Summer Guide: Syracuse Booze

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Looking for a bunch of ways to enjoy awesome local and non-local beer and wine this summer? Here are some good suggestions. I’ve featured my favorite wine store (which is much more than that), a Skaneateles winery with scenic views and cheap wine tastings, and Syracuse’s own best local brewery. Is it 5:00 p.m. yet?

VINOMANIA
If wine is on your list, you might want to stop at the best little wine store in Syracuse. Owner Gary Decker has a wealth of knowledge. With his help, there’s no way you won’t find the perfect bottle. When it comes to wine, Vinomania carries hand-selected bottles and generally goes with quality in lieu of the big brands. They even have a curated selection of hard-to-find liquor. Most Fridays, Vinomania opens its doors for public wine tastings. There’s something new at Vinomania on every visit. 313 E. Willow St. (315) 422-8466 

ANYELA’S VINEYARD
To find great local wine, head to Anyela’s Vineyard by the shores of Skaneateles Lake. The owners bring a vast knowledge of cool-climate grape growing to this 2001-planted vineyard, which now produces some top-rated Finger Lakes wine. Anyela’s 2011 Dry Riesling is an especially pleasing bottle. You should take a ride just outside Skaneateles and drop in for a tasting. Anyela’s is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. and $3 will get you a five wine samples. You can also schedule private group tasting for only $5 per person. 2433 W. Lake Road, Skaneateles (315) 685-3797 

MIDDLE AGES BREWING COMPANY
This full production brewery in Syracuse has been supplying locals (and the region) with British inspired ales since 1995. Middle Ages Brewing Company started off with the Grail Ale and kept the iconic medieval theme throughout the years. We love Swallow Wit, a delicious wheat beer with an incredible depth of flavor. While many breweries use all sorts of technology in the process, Middle Ages’ brews are truly handcrafted. If you’ve got some free time on a summer Sunday, a brewery tour is a great option. You can also try the beer in the gift shop, which is open 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.  120 Wilkinson St., Syracuse  (315) 476-4250

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