Monday, June 27, 2011

Shinn Estate Vineyards Rose` 2010

A few weeks ago I read a very nice review on the New York Cork Report about a Long Island dry Rose` made with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.  It's only been about three years since I started to appreciate Rose` wine and they have all been 100% Finger Lakes Cab/Franc.  This Long Island wine sounded very interesting.  Fortunately, Shirley and I had planned a vacation in New York City a few weeks later and this would give me a chance to locate the wine since it's impossible to find here at home.
Once home, I had to wait a few days for the right dinner to open what was a darker than usual looking Rose`.  Saturday was that day.  Shirley made a great dinner of chicken breast done in some light herbs and spices, served with her potato salad and snap peas.  I think she could have made anything on Saturday, I was determined to open my Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Rose`($16).

The color was a darker than ususal in the glass. I believe I had a few Pinot Noir in the past that were about this color.  The red cherry and watermelon aromas were very pleasant. Add in a hint of strawberry and raspberry in the mouth with a dry earthy feel and a medium-long finish then just sit back and enjoy.  You can also, as noted in the NYCR, close your eyes and you may think this as a red wine.  Even more so if you leave some out to warm up for a day.  Warm, about 65F, the wine was wonderful.  Aromas were more earthy, a little drier taste and the finish was longer and smoother.

I had e-mailed Lenn Thompson after reading his review to ask if he could compare the LI Rose` with those from the Finger Lakes.  He answered that it would be comparing apples and oranges.  Not the answer I was looking for, but he was absolutely right on.  Probably better said as being unfair to compare them.  Both are excellent, but much different wines. Wish I had brought more home.  You can order,like me,  from Shinn Estate Vineyards or 67Wine online store.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Good Earth Wine Aarohi Sauvignon Blanc 2008

On our last visit to NYC, I was able to visit my new favorite NYC wine store, 67Wines at 179 Columbus Ave and 68th. Shirley found this shop a few months ago on her last visit to NYC with Pam.  She knew I was looking for wines from obscure regions that were no where to be found here in Central New York.  She had six wines shipped home. They came from Lebanon, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey, the Republic of Georgia and Brazil. On this visit I was able to find wines from Uruguay, Macedonia,  the foreign land of Long Island and a Sauvignon Blanc from India.  Our store assistant, Sadie, had recommended the wine from India.  She said it's not what one may be use to in a Sauvignon Blanc.  There is more body with a grassy and peppery palate. So, for $15, I decided to give it a try.
Friday was fish night and Shirley was cooking up some Cod, broiled with tomato chunks and green peppers with a touch of Tarragon.  The Cod was served with Shirley's home made potato salad, fresh peas and a tomato/cuke salad in light olive oil and champagne wine vinegar. A perfect time to try an Indian wine produced by the Good Earth Winery, owned by Girish Mhatre. This winery is a new addition to the wineries in Nashik, in the state of Maharashtra, India.  The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc is their first vintage
Aromas were herbal, grassy with straw and a hint of lime.  Taste was again herbal, slate, asparagus and again just a hint of citrus notes.  A very short dry peppery finish and with a little tropical floral like taste. Definitely more body than Sauv/Blancs I tasted. 
A second day I tried this with a slice of cheese pizza and was surprised at how well that pairing was.  With Friday's fish though this wine was excellent.  Nice with the fish and very nice with the potato salad.  But, unlike some of my favorite Sauv/Blancs this wine does not do well on it's own.  Not one I want to sit outside reading and sipping on a summer afternoon, but a great $15 find for light seafood and summer salads.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Domaine Monte De Luz Tannat Reserva 2007

This evening Shirley asked for a red wine for one of her recipes of pork chops and mushrooms, so I gave her one of the wines we found on our vacation to New York City, a Domaine Monte de Luz Tennat 2009 ($16) from Uruguay.  This is the first wine from Uruguay that I had an opportunity to taste and the first time for a wine made from the Tannat grape. Tannat is a red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it is considered the "national grape".
A dark ruby colored wine with aromas of dark berries, cherry, tobacco and a hint of chocolate or cocoa.  A dry mouth feel with taste of mineral and currants and a long dry finish with a little spice was a lot like a good Cabernet Franc. At least, that's what it reminded me of.
The wine was OK with the pork chops, but excellent with a dessert of chocolate ice cream.  It should also do well with hard cheese, lamb or duck.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wine, Food, and Shows in the Big Apple

