This was going to be a busy Saturday. My son and I each entered a Chili Cook-Off which takes place today (Sunday). Although I had purchased most of the ingredients on Friday, I had to make trip to another store to pick up Habanero peppers, which his recipe calls for. Following that, a 150 mile round trip to Presque Isle in Northeast, PA to get some juice I ordered for my winemaking. As I walked out of the store with the peppers, I decided to browse the wine shop next door to see if they had a Bandol so I could participate in this month's Wine Focus. While browsing, a customer came in and overheard him ask for "I'm looking for an organic Pinot Noir, one with out sulfates". AARRRGGHH! I had to choke myself to keep from jumping into the conversation.
When the disappointed customer left, I heard the owner of the store instructing the new employee on how to handle such a situation. This conversation I jumped into and shared some of my knowledge of the topic with both of them, including correcting the sulfates - sulfites confusion. I left and headed to Presque Isle for my juice and noted an interesting sign posted on the NY State Thruway "Entering Correctional Facility Area - Do Not Pick Up Hitch Hikers". Okay. This was my first visit to Presque Isle (I had ordered a few things from them on-line). It's a great place situated on the banks of a babbling trout stream. In addition to selling juice and winemaking supplies, they have a restaurant and a winery. While waiting to get my order filled I tasted a few of their wines. The '04 Vignoles
was quite nice, but I've had better from the FLs. I am interested in this, as it is one of the juice varieties I'm making into wine this year (first time in about 15 years). Then I tasted an '05 Noiret
. This is a new red hybrid, just named by Cornell, and I was very impressed! Dry and peppery with soft tannins and no noticeable labrusca or hybrid characteristics - very much like a Shiraz. I purchased a bottle each of the Vignoles and Noiret and will post TNs when I open them. I had my pails filled with Leon Millot, Foch and Vignoles and headed home to make chili. I'll report on the Chili Cookoff in the Kitchen Forum later. It should be fun - its being held in our church hall and they will have the TV set up so we can all watch the Bills game.