Monday, October 26, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Fox Run Vineyards Reserve Riesling 2008

Sometime near the end of the year, I would like to post all that I have learned and the wines that I have come to enjoy over the past two years. From a European reds only wine drinker who could not tolerate most white wines or any wines over 0% RS, to be even drinking the many wines I am now, I think I have come a long way. Much of this change or palate expansion, if there is such a term, is directly related to the wines from the Finger Lakes region on New York. Not only the white wines that they have always excelled with, but also the great accomplishments that they have achieved lately in producing quality red wines.
Tonight, Shirley baked trout with Cajun spices, cole slaw, corn and Cajun fries. Two years ago I would have never had a Riesling in the fridge, let alone think of opening one for any reason. Now I have a few and tonight I chose a 2008 Reserve Reisling from Fox Run Vineyards.
Thankfully for me, a no sugar guy, the 2008 vintage is a dry Riesling, 1.0% RS. In 30+ years as a wine drinker, I would have never believed a Riesling could be this good.
Wild aromas of topical fruits, raspberry, peach and lemon on the nose. You feel and taste all of these aromas on the palate and the finish is dry and very long. Even with a nice light Tiramisu for dessert, this wine was fantastic.
The downside of this Riesling is the price. At $30 this may be a little high for Rieslings, but this is a Reserve that is not produced every year. Only in years when ripening conditions are outstanding will this wine be produced and the 2008 is well worth it.
I'll be back to Fox Run for the annual Deck the Halls event and will definitely bring home some more.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Regional Wine Week: Day 6 and 7 plus 1

Well, Regional Wine Week ended on Saturday for most all those participating, except me.
It was my goal, living near the Finger Lakes region, to have a different Finger Lakes wine every night for seven days. I also wanted only wines that I have not had before. For the latter reason, I had to add a day.
I recently wrote about my son's lounge and the fact that he has finally added New York wines, in particular, Finger Lakes wine, to his wine list. However, on Friday when I made my weekly appearance ( every Fri. and Sat.) the only one on hand was one that I just recently reviewed.
A Glenora Gewurztraminer. It was good, it was Finger Lakes, but it was not a new wine for me. So, I added Sunday to my week!

Saturday, I decided that I would take a bottle to the Lounge, pay the corkage and fulfill my goal.
I choose a wine from Anthony Road Winery, Red Newt Cellars and Fox Run Vineyards. Yes, all three, one wine! One fabulous wine.
This Dry Riesling represents a unique collaborative effort of all three wineries. This wine pulls together not only the unique vineyard expressions of Seneca Lake, but also the philosophies of the participating winemakers.
Three vineyards, three winemakers, one wine. Peter Bell(Fox Run), Johannes Reinhardt(Anthony Road) and David Whiting(Red Newt) have peered through the mystique of terroir to produce "Tierce"
A lot of citrus and floral aromas with sweet grapefruit and lime filling the mouth. The finish was long and dry.
Enjoyed the wine with crab-artichoke dip and crab cakes. A real enjoyable wine to end the week, but that made only six new wines I tried, so I extended my week one more day!

Sunday is the first day of my week-end. It was going to be a busy day doing some home repairs, many of them caused by me, some shopping and putting some finishing touches on our newly renovated basement. Shirley was visiting her dad all day, so I was able to take my time and open a wine to sip while working and have with left over Chili. I grabbed a small wine glass and opened a dry Cab/Franc Rose' from Anthony Road.
A very berry aroma. Lots of red raspberry and strawberry on the nose. Almost like a good homemade strawberry/rhubarb jam or pie. Add a little spice to the mouth with a dry fruity and lingering finish. Didn't do well with the Chili, but the rest of the day was great!
This, maybe, wasn't the best wine I had this past week but it certainly was the most enjoyable.
I finished the day and my Regional Wine Week with a nice Finger Lakes Rose' along with some Tostitos and Fritos jalapeno and cheddar dip. Much better than the Chili.

