Author Archives: upstatedowntown

Jefferson Vindicated: Virginia Wines Wow Wine Media Guild

By Christopher Matthews Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson is smiling. The Founding Father, third US President and first oenophile-in-chief tried mightily to establish European (vinifera) grape varieties in his gardens and vineyards around Monticello, but encountered only failure, for reasons he mainly … Continue reading

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Fjord, Hudson-Chatham and Cab Franc: Big Winners at 2019 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition

By Christopher Matthews On a beautiful early September day at the Dutchess County Fairgounds this past Saturday, the  Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition (HVWSC) once again took place. As usual, some results were expected, some were surprising, but overall, the judging experience … Continue reading

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Whitecliff’s “Olana” Cab Franc Strikes Gold at NY Wine Classic

By Christopher Matthews At a recent — and first-ever — group tasting of the Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Coalition (HVCFC) wineries, one of my standout wines was Whitecliff Vineyards‘ 2017 Olana Vineyard Cabernet Franc. It seems that I am not alone in … Continue reading

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A Big First: HV Cab Franc Coalition Showcases New Releases & Cellar Gems

By Christopher Matthews In its first-ever group tasting, the Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Coalition (HVCFC) kicked off  with an impressive bang on 30 May 2019, hosted by Nostrano Vineyards in its picturesque, wine-country setting. The eight legacy coalition members — … Continue reading

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Va, Va Vaucluse! Le Pigeoulet Rouge

By Christopher Matthews The Vaucluse, a French district (département) in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, lies in the heart of southern Rhone Valley. And while the Vaucluse is not well-know here, neither geographically nor in terms of wine, it encompasses many of the most revered … Continue reading

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Back in the Winners’ Circle: Matthews’ Homebrew Cider

By Christopher Matthews I made quite a splash with my (hard) cider at the recent 2019 Hudson Valley Homebrew Competition (HVHC). Not only did I take First and Third Place in the “Standard Cider” category, respectively, but also Best in … Continue reading

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A Cheverny for All Seasons: Domaine du Salvard

By Christopher Matthews A lingering late-winter cold spell here in the northeast US probably has most folks still jonesing for substantial comfort food dishes, paired with big, hearty reds to wash them down. This is a natural — and laudable … Continue reading

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