Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Finger Lakes Wine Adventure: Prelude in Corning, NY

This year for our wine trek to the Finger Lakes, we shuffled the deck a bit. Instead of heading directly for one of the “big three” lakes (Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga), we decided we’d stop in Corning, New York.

We’d given Glorious T a bit of a hard time. She had her heart set on visiting the Corning Glass Museum. Of course, we live in the Toledo area and Toledo is known as the Glass City. In fact the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion is made of glass. Clearly, we said, we weren’t getting enough glass!

She did prevail and we rolled into Corning looking for a meal after a seven-hour ride. We headed to historic Market Street and began consulting various smartphone apps as we walked down the street. The Cabinator and I were walking ahead when the Green Dragon pointed out that we had walked right past The Cellar – a restaurant that had been on our short list. A few seconds later a man came out and said that this was the best restaurant in town, so in we walked.

The restaurant had a nice vibe with low table lighting and cool blue accent lighting on the walls. The menu was modern fusion and the wine list was a fully loaded tablet computer.

Service was impeccable and we decided on a selection of tapas including awesome Fusion Lettuce Wraps, the chef’s special flatbread, pork sliders, lamb lollipops and a feta and walnut spread. To start out we dove into a 2010 Hermann J. Wiemer Cab Frank, which paired well with the exploding flavor combinations.

The crowning moment to the evening, though, was when Cabinator selected a perfect Turnbull 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The Turnbull was deep with concentrated berry flavor that hit in waves. The texture was silky and the body robust.

We felt we hit the jackpot: good friends, a hip restaurant with outstanding food and stellar wine. And our trip was just getting started.

The following morning we walked to the Corning Museum of Glass and were dazzled by the museum’s quality and exhibits. We first opted for the modern glass gallery and saw a full spectrum of art with astonishing technique and beauty. Almost as an afterthought we entered the historic glass wing and found enjoyment soaking in the reflective beauty of centuries of glass excellence from the Egyptians to Tiffany and beyond.

We made a quick visit to the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance office to say hello and thanks to Stephanie Jarvis, who is most helpful in her coordination of the Finger Lakes virtual tasting. Then it was back to our packed car and off to the first winery…
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