Contributor –  Chrystal Corsino aka “The Babysitter”

After a few pushes and some education from the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess and my culinary graduate brother I finally at 27 discovered wine at the 2009 pasta event. Last year was my first experiences with Hudson Valley wine, and wine that wasn’t Sutter Home or the 5.99 Walmart special. I was hooked immediately and a year ago sweet white wines were all I would drink and taste. Fast forward a year later to the 2010 event where it was slightly noticeable my palette for wines is maturing and changing. Prior to the event I had begun to enjoy more red wines and slightly dryer wines as well. This is my experience on the wine trail with my mom, Ashleigh and the 17 year old DD who I babysat for when he was 3.

We started our trek at Palaia, venturned to Applewood, Warwick, Brotherhood, Brimstone, Baldwin, Whitecliff, Adair, Glorie, Stoutridge, Benmarl.  For 10:15 AM Palia was hopping with a slightly older crowd. Mom fit right in – the tasting bar was full so we started with their pasta as our breakfast. I was very happy to finally get to taste there mead wine which I enjoyed very much as it wasn’t as thick as Brotherhoods Carol Mead. Had to leave with a bottle as they were giving a 10% discount. The mead and joyful pink were definitely our two favorite picks here but of course maybe the reds were just not right for breakfast.  We decided a nice long ride to the Warwick wineries was in order so at least it would be closer to noon for the next tasting. This is where the pouring got to be half glasses rather then the normal tasting size, we were going to be in trouble for sure.

Arriving at Applewood Winery the Rigatoni Provencal was delicious and the pairing with the International Red was perfect. I really enjoyed this red as it was on the sweet side of course. Mom’s favorite was the hard cider mixed with blackberry wine – guess I know what her mothers day gift will be.  This is where the event seemed to slow down.  There were less and less people at each winery as our day progressed.  Many times we were the only people at the winery. As we were leaving Applewood mom came up with the quote of the day (yes after 2 wineries) “I’m not drunk, I’m happy”.  

Next stop was one of my usual favorites Warwick Valley.  Unfortunately they were out of all of my favorites and  the Pinot, Cab Franc,  and the Riesling they did have was less then impressive to me. They were all very dry. Even to dry for my mother who usually enjoys the drier wines. Ok thank goodness a 20-30 min ride to regroup – off to Brotherhood.  Brotherhood was more crowded than the other two wineries we had left. My type of crowd – they a very happy loud young crowd. Just what I needed to brighten up the dull day.  I really enjoy their Riesling as it is a little dry with a sweet finish but isn’t to sweet like some Riesling I have tasted. The Pinot Noir was also very smooth, peppery and smoky and enjoyable a sign of my changing taste. By the time we left Brotherhood mom and I were less than sober and mom was looking a little green. She was definitely still having fun and with 2 more wineries for her before she switched off with Ashleigh it was getting scary. 

Mom opted out of going in Brimstone and who could blame her is all I can say.  Brimstone is less then impressive.  Next and last stop for mom was Baldwin. They were also busy with a few large groups arriving in limos, we walk up to the wine bar and the list has 8 yes 8 tastings, I thought mom was going die when she saw this. They were more then generous with the food portions and the wine. Last year my favorite was Josephs Vintage and  this year it was way to sweet for me…instead I enjoyed there Chardonnay dry and smooth, the Port which is perfect for putting on top of ice cream and the new Blueberry Wine-a-Rita was superb. There Merlot smelled like berries but was smoky dry and very bitter, the illusions which I also enjoyed last time was flavorless.  At this point my DD is very amused by the shenigans between mom and I it was a great day with her sipping wines and enjoying eachothers company, yet mom needed a nap for sure and I still had 5 wineries to go yikes.