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December 05, 2008

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Jason: I don't think you were too hard on Pompous Ass Winery the first time around at all. You didn't blindly attack them without a well-thought out reason behind it.

I'm sure that the owners are very nice and who knows, maybe the wines are delicious sweeter-style examples of Finger Lakes wine. Those aren't the types of wines I want to drink, but as you said, I'm sure they'll do well.

It's easy for us, sometimes, to forget that wineries are businesses that need to make money. To do that, you need a hook. Top-flight wine is just one of the hooks available. A funny name is another.

I agree though, it would have been cool if a winery with a name like this one were making dry, minerally rieslings and top-flight gewurztraminer.

I guess they are trying to pull some of the Bully Hill crowd over from Keuka Lake?

Jason - Right on. And let me add my complaints:

1) The FL is simply not a pretentious wine region. Some might argue that wine is inherently pretentious, but if you've ever spent time with the people making wine here -- even the people making the very best wine here -- you might be shocked at the lack of pretense.

2) Lenn's spot on when he says they only have the name. If they're going to go with that name, then make the descriptions of wine more fun and less erudite. Or, if you prefer, go way, way over the top with obscure wine descriptors. Instead, this is their description of their "Highfalutin Red":

"This complex, medium bodied red, has undertones of plum and cherries, with a butterscotch finish. Vinifera and French Hybrid blend."

That's neither overly pompous nor overly basic.

Yea, I don't like the name, or the 'Wallase and Grommet' style of the donkey. However, all those unending combination of a place name and geographic feature (valley, ridge, hollow, creek, hill, mountain ect) with 'cellars' or 'vineyards' at the end really don't say much, and are even more obtuse on the label.

There's an element of Joe Camel to this that makes me uneasy, and would so were they located in any region. They have a cartoon character promoting sweet (though, admittedly, likely low alcohol) wine. Camels come in funky flavors like Turkish Gold.

Just my two cents. Hope they plan to ID in their tasting room.

Just what the area needs: another source of cheap sweet swill. Someone has to use all those overcropped, machine harvested hybrids, so I guess it will probably make some money. On the other hand, we don't need $30 bottles of 'single vinyard' 'reserve' wines that are no better than the regular $15 equivalents either.

I really like their bio/story, its nice. and they seem to have a lot of experience. but god dam that name is bad!

This is way too timid to work for me. By contrast, ever see Stu Pedasso's wine from Sonoma?
Stu Pedasso.... Say it fast. That brand went whole hog for the joke and irony. I forgot how the wine was but remembered the brand!

Mr Fuelner,

You sir are the pompous ass. Wine is something that is to be enjoyed, if certain folks like a higher sugar content in their wine so be it, perhaps they prefer to have the taste of something sweet as opposed to dirt and oak. Some of us can enjoy the taste of wine that does not have to be decanted. Do you think that in the time of Jesus they had sweeter or drier wine?

I'm fairly sure Jesus wasn't rocking out with the sweet stuff by today's definition because no one could add sugar in the same way we do today. Perhaps he liked honey in His wine?

Thanks for the comment!

Shann,

Perhaps a shorter version from the critics is the following:

Humor is a great thing.

But the name and concept are not particularly funny, nor are they incisive.

The out cry illustrates how serious the region takes itself in light of the fact that to the rest of the world, New York wines don't deserver mention. That's the point here folks.

All Hail the Black Sheep of Seneca Lake!

So Barry, tell me if I have this right:

1) If the wine world outside NY state does not pay much attention to NY state wines, it is therefore not worth trying to convince the outside wine world to take NY wine seriously.

2) If people are passionate about NY wine, but the wine world outside NY don't feel the same, we are therefore pompous.

Not to take this all too seriously -- ha! -- but I think there are massive, harvester-size holes in your logic.

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