By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
Over the course of 2009, the three regional editors for this site -- myself, Bryan and Evan -- tasted hundreds of New York wines from our respective beats. That's the pool from which we're pulling from. We don't pretend that we've tasted every single New York wine released in the 2009 calendar year (which is required to be eligible) but we've tasted more than perhaps any other publication.
Each of us could simply choose a wine in any number of categories from each region and name it the winner, but we aren't going to do that. Instead, each of us will pick finalists in the following categories:
- Red wine (5)
- White wine (5)
- Sparkling wine (2)
- Dessert wine (2)
We know that employing such broad categories -- particularly reds
and whites -- has its limitations, but we're going to keep them that
way for this year. Depending on how everything goes, we'll revisit it
With input from our regional correspondents, the editors will name
the finalists from each region (with me choosing some wines from the
Hudson River Valley AVA as well) here on the site on Tuesday, December
Some time in late December (we're still working out the details) the editors will get together for a blind tasting of each flight to pick, by simple vote, "Best of 2009" for each region. Then, the winners of each will be re-tasted for potential "Best of New York," which will only be awarded if the vote is unanimous.
This is entirely subjective, non-scientific, and to some degree it goes against our nature. While we score wines that are reviews at NYCR, we are not fixated on scores or ratings. The notion of a wine being "better" or "best" is certainly nebulous, and we recognize that. This project is designed, then, for two main reasons: first, as subjective as this can be, we'll shine a light on what we perceive as the very best wines of the year. And second, it's a lot of fun to highlight some tremendous wines.
So we take it just seriously enough for all of us to be very excited. And trust me, choosing the wines has been an extremely difficult process.
You'll be hearing more about this effort very soon. Keep an eye out for the finalists on December 1.
We'll also be holding a "Reader's Choice" portion the New York Cork Club 2009 Wines of the Year. Nominations start on December 1, so think about YOUR favorite New York wines of the year.