A hint of grapes wafts over the 55 acres of vineyards at Lake Ontario Winery. Although it now produces and bottles wines made from hybrid and native American grapes, this winery began its life as a cider mill in 1962. David Bower Sr. purchased it to bring apple cider, grape juice, fresh fruit, and fried cakes to the area. Over time, his enterprise expanded into the winery that it is today, offering make-your-own wine and beer products in addition to its rich bottles of wines and ciders. An onsite bistro serves gourmet pizzas and paninis, and a new International Peace Garden commemorates the War of 1812 with abundant natural beauty.
When it comes to wine, David and Tasia Verno follow the same philosophy as Goldilocks: Why settle for one when you could try three? Trios of wines from across the world are thus a mainstay of their menu at Flight Wine Bar. These samplers come with themed names—Instant Zen and California Retreat, for example—and incorporate wines from Italy, Chile, France, and Germany in addition to the United States. There's the Bubbly Flight for sparkling wine enthusiasts, the alluring scents of Aroma Therapy, and Sweet Emotion, which matches a Red Newt riesling with a Bigi Orvieto Classico and an Elmo Pio moscato.
Of course, Flight Wine Bar also has wines available by the glass or bottle. In addition, the staff furnishes tables with artisanal snacks. Guests can order imported cheeses, such as the sycamore-leaf-wrapped Spanish valdeón. The dessert chocolates are all handcrafted, and the truffles are all handpicked from the secret truffle tree that you should absolutely not tell anyone about.
When Chocolate & Vines proprietor Michael transformed the first floor of his historic home into a wine bar, he strove to preserve the space’s sense of domestic comfort: stenciled wallpaper and crystal-draped chandeliers adorn the sunlit dining room, where guests can cruise free WiFi.
This sense of delicate grandeur matches Chocolates & Vines sugary treats: chocolate truffles’ glossy shells are laced with intricate designs, and cakes sport tufts of mousse and layers of mascarpone. Servers are happy to recommend flavor pairings from Chocolate & Vines’ menu of more than 100 wines and beers. Alternatively, guests can opt to sip French-pressed coffees and herbal teas.
Tour, shop, play and stay in one of America's top travel destinations, while enjoying exclusive discounts from the area's the top attractions. The 2011 Finger Lakes Destination & Wine Card includes dozens of wineries, cheeseries, resorts, attractions, hotels and restaurants all throughout the picturesque Finger Lakes.
With a plethora of beer varieties populating its three locations, Beers of the World equips brew-loving beerheads with a bevy of bottles. In addition to marketing microbrews in cases (starting at $19.99), 12 packs (starting at $10.99), and six packs (starting at $6.95), Beers of the World encourages imbibers to purchase bottles individually (starting at $1.35), and thereby groove on a greater variety of fermented fizzies. Evaluate imported brews, such as the Hofbrauhaus Wolters German Pilsener ($19.99/case), against Mendocino Black Hawk Stout ($24.79/case), Genesee Cream Ale ($14.49/30-pack), and other American standouts in an awkward thumb-war. As brew buffs for more than two decades, Beers of the World grants expert advice to more-amateur enthusiasts, and information about beer can be found online.
A cozy, chic space, Veritas Wine Bar feels less like walking into a bar and more like walking into a fashionable friend's apartment—albeit, a friend with a nice wine collection. Even the Rochester City Newspaper took notice, saying of proprietor Paul Powers and his wife, Amy: "they've parlayed their passion for the grape into a charming spot for both hardcore oenophiles and aspiring aficionados." Having previously worked at wine shops and as distributors, the two have curated a constantly changing selection of vinos from around the world. A quaint menu of a wine-friendly sampler plate pairs with the vintages, making Veritas a charming spot for a date, a casual meeting, or a cutthroat game of Chinese Checkers.