Monday, December 27, 2021

Dave Sit: The Wine Ranger

I know a number of bona fide wine experts. Not just folks with fancy cellars, or who lead tastings at the local community center. I mean serious pundits, some of whose names you might recognize. And the guy they all look up to is Dave Sit, who you've never heard of.

Dave was always too busy to seek wider recognition for his wine know-how. He was running WNYC-TV, producing PBS' NewsHour, helping pioneer solar energy, studying French cooking with Paul Bocuse, making the best Chinese five-spiced duck I've ever had by a very wide margin, and, long ago, authoring a witty theater piece - based on the Christmas story - titled something like "Who Knocked Up Mary?"

Dave's wine hobby was strictly for his own enjoyment, so he never pursued credentials like a Master of Wine degree. He's always just quietly been The Guy. Wine Yoda. Total knowledge, zero snobbery, great teacher. He taught me a lot.

Dave recently retired to the Finger Lakes, where he's been writing a newspaper wine column, "The Wine Ranger", for the Finger Lakes Times, sharing his deep knowledge and heralding new finds. He knows so much about France, Italy, and California that the Finger Lakes should be flattered to have his focused attention. In fact, he's been single-handedly persuading people like me to take the region much more seriously. If Dave Sit's excited about it, who are we to argue?

Finger Lakes Times recently published Dave's five part account of the annual cycle of a winery, and I highly recommend it.
THE WINE RANGER: A Year in the Life of a Grapevine
Part 1: Bud Break
Part 2: Flowering & Fruit Set
Part 3: Berry Development
Part 4: VĂ©raison
Part 5: Finally, Harvest!
His column also sometimes offers bargain recommendations (Dave covers and appreciates high end wine, but nothing makes him happier than a terrific $20 bottle - and the same's true for most winemakers and sommeliers I know). This link indexes all his stuff at Finger Lakes Times. Be choosey about what you click, though, as their paywall only lets you view a few articles per month.

Lagniappe: "The August that almost killed the Finger Lakes wine industry (but spawned a new one instead")

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