On Saturday I scored a copy of the Esquire Drink Book from 1956:
My wife and I went to North East, Pa. with her folks and not only hit up some antique shops, but also bought a couple bottles of wine along the way.
Here in Jamestown, we live near the Lake Erie Wine Trail — so weekend tasting is a regular part of summers in Chautauqua County.
We started at South Shore Wine Company, which is a winery located in North East that’s part of the Mazza group of wineries. Mazza has two other locations, both in Chautauqua County, my favorite of which is right across from Johnson Estate Winery — but more on that in a bit.
The South Shore location was a great place to visit because the main room is in an underground, cavernous, stone room that’s just neat to experience. And even better, there’s wine to taste while you’re taking in the history.
I tasted two wines and three meads, their Gruner Veltliner and Noiret for wines — and also their honey mead, raspberry honey mead and a carbonated mead called “Hops & Honey,” made with hops and more.
The gruner veltliner was very good and I wish I would have gotten a bottle, but the appeal of having some honey mead was more appealing. Not getting a bottle of the gruner veltliner just means I’ll have to go back soon, and I wonder if the other Mazza locations sell that same gruner veltliner that South Shore was selling.
Earlier I mentioned that one of the Mazza sites is located right across from the Johnson Estate Winery.
Those two sites are located right on Route 20 in Westfield and are a couple of my favorites because they offer more than just wine to taste — they have spirits.
The Mazza location has its own distilled spirits to taste, made and marketed under the Five & 20 name. The Johnson Estate Winery doesn’t distill spirits, but it does have what it calls a “New York Statr Spirits Tasting Bar.” Basically, there’s a second station in the winery’s tasting room where you can taste boozes which were made in New York State.
I tasted three whiskies there Saturday:
Whiskey Tasting :
• Bootlegger 21 New York Bourbon Whiskey —
• Hudson Double Charred Whiskey —
• 77 Whiskey Rye & Corn —
At Mazza, in addition to wine and spirits, there’s a launch party for their brewery’s first beers this weekend — making Mazza and Five & 20 the first combination winery, distillery and brewery in the state.