Good Food Revolution and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation present Taste NY…

Remember the world before the COVID-19 crisis? In March of this year the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the LCBO, and a handful of boutique wine importing agencies launched an ambitious project to bring a showcase of some of the best wines of the Empire State to Ontario. The plan was to introduce local wine enthusiasts to treasures from Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes through this promotion at the LCBO website, and make the wines available online… then COVID struck and like so many plans in March, things didn’t quite go as expected.

The good news is that the wines have been safely stored in the LCBO’s climate controlled warehouse and are still very much available. Back in the early spring NYWGF got the esteemed wine writers and critics David Lawrason and Sara d’Amato to host a series of video tastings of each wine with the legendary New York City sommelier and Terroir Wine Bar restaurateur, Paul Grieco. Good Food Revolution is working with New York Wines to help get this story out and connect Ontario wine enthusiasts and GFR readers with eight ‘Taste NY‘ wines rarely seen on this side of the border.

And now the sixth wine we’re featuring is the 2017 Dr. Frank Konstantin Old Vines Pinot Noir, from the legendary winery in the Finger Lakes. Read Jamie’s notes and summer pairing recommendations below. Watch the video below for d’Amato, Grieco and Lawrason’s live tasting and impressions, as well as Meaghan Frank on the history of this wine from old vines. Or go ahead and follow the instructions on how to buy a bottle or a few. You can also see the other wines in the Taste NY series here. – Malcolm Jolley, August 2020

Jamie Drummond’s Notes on the 2017 Dr. Frank Konstantin Old Vines Pinot Noir

As the long, humid summer draws to its inevitable close, and there’s just a hint of something vaguely leafy and autumnal in the air, there are few libations finer than a slightly chilled glass of Finger Lakes old vine Pinot Noir; this delightfully sophisticated and refined wine from Konstantin Frank fits the bill simply perfectly.

Whilst this is undoubtedly a New World wine, there’s certainly a touch of that elusive Old World reserve and restraint running throughout. The poor, shallow, shale-rich soils of Dr. Franks Keuka and Seneca Lakes vineyards (first planted to Pinot back in 1958) bring layers of vinous complexity and depth to this light, delicate, and unarguably Pinot-ish Pinot.

Stating the above may seem nonsensical to some, however I’ve experienced so many Pinots that exhibit very little of the varietal character that I adore so much, while this has bona fide cool climate Pinot attributes written all over it.

The bouquet is a heady medley of red cherries and gloriously tertiary forest floor with an attractive herbal edge and subtle oak spice. The acid-led palate brings crunchy red currants, tart cherries, and plump blueberries to the party, with pleasingly dusty, arenaceous tannins, giving the wine some pitch-perfect structure. The finish is certainly extended, with the gorgeous warm wood spice being particularly tenacious.

With that enviable structure, this wine certainly lends itself to the dinner table, perhaps with roast duck or gently smoked pork chops from the grill.

Saying that, there’s nothing quite like a carefully chilled glass of this outdoors as one takes in the sights, sounds, and olfactory stimulations of the changing of the seasons.


The 2017 Dr. Frank Konstantin Old Vines Pinot Noir can be bought online at for shipment to home or a nearby store. There are also a few bottles in stock at the Hopedale Mall LCBO in Oakville, and the Queen’s Quay LCBO store in Toronto: click here to check for inventory to be sure. And the 2017 Dr. Konstantin Old Vines Pinot Noir and all of the other eight Taste NY wines available in Ontario are featured and can be browsed at this special LCBO Discover The Wines of New York page.

Email versions of this post won’t display video. Please click here to see the video at GFR.

Watch GFR every week for a new featured Taste NY wine, offered in Ontario for a limited time, while stocks last. Or browse the series here.

Taste NY, launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2013, highlights the quality, diversity, and economic impact of food and beverages grown, produced, or processed in New York State. Taste NY aims to create new opportunities for producers through events, retail locations, and partnerships.
The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is a Good Food Fighter. Please support the businesses and organizations that support Good Food Revolution.