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July 06, 2011

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This was a beautiful effort. Thank you Lenn for encouraging so many to partake in Red Newt wines so thoughtfully. Many great memories arose.

This weekend I toasted to Deb, Dave, their sons and the amazing team at the Newt with the 1 bottle of Red Newt I had in the house. I didn't take detailed notes about the wine itself but rather contemplated the food and wine pairing I attempted ... wondering all the while if Deb would have approved. I was pleased and in my mind, I saw her smile (you know, the one that she always wore).

The 2009 Sawmill Creek Riesling's fruitful character danced beautifully with the asian style ribs we slow roasted on the grill. The hoisin, soy sauce and a dash of ketchup based sauce played off the acidity quite nicely. A little bit of heat in the sauce helped too. Thanks for the inspiration, Debra.

I wish I could write as eloquent a tasting note as these. We toasted Deb & Dave last Friday eveing with their 2007 Syrah-Cab Franc. The first time we had this wine, it was closing time at the Bistro. Shane opened a bottle for Deb and she told us it was her current favorite. We glommed a sample. Needless to say we swung by the tasting room the next day and picked up a few bottles. She didn't steer us wrong then and it's drinking beautifully right now.

Over the past few evenings I have been reflecting over a glass of Red Newt wine on my memories of times with Deb and Dave.

These have included a vibrant, slatey, and powerful 2006 Reserve Riesling; a harmonious, ripe and fresh 2007 Glacier Ridge Reserve Cabernet Franc; and tonight, a 2008 Gewurztraminer – spicy, balanced and simply delicious. Gewurztraminer resonates compellingly since it was the varietal acting as catalyst for my seeking out Dave at Standing Stone that led to years of friendship.

Knowing the wine is one thing. Knowing the people such as Deb and Dave brings life, awareness and joy to the moment as splendorous hues do for rainbows.

My husband, Paul, and I brought a bottle of 2007 Red Newt Syrah Sawmill Creek Vineyard to my parents' house in Saratoga Springs today. My mom and dad are huge Red Newt Bistro fans-- they have dined there on virtually every trip to the Finger Lakes since they discovered it in 2000. On a recent trip to Ithaca for a wedding they passed up a stop in Geneva to visit their grandkids, but made sure to hit the Bistro for lunch! They were stricken and saddened by the news of Debra's death, which shows you the geographic reach that the Whitings have.

As we sipped and swirled the decanted bottle of Syrah, which had lovely notes of blackberry, raspberry, and pencil shavings, we recalled the many delicious and memorable dinners and lunches we'd had at the Newt. While Dad's pot roast was a nice match for the wine, talk turned to Deb's bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin. Raviolis, duck breast, polenta, and chevre-stuffed pork were also mentioned fondly.

Then, we discussed when our foursome would next visit the Bistro. Cheers, Dave and Deb, and thank you so much for what you created together!

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