"Regional Wine Week is the genius of’s Jeff Siegel and and WineLine‘’s David McIntyre (also of the Washington Post) who gathered a few wine writers to talk about their respective regions’ wines at the same time. With 40 participants talking about their local juice, it was a great success and spawned the website,"*** which organized the week a year ago. This week was Regional Wine Week #2

I enjoyed the week and the wines and will likely do it all over again. I am already trying to develop a goal for the next Regional Wine Week. I think that maybe I should define what is regional or that it may not be a bad idea to try wines from other lesser known regions during that week. In the meantime I'll continue to practice :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Regional Wine Week: Day 5

Day 5 (Thurs) of Regional Wine Week.
Today I turned 62 years of age. On a recent wine tour, a very good friend of mine, purchased a $50 bottle of wine and gave it to me as a early birthday present. I promised that I would open on that day. The wine was a Fox Run Pinot Noir Reserve 2007. After an evening with some friends and a few Crown Royal Manhattans I came home early enough to fulfill that promise.
The Manhattans are keeping me from finishing this wine in one night and that is my mistake.
Some day I will make a list of all of the best wines by varietal that I have ever had. This one
will definitely be in the running for my best Pinot Noir.
Lots of cherry with currant, sweet plum and a bit of pomegranate filled the glass. I was a little
surprised by how light and fruit forward this wine felt in the mouth (very earthy) and how smooth and long the finish.
Maybe it's good I leave a 1/2 bottle for later. I can just fantasize this with Shirley's Tuna casserole or maybe one of her thick Turkey burgers.
I don't normally buy any wine for $50, but this one may just be one that will be put away
for a special occasion or a special meal. Thank you Donna for the gift. I owe you one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Regional Wine Week: Days 3 and 4

As promised, day 3 (Tues) of Regional Wine Week I chose a dry Riesling from Billsboro Winery.
I just recently reviewed a Billsboro Sauvignon Blanc and remembered from a recent visit to the winery that the dry Riesling was one of the best I tasted that day.
Lots of tropical aromas with some tangerine on the nose. Very velvety with a hint of lime in the mouth. The finish is very smooth, but also very short.
Enjoyed with a baked chicken breast stuffed with baby artichoke hearts then covered with bruschetta and mozzarella.

Wednesday, got home from work to a just finished baked trout. Nothing fancy, just a whole trout baked with a little butter. Served with roasted potatoes and string beans. This meal calls for a nicely chilled Riesling, but I had a Riesling last night and figured I'd experiment tonight with a bottle of Tocai Friulano 2008 from the Ventosa Vineyards. Sounds like a nice Italian wine from my wife's birthplace of Trieste in NE Italy, but this Italian grape is estate grown at the Ventosa Vineyards on the east side of Seneca Lake in Geneva NY.
Lots of floral aromas of honeysuckle and apple blossom in the glass. In the mouth, a thick and velvety feel and a flavor of a sweet grapefruit. The finish was smooth and dry with a touch of sweetness. Definitely a very nice wine, but a bit overpowering for trout. Would love to try this with Salmon or a pork roast.
Three more days and three more Finger Lakes wines. Next post will cover days 5, 6 and 7.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Regional Wine Week: Days 1 and 2

Regional Wine Week was organized by It runs from Sunday Oct. 11 thru Saturday Oct. 17.
For me, that means seven days of Finger Lakes wine. With plenty enough in the wine fridge, it won't be to difficult to do, but what choices do I make may pose a problem. Shirley's meal plans have to consider that I work till 10 pm. When I get home it's usually a light meal and a glass or two or three of something I can enjoy while on the PC catching up reading my favorite blogs.

Sunday, was lead off with a nice white wine from White Springs Winery. A blend of 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Grigio. Floral aromas with some citrus on the nose and fresh grapefruit in the mouth. Although there's a bit more chardonnay in the blend, this was more dominated by the Pinot Grigio, but balanced out very well. Suggested pairing is shrimp or cream based soups.
I had with a little peppery homemade chicken soup and enjoyed the pairing very much.

