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Weekend in the Finger Lakes

It was a longer than expected drive to the Finger Lakes in the dark rain. Our five-hour drive became a seven-hour drive – a long distance for a weekend getaway. All was good the next morning as we sipped Bloody Mary’s overlooking the lake. And so began our Finger Lakes weekend.

Bloody Mary by Honeoye Lake
Bloody Mary by Honeoye Lake

Why the Finger Lakes?

The impetus for this 2014 trip was our Philadelphia wine group that decided to hit the road for a weekend getaway in the Finger Lakes. We pooled together and rented a house on Honeoye Lake, one of the smaller lakes in the winery-rich region.

The house offered lots of amenities including a hot tub, piano, pool table and grill. It also had four bedrooms and three bathrooms which was key since there were eight of us.

House on Honeoye Lake
House on Honeoye Lake

After the dark, rainy drive, we kicked off the weekend with snacks and locally procured beer from Horseheads Brewing. Our favorites were the Hot-Jala Heim Beer with Bite (flavored with chili peppers) and Domination Ale, a barley wine.

Bloody Mary Bar
Bloody Mary Bar

Saturday began with a Bloody Mary bar and breakfast burritos at the house. Yep, our wine group drinks more than just wine.

Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito

Wine Tasting in the Finger Lakes

The Saturday highlight was visiting the tasting room at New York Kitchen in nearby Canandaigua. The name is misleading, as there was a wide variety of wine and beer from New York State to both taste and purchase.

Daryl of course opted to taste wine. No surprise there.

Daryl Tasting Wine in the Finger Lakes
Daryl Tasting Wine in the Finger Lakes

The wines were mostly from the Finger Lakes. The late harvest Riesling was the highlight of the tasting, so we bought a bottle to enjoy later.

Wine Tasting at the New York Wine and Culinary Center
Wine Tasting at the New York Wine and Culinary Center

Mindi enjoyed trying the different New York State beers. No surprise there either.

Beer Tasting at the New York Wine and Culinary Center
Beer Tasting at the New York Wine and Culinary Center

New York Kitchen is located at 800 S Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424, United States.

We saved the serious wine tasting for Sunday, and a limousine arrived the next morning to take us around the Finger Lakes. Renting the limo was a fun experience to do with friends, but it’s not something that we would do on our own.

Wine Tasting Limo
Wine Tasting Limo

The limo driver drove us to our selected destinations which allowed us to taste a selection of wine, beer and spirits throughout the day.

Scenic Finger Lakes
Scenic Finger Lakes

Although we’re all seasoned wine drinkers, there’s always something new to learn about different varietals.

Wine Tasting with Friends at Ravines Winery
Wine Tasting with Friends at Ravines Winery
Wine Tasting with Friends at Red Newt Cellars Winery
Wine Tasting with Friends at Red Newt Cellars Winery

As much as we enjoy wine, it was fun to also taste locally distilled spirits.

Spirits Tasting at Finger Lakes Distilling
Spirits Tasting at Finger Lakes Distilling

Not to mention trying some locally brewed beers.

Beer by Seneca Lake
Beer by Seneca Lake

All this beverage tasting made us happy. Mindi even started seeing the world through wine-colored glasses.

Mindi in Wine Glasses
Mindi in Wine Glasses

By the time we got back to Honeoye, the sun was setting over the lake. It was definitely different from the typical sunsets back home in Philadelphia.

Sunset over Honeoye Lake
Sunset over Honeoye Lake

We capped the day by eating a delicious dinner grilled up at the house.

Sunday Night BBQ Dinner
Sunday Night BBQ Dinner

The four couples went our separate ways on Monday morning. The 2foodtrippers headed to The Corning Museum of Glass for a tour and to make glass flowers. We didn’t drink any more wine as we had plenty of wine bottles in our car from the weekend’s excellent tastings.

About the Authors
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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