By Chrystal Corsino aka “The Babysitter”

I received a phone call a few weeks back from Dominique the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery asking if I could help pour at the 1st Annual Putnam County Wine Festival.  Without hesitation I agreed. I was a little scared as I do not know all the technical terms in the wine industry, I can barley open a bottle of wine without help, and I had some but not to much experience with Hudson-Chatham wine.

On August 13, I ventured to Carmel, NY to a park off Gypsy Trail Run, to find out what it was like to be on the other side of the table. 
Before anyone showed up I of course had to taste the wines so I could easily speak about them.  Bottles open and uh-oh no wine glass now what?  Dominique showed me a camping trick of hers, we used the tops to our water bottles one for dry wines, one for sweet wines. I dare you to try tasting wine like this and  not laugh and get it all over you… I succeeded somehow. I also quickly learned how to use the cork screw she bought and got wine bottles open with ease.  
The wines offered by Hudson- Chatham were :
Seyval Blanc– very dry citrusy wine
Guartzerminer– dry white with afloral noise and grapfruitty finish, very refreshing
Hudson River Valley Red– mainly Dechaunac grape and unoaked, a diffrent taste for a red but still smooth
Empire Reserved-  This is by far my favorite local red it has Merlot form long island, Baco Noir from Hudson Valley and Cab Sauvignon from Finger Lakes, great with a steak
Salamagundi– sweet but not to sweet white wine, almost a blush
Lindenwald White– made form the niagra so very grapey “adult grape juice”
Raspberry Dessert Wine, which was port base with raspberry wine mixed in and the raspberries are grown on their farm.
A very good range of wines to show exactly what the winery is about and enough variety for all.

As for the festival it ran 10-7 and it was very dead,  only 6 wineries showed and many did not return day 2.  Business was good 12 to 3 , otherwise all the vendors were catching up and tasting and trading wine. I do not think there was enough promotion, but maybe for year 2 they will be better prepared.

I did get to taste wine from Fox Run, Prospero, Inspire Moore and  Thousand Island.  El Paso and Cereghino Smith were also at the event but I did not have time to taste.

Fox Run had an excellent Riesling, very flavorful with a pineapple finish yet not sweet and a great Pinot Noir smooth, blackberry noise yet again not sweet.

Prospero had an excellent sparkling strawberry wine, very flavorful and very different.

I enjoyed pouring wine more then expected, I felt I learned quick and followed Dominique’s lead.  Hearing peoples stories and experiences with wine was a lot of fun. I can not wait to work another event truly a day to remember.