Tonight, which is my day off, Shirley broiled me a juicy 12 oz. New York Strip steak. I had my choice of six different reds and had to decide between a Damiani Meritage or a Fox Run Merlot.
The Meritage is one of my favorite Finger Lakes wines and this was my last bottle and I wanted to save it, so I went with the Merlot. Turned out to be a great choice.

On the nose was a not quite ripe yet blackberry with a little nutmeg and raw ginger. More fruity on the tongue with a mild peppery finish. This went well with the steak and even better with Shirley's roasted veggies (carrot, brussel sprouts, squash, zucchini) roasted with an Italian basting oil. I also enjoyed sipping the Merlot while writing this post.

Well, Regional Wine Week has started out pretty darn good. Looking forward now to the rest of this week and the wines I'll be enjoying.
Tomorrow, Riesling! Can't do a Finger Lakes week with out a good Riesling. Also on tap for the week are a Pinot Noir from Fox Run which was a gift from a friend for my birthday! So that night is taken. The other three nights, mmmmm! going to be a good week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Billsboro Winery, Sauvignon Blanc 2008

I think it gets a little scary when you choose a not so good wine for three consecutive nights. When the fourth night comes and you just get home from work and you are looking for a nice wine just to sip, watch a little TV and catch up on a little blog work, you check every bottle in the wine fridge and just can't decide for fear of failing again. That happened this week. But, halllelujah, tonight was a bit more successful.

Tonight I got home a little after 10 pm and went searching the fridge for a nice white wine to relax with. I pulled every bottle of white wine I had (about 20). I passed over many of my favorites before keeping out a Billsboro Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2008.

Billsboro Winery was opened as Geneva's first winery in the spring of 2000 by Bob Pool and Jennifer Morris and is home to 26 acres of rolling hills, vineyards and forest. It is now owned by local winemaker, Vincent ("Vinny") Aliperti, and his wife Kim who plan to continue the Pool-Morris vision of a small, friendly, family-run vinifera winery.

I remembered commenting on an older post that this was may be the best Sauvignon Blanc I tasted outside of my favorites from New Zealand. As a friend of mine always says, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." But, there are many differences.

The color is not like my NZ wines, which show a greenish tint. This one is a more golden in color.
The aromas are not tropical or grassy, but more of dry grapefruit with a little melon. There is no floral on the nose or palate, but a very nice grapfruit, lemon and mineral. The finish is not long, but not really short and very, very smooth. I think this would even be better with a shrimp cocktail, but for just sipping and relaxing, this wine is excellent.

I find many good Sauvignon Blanc's from New Zealand and Chile between $9 and $12. Some of the better ones between $12 and $20. Billsboro Sauvignon Blanc can be ordered from the winery for $16. Not a great buy, but...

Take it from an amateur wine lover.....Good Buy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Glenora Wine Cellars Gewurztraminer 2007

Every Friday and Saturday after work, a few friends and I visit our favorite lounge for some great food off the bar menu and to down a few glasses(maybe more than a few) of wine. Of course, the lounge is owned by my son and his fiance and has become our regular hang out since opening one year ago. Since opening, I have been trying to get him to put some New York wines on the wine list. Finally, he has listened to his dad.
I no sooner sat down on Friday when he brought out a Glenora Wine Cellars Gewurztraminer.

Glenora Wine Cellars has been producing award winning wines in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State for more than 32 years. The winery produces 50,000 cases annually and is one of the highest quality Riesling producers in the United States. In addition to a beautiful Retail Shop, the campus has a 30 room luxury inn and 125-seat restaurant. The entire property overlooks the vineyards and Seneca Lake offering spectacular views in the perfect wine country setting.

My son is a fan of Gewurzt and he knew I discovered the grape this past summer, so he chose one that would not disappointment. Aroma's were more floral like roses or hyacinths with a bit of peach and the taste was a little more fruity and dry. Finish was not long with a little sweetness. Enough to pair really nice with a chicken quesadilla and salsa.
I did not ask what the cost would be for the bottle, but by the glass he was charging his low end price of $5. That means his cost is $14 or less. You can order from the Glenora winery at $15.
At that price.
Take it from an amateur wine lover......Great Buy!

Other Reviews: