Tag Archives: Finger Lakes wine

A Day in the Finger Lakes with Wine….Perfect.

Thunderstorms?  No real threat.  Blistering heat?  Didn’t scare us. Hearty Central New Yorkers came in droves to the Finger Lakes Riesling Festival to sample, mingle and have a great time by Canadaigua Lake.  The industrial fans were no match for the sauna-like heat under the tents, but that didn’t stop any of us.  My girlies and I bravely stepped up to the challenge of trying to fight the crowd and getting our hands on some Riesling, all the while feeling a little like we were in an incubator.

An absolutely idyllic setting, the Riesling Festival was the perfect atmosphere for sampling the “king of grapes.”  One look out to Canadaigua Lake, you forgot about the crowds, the heat; it was just you and the wine. From late harvest dessert Riesling to crisp, dry Riesling, the Finger Lakes offered something for everyone.  After every sip I took, I looked out towards the water and smiled.  Not just because there was great scenery but also because there was exceptional wine tickling my palate.

Among the lineup were Three Brothers Winery and Estates, Anthony Road Wine Company, Standing Stone Vineyards, Swedish Hill Winery, Glenora Wine Cellars and Thousand Island Winery (which gets an honorable mention for its Gewurztraminer-rose petals with a little spice-perfect).  Noticeably missing from the Festival were Dr. Frank Konstantin and Hermann J. Weimer.  I was a bit disappointed but I know what those wines taste like and have them in Bauer.  I would have been happy to see them there nonetheless.

Among the memorable wines I had on Saturday afternoon, two stood out the most: Hosmer Winery Dry Riesling ($13) and Damiani Wine Cellars Dry Riesling ($24).    These two wines had everything I look for in this varietal- crisp, clean with bright acidity.  The Hosmer, in particular, had this Granny Smith green apple bite with some hints of pear and lime.  All I could say was wow.  Thanks to Tracey on Facebook who asked if we would have Hosmer at Bauer’s FLX Riesling tasting last week.  I may not have immediately sought out this winery if she hadn’t suggested it.  Hosmer is located on Cayuga Lake and has been winning awards for their Dry Riesling since 2001 and has been written about by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Magazine and Wine Spectator.  This is a winery to keep your eye on because what they are producing is nothing short of spectacular.

Damiani Wine Cellars, on Seneca Lake, is owned by two native sons of the Finger Lakes.  They craft their wines in the old-world style and know that the terroir of Seneca Lake will give us only wines of exceptional quality.  The Dry Riesling was clean, perfectly crisp with green apple again but this one had starfruit in the background.  Not what I would expect from a NY Riesling but it worked.  It was juicy and round with just the right amount of acidity.  They were unfortunately stuck in a corner next to Hazlitt and probably didn’t get the amount of traffic they deserved.  If I was running the show, this is a winery that would have been put front and center.  “Nobody puts baby in a corner…”

Wine wasn’t the only offering at the Riesling fest.  There was also a tent for beer.  Craft beer made in New York State to be specific.  Once we had our fill of Riesling, my girlies and I decided we should make our way over to the beer tent for some samples.  That was a big mistake.  The beer tent was a quarter of the size of the wine tent and tried to hold just as many people.  I hear that Three Bros, Dundee, Saranac, Ommegang breweries were there, but we never made it past Brooklyn Brewery.  We decided after the one sample we got, it wasn’t worth trying to fight the crowds for more.  Everyone was shoulder -to-shoulder and worse, once people received their sample, they were allowed to continue standing in front of the taps so no one behind them could get in.  But, that’s just par for the course at a tasting so I couldn’t really be surprised or upset by it.

Overall, it was a great day with the girls, a great day for Riesling and a great day for the Finger Lakes.  Now if we can just find Hosmer and Damiani distribution in MA so I can enjoy their wines all the time….

Having lunch

Looking down at the water while eating my sandwich...beautiful

My girls

Hey, I’m More Than Just a Cute, Fuzzy Face

After 12 years I have picked up a lot of wine knowledge from my humans.  All day I listen to Howie, John and Nick discuss wines with customers and amongst themselves.  You could say I have picked up a thing or two and I want to start sharing that with all of you.

Recently, I have been joining Corinne in the office as she writes because she likes the company and I get lots of attention.  Watching her work,  I got to thinking about my take on this store and my contributions.  I’m more than night-time security with a cute face and my voice needs to be heard.   I made it clear to Corinne

Sitting with Corinne waiting for a pat

that it was time for me to start my own recommendations.  As the king in this place, she immediately obeyed.  I always get what I want. I hope it will work on you too.  Let me send out the Jedi mind trick now:  mmmmmm…..tuna.  You want to give me tuna.  Delicious tuna….NOW.

But I digress…

You can ask Howie or John about their personal favorites and they will tell you all about them. Want my opinion?  Look around the store and you will start to find little grey cat stickers on my favorites.  I figured that was the easiest way to make recommendations since I am sleeping all day before my nighttime security shift in the store.

My wines right now are the NV Perrier-Jouet Champagne, 2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling, 2004 Trimbach Pinot Gris (hey…that’s named after me!) Reserve Personelle, and 2009 G.D. Vajra Langhe Ross.  Come check them out and make sure you buy one before they are gone!

Cheers!

Gris 

Summer of Riesling and Dynamite Shrimp Kabobs

It’s the summer of Riesling according to Matt Reiser, the sommelier and beverage director at Upstairs on the Square, and I couldn’t be happier about it!  In celebration of this spectacular idea, we had a tasting on Thursday of international Rieslings with City Table in the Lenox Hotel.  It was the inaugural Chef’s Series event in Bauer and we were ready to eat great food and drink our way through the wines.  For those of you who haven’t heard of the Chef’s Series yet, Bauer is inviting Back Bay chefs into our store for special tasting events.  The chef brings in their specialty and we pair our wines for a tasting event that won’t soon be forgotten.

Sous Chef Sean MacAlpine prepared his Dynamite Shrimp Kabobs with pineapple BBQ sauce and salsa verde.    Just picture it… Jumbo shrimp on cane skewers brushed with Sean’s homemade BBQ sauce and grilled.  On the side, corn bread with hints of chili with a pineapple tomatillo salsa verde.  Are you drooling yet?  Sean’s dish was utterly delicious. The slight spiciness of the shrimp kabobs was offset by the the Rieslings perfectly.  Definitely a match made in heaven.

For our end we offered our faithful followers who trudged through the rain to attend, four Rieslings from around the world:  2010 Frisk Naturally Prickly Riesling from Victoria, Australia, 2010 Weingut Karl Erbes Riesling out of Mosel, Germany, 2008 Ravines Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes in New York and lastly a 2009 Hugel Riesling from Alsace, France.

A great big thank you goes out to City Table’s General Manager Robert George and Sous Chef Sean MacAlpine for a wonderful event! They were both great to work with and they certainly charmed all who walked through the door.  We hope to be able to work with them in the near future again!

Check out some of our attendees!  Thank you to everyone who came out on a Thursday for helping us make this a successful and fun night.