Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An introduction

When I moved to Ithaca, New York as a sophomore in college, the only drinks I encountered were  the standard red solo cups filled with some kind of nondescript cheap light beer, or those same cups filled instead with a cloying mixture of any alcohol available dubbed "jungle juice." Or shots of liquor that we had bought in huge plastic jugs.

At the end of my senior year, I took a course called Understanding Wine and Beer. To be honest, a large part of my motivation to take this class came from the fact that tasting was part of every class. Also, as it turned out, I found the subject fascinating. I loved the social atmosphere combined with the academic, how a bottle of wine can elicit both pretension and absolute stupidity. Sort of like college parties.

Thirsty Owl tasting room on Cayuga Lake
Since then I have worked in the tasting room at a winery on Cayuga Lake and a distillery on Seneca Lake, along with restaurants in Ithaca. There are tons of wineries, breweries and distilleries all over the Finger Lakes, thanks to its several wine trails. In addition to the producers in the region, there are many bars and restaurants that distribute their wares, making a vibrant local alcohol community. Because of the amazing people I have worked with and talked to, my cache of knowledge about local wine, beer and spirits is constantly growing, and I am eager to share what I have learned in this blog.

The view from Two Goats, a brewpub on Seneca Lake
My motivation also comes from the lack of web presence of Finger Lakes bars. When I turned 21, I looked to the internet to point me towards bars that I would like, but found no comprehensive database of bars online that was geared towards young people. Which I found surprising, given the number of students in Ithaca. Here I will post reviews of wineries and breweries in the area, tips on local nightlife, links to interesting articles, as well as upcoming tastings and events.

Basically, all things relating to drinking in the Finger Lakes!

I heartily encourage contributions to my efforts- shoot me an email with an idea for a review of a bar or tasting, or even a story relating to an experience with a local beverage.

Stay tuned for weekly(ish) updates!

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