wine on a Friday

In lieu of my usual Lame Post Friday, I shall offer a brief shout-out to a local liquor store and a California winery.  I went to a wine tasting at Valley Wine and Liquor in Herkimer which featured Michael David Winery of Lodi, California.

I often go to Valley Wine and Liquor on a Friday, because they often offer a tasting.  I often take notes, thinking I might make a blog post, then don’t.  Today I will.  Steven was off work, so our friend Kim picked both of us up at five, and we made our way to Valley Wine and Liquor.  Kim was disappointed when we found out they were sampling four dry red wines, because she likes sweet, but I said, “I will try them all!”

The first one we tried was the Earthquake Zinfandel.  I pronounced it “yummy,” which regular readers know is my highest accolade.  We also tried Petite Petit, a blend of Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot; 6th Sense Syrah; and Ink Blot, a Cabernet Franc.  Steven liked them all.  My favorite was the Zinfandel with the Ink Blot  in second place.  We decided to purchase the Petite Petit, because the label featured two elephants.  My sister, Diane, collects elephants.  I said we would buy it and save it till we got together with Diane.

“We’d better get together with her soon,” Steven said.

Kim and I plan to return tomorrow afternoon, when they are sampling Swedish Hill Winery, a New York State winery I have been to more than once.  Most of their wines are sweet, so Kim will be happy.  If I don’t like the wine, at least I can write another blog post.


That’s the Spirit, Mr. Reilley!

Last Friday, after leaving Vintage Spirits, Steven and I decided to stop by Valley Wine and Liquor in Herkimer to see if they had a tasting, which they usually do on a Friday.  I’m so glad we did.

“Life of Reilley Distillery!” I said, reading off the sign up front.  “Yay!  I love them!”  I remembered as soon as I saw it that I had seen it was an upcoming tasting, but I rarely make a note of these things.  Next time I will definitely make a note when Life of Reilley is expected.

We had tasted Life of Reilley at Valley Wine and Liquor before.  Ben Reilley remembered me from last time.  He remembered that I have a blog, which is another reason I am making sure to write a post about his business.  The main reason is, yum.

I am not a vodka drinker in general.  These days I rarely indulge in hard liquor at all, but even when I did, gin was my drink of choice, with occasional forays into whiskey, rum or brandy.  However, they say there are exceptions to every rule.  Life of Rielley products are just so tasty!  I had the plain, the raspberry and the vanilla and loved them all.  When I remarked about my usual preferences, Ben said he heard that a lot.  He was thinking of using it as an advertising slogan: the vodka for people who don’t drink vodka or something like that.

Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Co. was founded in 2013 in Canandaigua, NY.  They are a family-run business and according to their Facebook page, they are living the life.  I love their spirit as well as their spirit, if you see what I mean.  To learn more about Life of Reilley, you can visit their website at You can also Like them on Facebook.

Valley Wine and Liquor is located at 326 S. Caroline St, in Herkimer, phone number 315-867-5800.  They are also on Facebook.


Working on my Oenophile Cred

Last Friday after adventuring for most of the afternoon, I stopped by Vintage Spirits in Herkimer, NY for their Easter wine tasting.   As regular readers know, I have no real oenophile cred (or even a clear idea of how to pronounce “oenophile”).  However, I love wine and I like giving a shout-out to a local business.

Tastings at Vintage Spirits are always educational for me, because Bronson, who owns Vintage Spirits, is very knowledgeable.   I suppose if I go to enough tastings there, I will eventually gain a few oenophile creds myself.  If I don’t drink too much wine and forget everything I hear (not at the tasting, of course, but, you know, if I buy a couple of bottles).

I started with Le Petit Rouviere Rose 2015 from Provence, France. I told Bronson how Steven and I often make the joke:   If I have a little red left in my glass but Steven is opening a bottle of white, I tell him to mix it and we’ll make Rose.  Of course that is not really how it is done.  Bronson explained how the wine skins are left in for a certain length of time to make the color.  I’m afraid I don’t remember the full explanation (yes, I purchased a couple of bottles; why do you ask?).

I though the Rose was tasty and would make a good summer wine.  Of course I am quite ready to sit out on my deck with a glass of wine, but so far the Mohawk Valley weather has not been cooperative.

