A blog devoted to exploring wines made from unusual grape varieties and/or grown in unfamiliar regions all over the world. All wines are purchased by me from shops in the Boston metro area or directly from wineries that I have visited. If a reviewed bottle is a free sample, that fact is acknowledged prior to the bottle's review. I do not receive any compensation from any of the wineries, wine shops or companies that I mention on the blog.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sparkling Teroldego - Finger Lakes, NY - Fringe Wine 1 Year Anniversary!

Tomorrow, September 17, will mark the one year anniversary of Fringe Wine!  Since it's a Saturday and I don't roll on Shabbos, I'm going to go ahead and get the birthday post out of the way today.

I started this blog one year ago because I knew I wanted to write about wine, but I didn't think that anybody would care what one more person has to say about Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay.  I'd always had an inclination towards unusual wines and decided that maybe that was an interesting little niche that I could explore.  My first ever post was written without the benefit of any tasting notes and just a quick glance at Wikipedia and, frankly, it's a little embarrassing to read today.  My next few posts weren't much better, but over time, I felt like I was starting to find my voice and was starting to figure out a format that worked for me.  October 2010 was the first full month the site was live and I got a total of 21 pageviews, which was fewer than one per day.  I didn't get over the 100 views for a month hurdle until January 2011, but traffic was increasing each month, which was gratifying.  By April 2011 I was over 1,000 pageviews per month and the site currently gets about 2,800 pageviews per month.  To anyone reading this as a repeat visitor or as a first time visitor, thanks for stopping by and I hope you found the site interesting and useful.

On a more personal note, the experience of writing the blog has been pretty amazing.  I decided to take some courses at Boston University and through the WSET to make sure I had a strong foundation for my writing and I fared pretty well in those courses and took away a lot of good information.  Nothing has compared with the knowledge I've gained in seeking out unusual wines and talking to wine shop proprietors and in doing the research for my posts.  I've felt the borders of my wine universe expand a little more every day I've done this and it has been great the whole way through.

When I first started, I was barely able to hit 100 grapes on the Wine Century Club's application.  One year later, I've been able to cross off almost every grape on the original list and have added quite a few more for a total of over 300.  Those who are interested can view my up-to-date Wine Century Club application here.  I'm also going to post my weird wine spreadsheet which interested parties can view here.  Those lists are growing every day and I hope to continue that trend for at least another year and hopefully for more than that.

This is the 91st post for the blog, which means I've been averaging a post about every four days, which I'm pretty happy with.  I hope to be able to pick up the pace a little in the coming year as I have a huge backlog of wines to drink and write about (as you can see if you take a look at the spreadsheet link above).  By far the most popular post on the blog is the on about Sangue di Giuda, which has 700 pageviews and accounts for about 5% of the total traffic on the site.  Lacrima di Morro d'Alba is in second place with just under 500 pageviews, and in a distant third is Chasselas.

In honor of Fringe Wine's one year birthday, the wine I'm going to write about here is a very rare "Triple Weird" wine.  What that means is that it actually satisfies all three of the rules for Fringe Wine on the left hand side of the page.  It's made from the Teroldego grape in a fully sparkling style in the Finger Lakes region of New York (to clarify, I'm not saying the Finger Lakes region is an unusual region, I'm saying that the Teroldego grape is unusual to find in this region).  When I first read about this wine, I actually planned my entire summer vacation trip so that I could be sure that I could pick up a bottle for myself and write about it.  The wine in question is the 2008 Red Tail Ridge Sparkling Teroldego, which I picked up at the winery for $35.

In the glass, the wine was a medium purple ruby color with vigorous bubbles.  The nose was a little shy with some black fruit aromas but mostly funky, yeasty kinds of smells.  On the palate, the wine was dry and medium bodied with acid on the higher side of medium and a little bit of tannic bite to it.  There were black fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry with a touch of bitter, smoky charcoal.  It did have a touch of funk to it as well which added a nice bit of complexity without getting in the way.  The fruit flavors were purely represented, which isn't always easy with methode champenoise style wines, but this really delivered.  The flavors were dark and brooding but were presented in such a bright, lively way with the nice acidity and the bubbles.  This wine was a lot of fun to drink, but it was also interesting and complex.  If you find yourself in the Finger Lakes region, it's the kind of thing you can't afford to miss if interesting wines are at all your kind of thing.  They've also got a regular table wine bottling from their Teroldego grapes now that wasn't available on my visit, but I'm sure I'll be back before too long to see what other cool experiments they're trying out.

So, happy birthday to Fringe Wine and a huge thank you to everyone for reading and taking these journeys into some of the lesser known corners of the wine world.  I hope to be able to cover even more ground in the coming year and hope you will come along with me for the ride.


irisira said...

Congrats! :) On Sept. 17, 2010, my husband and I got married ... at a vineyard in the Finger Lakes, no less. :) I suppose it is kismet I am now following your blog.

Craigk8 said...

Congratulations - I always keep an eye open for your new posts in the RSS feed. Appreciate how informative and strong the writing is - on to year 2!

Fringe Wine said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Irisira, that's kind of a freaky coincidence! Glad you are enjoying the site.

Craig, I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. I've got enough material at home for several more years of posts so let's hope I can keep it going!