Buffalo Gets Uncorked for Hospice!

Photo from mix96buffalo.com

Photo from mix96buffalo.com

I was on the phone with my wife when messenger popped up on my monitor. “Do you want to go to Uncorked?” I relayed the question to my wife, who had a hard time keeping her composure. I quickly replied that we’d love to go, thinking about the husband points I’d just scored and how I could transfer that credit into some PS4 time later on that night.

Ticket price included free entry into these giveaways!

Ticket price included free entry into these giveaways!

Buffalo Uncorked is an event held to benefit Hospice Buffalo and is sponsored by local radio stations, including our friends at Mix96.1. The event gathers wineries from New York State, and select wines from around the world, and combines them with local vendors who fit very nicely into the fun atmosphere. Uncorked is a fantastic night for couples (like ourselves) who are looking for a relaxed night out, but also had all of the ingredients for a fun ladies’ night – great music, spectacular jewelry and accessories, good food, and, of course, wine!

There was an air of excitement hanging about the lobby of the Hyatt, where the event was held. We took the escalator up to the second floor, which had been transformed into wine central. We collected our glasses and proceeded to enter our wine-ter wonderland.

A DJ booth tucked into the far corner of the room spun all of the hits from our childhood, and most people couldn’t help but bop their head, at the very least – many succumbed to the nostalgic rhythms and danced away their time in line. Our first stop was the table for Vetter Vineyards – a winery located in Westfield, NY. They had an expansive selection of white wines, which was perfect for my wife. She selected the sweetest white available, the Brig Niagara, and liked it enough to purchase a bottle. I tried the Barcelona, which was a dry red blend, and found it a proper way to start the evening.

Next stop was Woodbury Winery, from the Finger Lakes. Many of the wineries present represented this upstate region,giving local wine lovers the perfect opportunity to travel east just by driving downtown. Melissa chose the CheraZz, which is a chocolate-cherry-raspberry dessert wine. It was sweet and caramelly with a hint of fruit. She loved it and we purchased abottle of this as well. Two for two, we moved on to Three Brothers Wineries.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Three Brothers was a fun stop – by far the longest line, and for good reason. They featured some good sweet wines, and a lot of personality. What garnered my attention was a small growler, bearing the name “War Horse Brewing Company,” with a ‘coming soon’ tease screened onto the logo. While Melissa enjoyed samples of their 69 and Heart-Pounding Crush, I spoke with John Mansfield, head brewer of the soon-to-open War Horse. I have a feeling you’ll be reading more about them soon…

Next to Three Brothers was one of our favorite local wineries – Winery of Ellicottville. We almost passed them by, only because we’d tried and loved their wines before, but something caught my eye – something we hadn’t seen! EVL had collaborated with EBC (Ellicottville Brewing Company) to produce a sparkling apple wine. We hit the brakes and asked for a pour. It was good – more tart than some of the apple wines done locally. It was more dry than I expected; I suspect champagne yeast was used in the fermentation process. It was very good, so next time you’re hitting the slopes in the southtowns, stop by and grab yourself a couple bottles.

EXCELSIOR!

EXCELSIOR!

In the center of the large room, local distributors had set up shop. We stopped here briefly to try a few wines that were brought in from further destinations. I had a cabernet that was very, very good, but unfortunately, the crowd moved me away from the bottle before I got a chance to catch the name. A quick stop at the Yancy’s Fancy table to have a snack..er..cleanse the palate, and back to the wine we went.

We made our way to the Coyote Moon table. The Clayton, NY winery is located near the Thousand Islands, and boasted some of the more adventurous pours of the evening. I tried the Marquette, which was good, and the Frontenac, which was better. Melissa found a home here, tasting the Fire Boat Red, Fire Boat White, and the Cherry Bomb. We purchased another bottle and on we went.

Before moving on to the next room, we stopped by Black Willow Winery. Black Willow’s wines are good, but I (being the family ‘chef’) was more excited about the vinegars they offer. We’d gotten a bottle of their Dark Chocolate Balsamic last time we’d been to an event, and it was great. These vinegars are pre-mixed with olive oil, and so they are perfect for marinating and barbecuing. We grabbed a bottle of their berry wine and their cooking oil, celebrating our victory.

The next room held Melissa’s favorite stop of the night – McKenzie’s Hard Cider. I had introduced Melissa to McKenzie’s in

Always a great, refreshing stop.

Always a great, refreshing stop.

the fall last year, and it was love at first sip. Featured in a cider article I’d done, McKenzie’s cider is fermented in West Seneca, and is available at grocers at taprooms at an exponentially growing pace. Melissa chose her favorite – the Black Cherry Cider, and I had 2 samples of the Seasonal Reserve, which tastes to me like fresh apple pie, in the most delicious way possible.

We visited Flight of Five on our way out, sampling their Lock 67 (dry red) and Melissa, the Lock 71 (sweet white.) Flight of Five is located in the heart of Lockport, and their wines are named for the Canal Locks that surround the scenic location.

The event was a lot of fun – the perfect escape from our crazy schedules that we desperately needed. We ended the evening across the street at the ever-amazing Century Grill with a pair of pints and some of their famous tater tots. We hope everyone who attended had an equally fantastic time. The event seemed well attended, so kudos to Mix96.1 and the other sponsors for putting together such a great event for Hospice. We’ll see you next year!

Great night date night.

Great night date night.

Thanks for reading, and, as always, join the conversation on Twitter (@SchlagsWrites) and on Facebook as Schlags Writes.

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