Just home from New York City and happy to be back on the PC to do my updating. I still have problems with the lap top.
I figured I'd keep this blog as more of a personal blog than a wine blog, but if I am going to post about a NYC vacation, you know there has to be some mention of wine consumed and the wines I was able to find for the home cooler.  One vacation plan that we were not able to do was a wine tour to the North Fork of Long Island. This is something that I came to terms with the fact that it will probably never happen, unless the trip to NYC is specifically for the wine tour.  There is just too much to do and see in a short five day vacation in the Big Apple.
Shirley and I have been heading to NYC every year since 2002, except for last year due to a slight medical problem.  We listened to Rudy Giulani promos after 9/11 and decided it was time to re-visit a city we had not been to in over 25 years and we got hooked.  We do go for the Broadway shows and the shopping and the sight seeing.   We learned about SoHo, NoHo, Dumbo, Canal St., Central Park, the Village, Tribeca, the Battery, the Upper West and East sides, Little Italy and many of the sections of Manhattan that make NYC what it is. We also learned were to eat and were not to eat.
 Let's start with were not to eat, "Times Square!" or the Broadway district.  So many restaurants to choose from and very hard to find one that is worth the tab.  There are some, but it takes a few trips to find them and then when you return, it's under new ownership and new management and is then placed on the stay-away from restaurants in future visits to the city. This past week we got lucky.
We dined at three Italian restaurants and found one that passed on great food, but a weak wine list. We found a great wine list, but mediocre food and the third was great food and out of the wine I wanted.  I did settle for a fairly nice Sancerre with a very nice char-broiled salmon.  The best was in lower Manhattan on 6th St. near 2nd Ave. The Zerza Mediterrano was a very small Moroccan restaurant with a fantastic duck and an outstanding lamb plate on the menu.  Biggest surprise was the wine.
Our server Marsha, recommended a red wine from Algeria. A very smooth full body red wine was the best of the red wines tasted on this vacation. We added a second bottle of Chateau Tellagh Medea to the bill to bring home. While waiting for the Zerza to open, we stopped at a wine bar on 2nd Ave and 4th simply called  "Wine Bar."  Shirley had a nice Rioja and I enjoyed an Albarino with a cheese plate made of Spanish cheeses, which were recommeded by our server, Sofia.
This kinda leads me to my biggest disappointment.  There were NO NY WINES on any of the menus we seen this past week.  I know that some restaurants in this area do offer NY wines, but unless you are aware of which ones and make it a point to find these restaurants, you cannot find NY wines. North Fork, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes:  You have some work to do down here.
As far as the shows:  We seen a grown up Harry Potter, the great John Larroquette, a legend in Joel Grey, Death took a holiday, the fabulous Shirelles and one of the best musicals I have seen in years.
Anyone heading to NYC for a show, don't leave town without seeing "Memphis"
I also had the pleasure of wine shopping at 67Wine & Spirits on the upper West Side.  I had gone there to thank Ben for the assistance he gave Shirley a few months ago in choosing wines from obscure wine regions to help out with this blog.  Unfortunately, Ben was on vacation.  Fortunately, Sadie was not.  Sadie helped immensely with fulfilling my wish list for this trip.  I found wine from Uruguay, Macedonia, India, a few Long Island Merlot and a Long Island Rosé I recently became interested in.
Now it's time to plan on our next visit to NYC. What shows, what restaurants,  what districts to visit and, oh yeah, what wines.  Sure it will be exciting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Swedish Hill Vidal Blanc 2009

