Research shows that when they go out for a drink, Americans – especially millennials – are more likely to order wine or cocktails over beer. Why? Many consumers say wine and spirits taste better, cost less, and are healthier.

The news has the beer industry taking on new strategies to grow and maintain its customer base. Will those strategies work? This hour, we discuss if the decline in beer consumption is a trend, if beer has a marketing problem, and what the future of the alcoholic beverage industry looks like. Our guests:

Cornell is getting ready to host its annual Business, Enology and Viticulture Symposium. We have a conversation about the state of winemaking in a region that is dealing with everything from climate change to tightening resources.

What is the future of winemaking for the region? Our guests weigh in:

  • Anna Katharine Mansfield, associate professor of enology for Cornell AgriTech at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, team leader and viticulture extension specialist with the Finger Lakes Grape Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Dave Wiemann, vineyard manager at Sheldrake Point Winery in Ovid, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake
  • Kelby Russell, head winemaker for Red Newt Cellars

Keuka Spring Vineyards

The wildfires that are ravaging parts of Northern California are also impacting the large wine industry in that region. News of that devastation is on the mind of a Finger Lakes winemaker.

How is climate change impacting the wine industry? There's a growing view among casual observers that climate change is good for the Finger Lakes, bad for California. In reality, climate change is a problem for all wine growing regions. Yes, some wine regions might become too warm to produce high-quality wine grapes. But climate change is not simply about shifting temperature upward, and the complex changes could threaten livelihoods here in our region.

Our guests discuss the reality on the ground, and how the industry is trying to mitigate the effects.

Our Summer of Food Series turns its attention to the most significant competition of the year for New York winemakers: the New York Food & Wine Classic.

We talk to the winemakers behind the Wine of the Year, and the Winery of the Year. Our guests:

The Finger Lakes wine industry is getting ready to celebrate one of its biggest events of the year: the Rose Soiree in Geneva. The event on Linden Street has attracted hundreds of people in the past couple of years, and it puts the focus on a style of wine that has taken a while to gain traction.

We talk to winemakers about the event, the state of the industry, and more.

We preview the upcoming Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes, which is less than three weeks away. We'll talk about what makes the Finger Lakes region thrive for certain grape varieties, and we'll explore the various themes on the menu for this year's event. Our guests:

  • Bob Madill, chair of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and co-chair of the symposium
  • Leslie Kroeger, symposium organizer
  • Steve DeFrancesco, winemaker for Glenora Wine Cellars

Finger Lakes Community College offers a popular program on viticulture. In just a few years, the program has already produced successful winemakers, and is becoming a kind of UC Davis of the east. We’ll meet Paul Brok, the man who runs the program and also happens to be one of the most highly regarded winemakers in the Finger Lakes. We'll also speak to those who took part in the program:

  • Andi Hawk
  • Devin Showmaker
  • Mike Murawski,
  • Tory Franco

A conversation on the year for the Finger Lakes wine industry. How significant is the fracking decision? Is the region nearing a saturation point for number of operations? How has the region attracted top talent from Europe?  We discuss these topics and more with our guests:

Last week Zephyr Teachout lost to Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, but not without taking 34 percent of the vote, more than what most people thought she’d get. Teachout has not supported Cuomo in the general election, instead, she will help Democrats get elected to the State Senate, in an effort to reclaim the majority. What would this mean for the State Senate? We discuss this with Laura Nahmias, of Capital.

Then, we talk about a plot to try and poison the world’s most expensive wine. In January 2010, the proprietor of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a vineyard that produces the most expensive wines in the world, received a letter that unless he paid a one million euro ransom, his vines would be poisoned. He believed it was a joke, but the threat was real. Reporter Max Potter joins us to talk about how went to France to document this crime and wrote about his findings called “Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine”