Embrace the Risk

If you don’t have a seat at the table, bring your own chair!


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Team #2

Wine name: Uptown Blend

Blended by Georgecel Reynoso & Matthew Valencia

Grape varieties: Chardonnay & Riesling

Awards: 1st place in Fall 2019 Wines of the New World wine blending competition for white wine category at NYCCT

Description: Uptown Blend is made of 50% Chardonnay (Fermented with no skin), 40% Chardonnay ( Fermented with skin)and 10% Riesling. Uptown Blend has a oak taste with good acidity and ends with mixed with fruits from the Riesling. This wine is well balanced and a great finish. It’s the perfect white wine for any occasion. Made from Mattebella Vineyard, Jamesport Vineyard, and Macari Vineyard, located in North Fork of Long Island. The Riesling comes from Seneca Lake. Pairs well with light meat for example Chicken with a creamy white sauce and mixed boiled vegetables.

Posted in Shelf Talkers, Team 2, Matthew V. and Georgecel R. | 1 Comment

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Uptown Blend #1 Voted Best White Wine and served in the Janet Lefler Dining Room. Uptown Blend is made of 50% Chardonnay [Fermented with no skin], 40% Chardonnay and 10% Riesling. Uptown Blend has a oak taste mixed with fruits. This wine will leave you wanting more. It’s the perfect white wine for a great time.Made from Mattebella Vineyard, Jamesport Vineyard, and Macari Vineyard, located in North Fork of Long Island. Riesling comes from Seneca Lake. Pair this wine with creamy chicken dish served with vegetables. You won’t be disappointed.

Posted in Team 2, Matthew V. and Georgecel R. | Leave a comment

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Team #4

Diamond John, Jesus Rodriguez

This Autumn red wine is a blend of (75%) Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot from North Fork Long Island. The Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot is accompanied by (25%) Cabernet Franc which adds the perfect balance of oak to hints of tart raspberries and cherries. This wine is perfect for the fall season with full body and tannins to coat the mouth. This wine pairs nicely with a warm beef stew, accompanied by duchess potatoes.

Posted in Team 4, Diamond J. and Jesus R. | 1 Comment

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75%/ 25% (fermented with skin) Chardonnay 

North Fork, Long Island


This wine is delicate and subtly balanced. With notes of lemon, oak, pear and honey. This light bodied wine is perfect for cooling down on a warm summer day.


Food Pairing: Baked Fish Filet with mushrooms and tomatoes. 


Unfortunately our wine blend wasn’t picked to be served in the Janet Lefler Dining room but still complimented out dish well! 

Posted in Shelf Talkers, Team 1 Hamilton A. and Alecia M. | 1 Comment

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Team #3 Janice G. and Craig R.

80% Chardonnay (no oak) 20% Chardonnay (Oaked)- North Fork, Long Island

You made the right decision, this wine blend is just for the wine connoisseur as yourself! It has a soothing aroma of honey, with a refreshing feeling of aahhh on the palate. This medium bodied wine provides mild acidity, with a calming taste of green apples, stone fruits, and a light hint of oak.

Food Pairing: Broiled Salmon with creamy Béarnaise sauce or Pan seared scallops in parsley butter.

Unfortunately our wine blend wasn’t picked for the Janet Lefler Dining Room challenge, but there is always next year!

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Team #5 Team #5 Jaei. Lee & Jocelyn Romero

Blend of :

75% Cabernet Franc Séneca Lake 2018

  • Very clear, bright granite 
  • Cherry, pomegranate, raspberry
  • Pomegranate, high acid, hint of oak, balanced, bit tanin at the end, medium low bodied.

25% Merlot North Fork 2018 :

  • Slightly dark granite, clear
  • Fig, bitter raspberry, bit of oak
  • Very dry, tannin, fig, long finish, medium low acid


Tasting Note

Color of wine is very close to bright red rose.

Light in aromatic, note of plum, dark cherry.

Starts with hint of earthiness, with plum and cherry, then well balanced acidic, then finishes with only remains of tannin lingering, over all, it was well balanced medium bodied red wine that my team was aiming for. 