I have learned over the past few years, that the Finger Lakes Wine Region makes some fabulous Rieslings. I have also learned to appreciate many of the other white wines and a few of the red wines manufactured in the region. One of the new ones, at least for me, is Vidal Blanc.
Vidal Blanc is a French hybrid bred from the crossing Ugni Blanc(Trebbiano) and Rayon d'Or grapes and is best known for the hardiness of the vines, and is usually grown in locations that are too cold for well known grape varieties. Vidal Blanc is more often used for late harvest sweet wines and for ice wines and not often as an everyday table wine. But, when made as a dry white table wine, it makes for a very nice and delicious table wine.
This past week-end I continued to open some of the white wines I brought home from my Cayuga Lake wine tour.  One was the 2009 Swedish Hill Vidal Blanc ($12).
Soft golden color with aromas of wildflowers, pineapple, grapefruit and a hint of peach. Finish was dry with a little honeylike sweetness.
Opened for a dinner of broiled scallops and broiled ocean perch basted with butter and  then covered with juice of fresh lemon.  Ocean perch is a nice light white fish and went very well with the Vidal Blanc.  This wine will also do well with salmon or trout, chicken dishes and summer salads.
The cobalt blue bottle will also look very cool sitting in an ice bucket on the patio while nibbling on some Edam or Swiss cheese.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé 2009

courtesy of
Trying to save my Finger Lakes Rieslings for mid summer, so I started opening some of the wines I brought home from my last Finger Lakes visit. This past week, I opened a fantastic Vidal Blanc from Swedish Hill Winery and a few of the dry rosé in the fridge.  Of them all, I was most impressed with the 2009 dry rosé from Sheldrake Point ($12).
Aromas of white, or was that a red. First sniff was floral, like honeysuckle with a little grapefruit. A little like a Sauvignon Blanc.  But, a second sniff and a lot of strawberry and some raspberry.  In the mouth I tasted much more raspberry.  A medium-long finish was very dry, fruity.  A very nice dry rosé of 100% Cabernet Franc grapes.
The dinner I had with this wine was remarkable.  Shirley made one of her off-the-cuff stir fries.  Rice and shrimp with a stir fry mix of baby corn cobs, snow peas, mushrooms and water chestnuts. She added Soy sauce, sesame oil and a touch of garlic, chives and ginger. The dry rosé was a perfect compliment and a nce surprise since I am relatively new to rosé wines. Nice wine with the meal and very nice on its own.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sheldrake Point Dry Riesling 2009

Been on a Finger Lakes Riesling kick lately and can't seem to allow myself to open anything but Finger Lakes Riesling.  I am going to have to put a few away for the hot, sweltery days of summer, but before I do, just one more to satisfy what may becoming an addiction.
This past weekend, I opened my lone bottle of Sheldrake Point dry Riesling 2009 ($15).  This was after work with a snack of medium hot Salsa and Tortilla chips.  Before finishing I unwrapped some Lively Run Goat Milk Chevre Cheese with no salt Saltine crackers.  A nice spicy Salsa or a nicer creamy cheese, it did not matter. The wine was an excellent pairing with both.
Color was bright and light golden with aromas of peach, lots of apple, some slate/mineral and a hint of herbs like basil or fennel.  A real nice long, dry and citrusy finish.
I do like my Rieslings dry and this is another of the 2009 vintages I found to be remarkable.  Probably the best vintage in the short time I have been enjoying Finger Lakes wines.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hosmer Winery Dry Riesling 2009

In my last post I gave high praises to Hosmer Winery's Rieslings that I tasted at the winery last Sunday.
Sometimes when on a wine tour or tasting at a local shop, you fall in love with what your tasting, buy a few, take them home and set yourself up for some disappointment.  But, I was so impressed with both the sweeter Riesling and the dry Riesling at Hosmer I could not wait to uncork one of them when I got home. I was going to wait  a day or two, but by 10pm I couldn't wait any longer. I just had to taste what was in that Hosmer bottle.
A very bright grassy color with light floral aromas and a lot of green apple.  Also some nice peach and a lemon/lime aroma with some slate.  Nice, nice mouthfeel.  Citrus in the back and sides and lots of apple, pear and melon with just a tad of sweetness.  Finish was sort of semi-long or moderate, very little sweetness and alot like jasmine tea with lemon.
I made myself a green garden salad and sprinkled on some crumbly blue cheese and proceeded to finish the wine.  So much for just wanting a glass before bed.  
I used the word amazing in my last post and I will use it again here.  The Hosmer Dry Riesling 2009 ($13) is amazing. Maybe the best New York Riesling this year.  Maybe the best New York wine this year.  Very hard to make that prediction now, I still have many more to taste and I know I brought some home that can challenge. If competition is going to be close, this is going to be one enjoyable summer.