Did you know that I have my own wine club? I do! I’ve partnered with my friends at The Cellar d’Or in Ithaca, NY to bring the best and most interesting wine from the East Coast and Midwest straight to your door. We call it “The Cork Club” and I pick two wines each month that never exceed $60 total before shipping. These aren’t bin ends or mass-produced, factory wine garbage. These are real wines. These are the wines that I’m drinking myself and most excited about — from producers you’re never going to get anywhere else. 

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The Cork Club: June 2018 Selections

It’s been a dreary, rain-soaked spring up and down the East Coast, but summer is right around the corner. I promise. It is.

Seriously. With this in mind, I decided to do something that I don’t think I’ve ever done in all the years I’ve had this club — pick two rosés in a single shipment.

It seems like dry rosé has been “the next big thing” for more than a decade now — but it’s been here for a while now. Even if those charged with marketing pink wines stick to the “rosé revolution” narrative.

I drink the stuff all year long and have found delicious versions made in every corner of North American wine country. This month, I’m sending you two rosés from the Finger Lakes that have stood out in recent tastings.

First up is a wine that I came upon because of one of our members, Nick Giglia. After a recent trip to the Finger Lakes, he sent me a note telling me that I had to taste Standing Stone Vineyards 2017 Dry Rosé. He wasn’t joking. This wine is 100% Saperavi, an acidic, teinturier grape variety native to Georgia (the country, not the state), that has gained some momentum in upstate New York. Teinturier means that the grape’s flesh is colored rather than white, by the way.  It was made from hand-picked fruit and fermented with ambient yeasts.

Bone dry with bright cranberry-lime fruit with a little rhubarb and plenty of juicy, lip-smacking acidity, this is the perfect antidote to the boring, one-note or flabby rosé I’ve been tasting this year. I’m planning to buy some for Thanksgiving.

If you enjoy  cabernet franc-based rosé — and you know I do — this month’s second wine, Barry Family Cellars 2017 Rosé of Cabernet Franc might be a new favorite. Bright fruity aromas of red cherries and raspberries are accented by a nice bit of citrusy herbs — think lemon verbena and balm — with a subtle bit of earthy spice. Medium-light in body, it offers more of that bright, juicy red fruit with a little key lime pie filling, those lemony herbs, and just a bit peppery edge. The acidity is absolutely crackling here with a lime-y juiciness that really stretches out the long, dry finish.

Happy summer, everyone. As always, I hope you enjoy the wines. Please let us know what you think!

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About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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