What started out as a romantic weekend turned into somewhat of a do-nothing wine-coma Saturday afternoon; nothing the spa can’t cure. Originally I wanted to visit the Finger Lakes with my boyfriend, Brad, but we wanted to find an inn or hotel that also had a spa. But seeing that everything was booked or $1,000+ for 2 nights, we decided to shift our focus to different parts of New York. We settled on Saratoga Springs, as it satisfied our requirements: historic hotel, spa, a winery close by and interesting restaurants.
It’s time to step out of the Finger Lakes winery realm anyway… but not too far away.
And that’s exactly how we stumbled upon The Saratoga Springs Winery and Tasting Room, a winery that hand selects it’s grapes primarily from the Finger Lakes; my comfort zone. It’s a fairly new and quirky winery that has been around since the early 2000′s. The tasting room is decorated in a rustic, simple way with stacked barrels, sanded wood slabs that act as makeshift counter tops and its theme focuses on horses, which I’m guessing is due to the famous Saratoga racetracks. The people who work at the tasting room are helpful, relaxed and were able to answer my 1,001 questions about popular local restaurants. While we were there one man was bottling wine fresh out of the barrel which he let us try, while he raved about how much he loved his job.
Whenever I walk into small wineries, I feel like I’m home. There always seems to be a contagious spirit of those who own and are employed by these close knit environments, and this place was no different.
They charged $1 per taste, but there were about 15 choices on the list. I have a fear of picking only a few to try when I go to a tasting because I think I’m going to pick the wrong one and walk away from a potential favorite wine. So, when in doubt, try them all… but be safe. We started with the white wines, faded to red wines, and capped off with their signature style of wine, a melomel, which is a mead, or honey wine, that contains fruit. We tried four variations, one white and three red. The flavor was similar to a port or sherry and I think they would pair well with a very dark piece of chocolate. Wine and chocolate are cliché for a good reason.