Food Pairing Suggestion

When Jocelyn and I were discussing for blending wine, we were full of ambitions to make most suitable wine for Grilled Lamb “Steaks” Hache with Ratatouille. To achieve that, our number one goal was to have pleasing tannin of oakiness or earthiness as finishing palate and we did it. By blending Merlot to Cabernet Franc, we were able to come up with wine that starts with earthiness, and tannin that lingers at the end. As a supplement component, we were very fortunate to come dark deep heavy fruitiness that aren’t bothering the rich flavor of ratatouille, but also has some acidity to cut through the lamb steak. It was our challenge to come up with wine that has several different stages of palate that could be possibly go well with our menu. Because lamb steak, and ratatouille are already helping flavor, we couldn’t choose wine that are just fruity, or just tannin of earthiness or oakiness. However, the result was more than we expected to be, we are proud to announce our wine is suitable for Grilled Lamb “Steaks” Hache with Ratatouille.



Posted in Shelf Talkers, Team 5, Jaei L. and Joselyn R. | Tagged | 1 Comment

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Sine Quan Non

60% Cabernet Franc, Seneca Lakes

30% Red Wine Blend (40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc), North Fork

10% Merlot from North Fork

Living up to its name, this dry red wine blend is truly something you cannot live without! Featuring a refreshing strawberry aroma, this wine provides a medium body with a balanced acidity and notes of red berries finishing off with an unforgettable tannic and oaky finish.

Food Pairing: Grilled Steaks and Chops

Prepared to be served with Grilled Skirt Steak and Chimichurri Sauce for the Janet Lefler Dining Room.

Posted in Team 6, Kai L. and Jia Z. | 1 Comment

Student Blend Final (Team 3)

For team #3, the final blend that we have decided on was a combination of 80% of the first Chardonnay, along with 20% of the second Chardonnay. Craig and I wanted a nice and light white wine that would pair well with the creamy Béarnaise on top of the fatty broiled salmon, something more towards a lighter to medium body with a slight acidity that can cut well through the thickness of the dish.


Originally, our plan was to start off with 85% of the oaked Chardonnay, with 10% of the non-oak Chardonnay, and 5% of the Riesling. Upon tasting the first and original blend, the flavor profile of the wine was quite there but not exactly what we were looking for. The acidity was a bit low, with a buttery feel and taste on the palate, somewhat opposite of what we would have liked the wine to do. We then started adjusting the blends by eliminating out what each wine was doing to the blends, and adjusting accordingly to the reactions. We went from increasing the Riesling to completely eliminating it on the 5th try. We also played around with the effects of the Chardonnay, as we noticed the acidity fluctuated in measurable amounts, even though the original base wines did not differ much. Sad to say, it took to the 6th and final attempt for us to finally settle down with a blend that we thought would pair well with our dish.


Throughout the entire blending process, we realized that creating a blend of wine that matches the exact expectations of what you would like the wine to be like will have to take a lot of patience and creativity. What one would expect the outcome to be from a certain wine is not guaranteed at all, and the slightest minor adjustments can reveal the biggest surprises. This emphasizes the saying that every little detail can affect the taste of wine, from the soil all the way to final blending stage (if any, of course).

Posted in Team 3, Janice G. and Craig R. | 1 Comment

Student Blend Group 1

Hamilton and I were set on having a 60% / 40% wine blend. The 60% of the white wine we used for the blend was fermented with juice only and the 40% was the white fermented with the skins. We came to a consensus that the white fermented with the skins was overly acidic and being that the dish we were assigned was a light body dish, we decided to steer clear of having an overly acidic wine. Another reason why we didn’t want an acidic wine is because the tomatoes in our dish added an acidic component. The 60% of the orthodox wine we used for the blend was very balanced and added a subtle finish with stone fruit notes. 


After trying the 60/40 blend, Hamilton and I decided that we could possibly cut the acidity further by changing the formula. The second trial we decided to do 65/35. This blend we found to still be acidic and immediately knew that we needed to drop the Unorthodox blend further. We then tried 75/25 and we found this was perfectly balanced. The acidic was subtle and far less overbearing than the first trial. The finish we found, would greatly complement the baked fish and ideally creamy mushrooms. The blend was light bodied on the palate. There was little to no viscosity. The color was a pale yellow with green tint. There was little to no oak on the palate and the wine was properly dry. We found that the wine would greatly complement the dish. 


Unfortunately while we were blind tasting, we found that not only was our wine not what we tasted earlier, we got no votes on our wine. At first sip the wine was way too acidic. Hamilton and I were so caught by surprise by how different the wine tasted during the blind tasting, that we almost figured we gave the wrong recipe. Overall, we are proud of our work and findings. 

Posted in Team 1 Hamilton A. and Alecia M. | 2 Comments