Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery offers several tastings of their wines but the 1886 Food and Wine Experience is the most in-depth experience. It is by reservation only and includes a seated educational wine flight paired with creative, small foods. The visit also contains tours of some of the wine-making areas as well as some vineyards. On the property, they also have a retail shop, seated tastings of 5 wines ($15), or Eugenia’s Garden (price varies with what you order) where you sample 3 wines with optional food for purchase. The 1886 Experience is $75 and in retrospect, I don’t think it’s worth that. It was a nice, small, informative tour and the paired foods for the different wines were attractive but not that good. It was fun to see the different buildings and learn a lot about how sparkling wines are made, but I’d recommend one of the cheaper tours and if you really like the wine you can come back for the in-depth experience. The Frank winery is significant because Konstantin is the one that elevated the Finger Lakes wine region of New York into a well-respected wine region. He planted the first vinifera vines from Europe in 1957 which forever changed the course of winemaking in New York.
A Sparkling Brut wine was served on the tour, after a dramatic uncorking with a saber. There is a lot involved in the storage of sparkling wine and achieving a clear sparkling beverage. They send the marked glass home with you.
A Dry Rosé of Blaufränkisch was served in a black glass for you to try and identify. While it had no food pairing it was amazingly difficult to tell much about the wine without being able to see it.
(Left to right)
A 2021 Winter Solstice Gewürztraminer was paired with a scallop on a mango and basil oil sauce with chili dots on the side. The chili was key to making this one fun. The sauce was nice but the scallop was only lukewarm.
The 2021 Chardonnay was paired with a shiitake risotto topped with chimichurri and a parmesan crisp. The risotto was way too thick and tasteless. The crisp had good parm flavor but couldn’t save the bite.
A 2020 Blaufränkisch was matched with a black pepper candied pork belly on some Remembrance Farms greens, cherry tomato, and pickled red onion. This was the best of the lot. The pork belly had flavor and didn’t suffer from being lukewarm. The salad bit was tasty also.
The 2018 Tawny Pinot Gris was paired with a butterscotch pot de creme decorated with a piece of hazelnut brittle. The brittle was quite nice but the custard was too thick and pasty.