Next I tried Heron Hill Dry Riesling 2013 from Keuka Lake, NY.  I like dry riesling and I am a huge fan of New York State wines (what a surprise), so I had high hopes for this one.  I was not disappointed.  It earned my ultimate accolade of “yummy.”  I made a further note that it was “New Yorky.”  I can’t describe exactly what I mean by “New Yorky.”  It’s one of those “I know it when I taste it” things.  This riesling was not entirely dry, and the description said it paired well with ham, so I felt confident in purchasing a bottle to bring to my parents’ house for Easter dinner.

I tried all the reds except the Fulkerson Red Zeppelin from Seneca Lake, NY.  I knew it was sweet, and I think I have tried it before.

In addition to the riesling, I picked up a bottle of Barefoot Pinot Noir, which is a very tasty wine, especially for the price.  Mom was cooking a rolled roast beef as well as the ham, so I thought some people might prefer a red.

Steven was working till six.  Thinking he had worked all day and would like a treat, I walked to his place of employment and brought him to the wine tasting, which ran till seven.  The nice people at Vintage Spirits did not mind that I tasted twice.  After Steven had tried everything, we purchased a bottle of the Rose.  Steven liked it, and I found I liked it even better on the second try.  Now if we could only get some good deck-sitting weather.

Vintage Spirits is located at 246 Mohawk St., Herkimer, NY.  Phone number is 315-866-6800.  You can also Like them on Facebook.


Late, Lame Lush

Um, I don’t know that I am really all that much of a lush.  But I love alliteration, and since alcohol was involved in today’s post, I thought I would stretch a point.

Thank goodness it is Lame Post Friday, although this will be the third foolish post in a row.  However, I have a policy of not apologizing for these things, at least on Fridays.  Policies subject to change without notice, but that’s neither here nor there.

I am late doing my post today, because I had to meet a friend at a couple of wine tastings at local liquor stores.  Wine tastings at liquor stores are a wonderful thing, because you can try wines you would not necessarily purchase untasted and perhaps discover something you like.  Sometimes you can increase your knowledge of wine and gain oenophile cred (although it helps if you know how to pronounce “oenophile,” which I do not) (I’m not even sure that is how you spell it, although my computer seems to think it is correct).

More importantly, you can often chat up nice people, or meet up with friends and have a fun interlude.  Today I met a friend at Vintage Spirits in Herkimer and then we went to Ilion Wine and Spirits in Ilion.  Full disclosure:  if she had been unable to make it, I probably would have gone to the tastings by myself.  But it would not have been nearly as fun.

I hope to do full posts about each tasting, sharing what I tasted and what I learned.  However, today is Friday.  I got home late and have to get up early.  I have some relaxing to do.  Also, I have to finish cooking dinner (ooh, maybe I can get a cooking post out of today as well).

In short, I hope you are having a happy Friday.  I am.


Cheese Before Wine

Steven and I began our Friday Mohawk Valley adventures with a trip to Vintage Spirits in Herkimer, NY for a wine and cheese tasting. I was delighted to see that Three Village Cheeses was providing the cheese.

The wine tasting table seemed a little crowded, so I started with the cheese. Tom remembered me from last June. He had read my blog post from that tasting, so that established cordial relations right away.

I tried the feta first and immediately declared it my favorite. So smooth, so deep. I don’t know how people usually describe cheeses (notes of… what? I never taste the notes in wine either, so what does that tell you), but I thought the feta was substantial. The other heavy one was the tomme, which I think I declared my favorite last time. I like the ones that are more complex.

I happily nibbled the mild ones, too, and when I got to the Habanero Havarti (I think habanero should have a tilda over the n, don’t know how to do it on my computer) (point and laugh if you must), I knew I had found my cheese of the day.

I recently bought some store brand pepper jack at Hannaford and found I liked the bite. Well, this was a glorification of that taste. The cheese was cheesier! The pepper was peppier! It was better than yummy!

Having made up my mind on the cheese, I turned my attention to the wine. Of course, as I sipped I returned to nibble. Must experiment with wine/cheese pairings after all.

I believe I can purchase Three Village Cheeses at Ilion Farmer’s Market. If not, I will surely make my way to the cheese factory and retail store at 2608 Newport Rd., Poland, NY. I can get directions via their Facebook page. I think it is time to upgrade from store brand cheese. Sorry, Hannaford!