Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Regional Wine Week 2011

Sunday October 9th kicked off the fourth annual Regional Wine Week, an event started in 2008 by Jeff Siegel (The Wine Curmudgeon) and Dave McIntyre (Dave McIntyre's WineLine) and hosted by DrinkLocalWine.com. (DLW)
During Regional Wine Week, writers across the U.S. post stories about their favorite regional and local wines, wineries, and events to their their blogs, Web sites, magazines, and newspapers. DLW also commissions articles about some of the biggest trends in regional wine. Then the DLW web site aggregates all that information, giving consumers a one-stop shop to see what’s going on in regional wine. Over the past three years, writers from across the country have covered most of the other 47. That's the other 47 wine producing States, excluding California, Washington and Oregon.
I am one of the lucky few that will be enjoying only wines from the New York Finger Lakes each night during the week. That may seem like a bold statement, but I would think it can be said by Jeff in Texas, Frank in Virginia, Tim in Ohio, Lenn in Long Island and Susan in Maryland and many other of my blogging cohorts with the same boldness. This is one week we get to brag about our local wines and that is what I intend to do.
The Regional Wine Week started out in grand fashion in this house.  On Sunday I opened my favorite Finger Lakes red wine, a Cabernet Franc.  This one was a 2008 for Sheldrake Point Winery.  Lots of fruit aromas and flavors.  Ripe cherries, blackberries and plum and a very clean and smooth mouthfeel leading to a medium long dry and smooth finish. Paired well with a roasted chicken with roasted potatoes.
Tonight we opened a 2009 semi-dry Riesling from Anthony Road Wine Company and followed with a big surprise 2010 Riesling from Ventosa Vineyards.
I just can't say enough about the Rieslings from Anthony Road.  Year after year, this winery is producing some of the most outstanding Rieslings in New York. The 2009 is a follow up of their Governor's Cup winning 2008 semi-dry and just as delicious. Very peachy aromas with lots of citrus, lemon, lime and melon and just a hint of pineapple and, like the aromas, a mouthful of flavors with a long zesty finish.  I did not want to say what we paired this with, but what the hell, Shirley served up a dinner of Kielbasa with sauerkraut and baked beans, a meal I have always opened a cold beer with because wine is not a friend of Kielbasa and Kraut, not until now!  Very nice combo and one I am looking forward to doing again.
I finished the night sipping on a wine I was not expecting much from, especially after the Anthony Road, but was I surprised?  You Betcha!
One of my favorite and one winery I always like to take new wine trail friends to is Ventosa Vineyards.  But, that has always been because of the fantastic tasting room and building and lake view from the deck.  This is one of, if not, the most gorgeous visits on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. It was never for the wine which I thought was mediocre, except for the Tocai Friulano, which is the best I tasted outside of Northern Italy.  May be time to re-visit this Finger Lakes gem.  The 2010 Riesling is outstanding.
Aromas were light with pineapple and some citrus and loads of Finger Lakes mineral.  The mineral aromas have never been real exciting and often I find them unpleasant, but I have found that this characteristic of Finger Lakes wine is really a thing of beauty in the wine.  In the mouth it was all honeydew melon, honeysuckle, some grapefruit with a bit of lemon and on and on with just multiple flavors coming through. A real surprise, but that is what Regional Wine Week is all about.  Finding the hidden gems in your own back yard.
Just wait till you see what is on tap for the rest of Regional Wine Week here in Central New York. Gonna be hard to beat the first two days, but the fun is in the trying.

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