> New York Hudson Valley Eats & Treats!: Pirate's Lagoon Black Pearl - Don't buy it - Bad Wine.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pirate's Lagoon Black Pearl - Don't buy it - Bad Wine.

Greetings readers.

DO NOT BUY THIS WINE.  Read on to find out what happened.

Pirate's Lagoon Black Pearl is poorly made and bottled.
This is what a faulty bottle of wine looks like.

While many New York State wineries set out to make world class wines for special occasions (or if you have the money, daily drinking I suppose), many of them aim to make wine for the common occasion, i.e. table wine.  While I enjoy a quality made Pinot Noir or so many others, a solid table wine has it's place.  Not everyone can appreciate the nuances of finer wines, and not everyone really care.  Indeed, sometimes you just want something that simply tastes good and is enjoyable by everyone at the table.

Enter Pirate's Lagoon Black Pearl.  The Pirate's Lagoon brand or label is produced by Lake Ontario Winery & Vineyards.  This winery produces a number of quality wines under the Lake Ontario label, but they also have smaller ones such as this.  As near as I can figure out, the Lake Ontario label includes wines that are of a single varietal, i.e. all Riesling or all Cabernet Franc, whereas the "Pirate's Lagoon" label comprises blended wines.  One can't necessarily say that one is better than the other - it all comes down to personal preference.

Poorly made pirate's lagoon black pearl wine
The worst part isn't losing the money - it's losing the promise of a delicious bottle of wine!  So sad.
We usually run into Lake Ontario Winery at either the Oswego Harborfest or the Hudson Valley Wine and Food festivals, and this is the one wine that both the lady I enjoyed enough to purchase a bottle of.  As you can see by the label, this wine (and all the others in the Pirate's Lagoon series) have pirate-themed action.  Kitschy I suppose.

Oh no!

Well, it turns out the bottle I have is faulty.  What a shame.  The lady bought a bottle of this same wine and it too was faulty.  When we opened it, the wine had become carbonated (it's not a sparkling wine) and tasted just... off, from what it was.  The lady was concerned that maybe she had stored it improperly and that's what had caused it to go bad.  Alas, I have had the same experience with my bottle over here.  Just as I was about to serve it to everyone to get their thoughts and opinions for this review!

To be completely fair, I have contacted Lake Ontario Winery and spoken to the gentleman in charge, and he is going to review what I told him and let me know what is what.  I will wait to publish this until such time that I hear back from him.

*Time has passed*

Well, the owner / person in charge said they would call me back and they never did.  I guess they either didn't care or figured I was trying to squeeze them for a free bottle or something.  What a shame really. These bottles weren't expensive - as I recall they were around $10 each.  That being said, the lady and I each bought one, so that means we're out $20 total.  Not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but still way too much to waste on a poorly sealed product.

I believe the issue was poor quality cork - when opening the lady's bottle, the cork was all rotted through, and indeed broke before being pulled from the bottle.  Rest assured, we drink a good amount of wine and know how to properly open one - it's not rocket science.  In my case, about half the cork looked "soaked" on the inside, and oddly colored - there were some patches that resembled mold almost.  Very unfortunate and indeed, very disappointing.  The loss of $20 is a shame, to be sure - the loss of 2 bottles of what could have potentially been enjoyable wine?  A far bigger shame.

Pirate's Lagoon Black Pearl wine bottle
Pirate's Lagoon Black Pearl - we enjoyed you at the show, but never had a chance to at home :(
As my readers, you're well aware that I try to keep this blog very positive, and don't wish to speak negatively about anything, focusing on the good - which in general, is a good quality for life, at least as far as keeping one's outlook positive.  Alas, I cannot recommend this wine, and indeed must advise you to NOT BUY IT, as a wine that has a problem such as cork failure in this day and age is not acceptable.  Me and my lady both liked this wine enough to buy a bottle each, and were disappointed when the bottles turned out to be no good.  Old stock?  Poor corking?  I really can't say.

It might speaks to the general quality of Lake Ontario Winery & Vineyards that after sampling their wares a number of times at shows and the like, the only wine of theirs that we were ever moved to purchase WAS their Black Pearl - and now it turns out too have been poorly bottled.

Oh well.  We have plenty of more wine to write about - I just figured I'd give my readers a heads-up.

Here's to a future of drinking better wine!



  1. There's been a lot of pirate themes lately... Seems to be the new "thing". But it's sad to hear anytime someone buys wine and ends up with a bad bottle. When wine is bought, it's usually for a special occasion or a party. Bad wine can ruin an evening or weekend. And what's worse is the customer service you got. And I am sure it wasn't just you and the lady who got bad bottles. Seems like they were being cheap.