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Tag Archives: New York Wines

Working on my Oenophile Cred

Last Friday after adventuring for most of the afternoon, I stopped by Vintage Spirits in Herkimer, NY for their Easter wine tasting.   As regular readers know, I have no real oenophile cred (or even a clear idea of how to pronounce “oenophile”).  However, I love wine and I like giving a shout-out to a local business.

Tastings at Vintage Spirits are always educational for me, because Bronson, who owns Vintage Spirits, is very knowledgeable.   I suppose if I go to enough tastings there, I will eventually gain a few oenophile creds myself.  If I don’t drink too much wine and forget everything I hear (not at the tasting, of course, but, you know, if I buy a couple of bottles).

I started with Le Petit Rouviere Rose 2015 from Provence, France. I told Bronson how Steven and I often make the joke:   If I have a little red left in my glass but Steven is opening a bottle of white, I tell him to mix it and we’ll make Rose.  Of course that is not really how it is done.  Bronson explained how the wine skins are left in for a certain length of time to make the color.  I’m afraid I don’t remember the full explanation (yes, I purchased a couple of bottles; why do you ask?).

I though the Rose was tasty and would make a good summer wine.  Of course I am quite ready to sit out on my deck with a glass of wine, but so far the Mohawk Valley weather has not been cooperative.

Next I tried Heron Hill Dry Riesling 2013 from Keuka Lake, NY.  I like dry riesling and I am a huge fan of New York State wines (what a surprise), so I had high hopes for this one.  I was not disappointed.  It earned my ultimate accolade of “yummy.”  I made a further note that it was “New Yorky.”  I can’t describe exactly what I mean by “New Yorky.”  It’s one of those “I know it when I taste it” things.  This riesling was not entirely dry, and the description said it paired well with ham, so I felt confident in purchasing a bottle to bring to my parents’ house for Easter dinner.

I tried all the reds except the Fulkerson Red Zeppelin from Seneca Lake, NY.  I knew it was sweet, and I think I have tried it before.

In addition to the riesling, I picked up a bottle of Barefoot Pinot Noir, which is a very tasty wine, especially for the price.  Mom was cooking a rolled roast beef as well as the ham, so I thought some people might prefer a red.

Steven was working till six.  Thinking he had worked all day and would like a treat, I walked to his place of employment and brought him to the wine tasting, which ran till seven.  The nice people at Vintage Spirits did not mind that I tasted twice.  After Steven had tried everything, we purchased a bottle of the Rose.  Steven liked it, and I found I liked it even better on the second try.  Now if we could only get some good deck-sitting weather.

Vintage Spirits is located at 246 Mohawk St., Herkimer, NY.  Phone number is 315-866-6800.  You can also Like them on Facebook.

 

Serenity Now

I just realized I never gave a shout-out to any of the Finger Lakes wineries I visited in April. What an omission! I shall start with my favorite: Serenity Vineyards.

Serenity is located at 930 Davy Rd. in Penn Yann, NY. Right nearby is Seneca Shore Wineries. When we found out Serenity offers dry wines, most of our group opted to skip ahead to that one. My sister Diane and I stayed, one of our designated drivers also remaining (insert smart remark of your choice about our not being sweet and/or having dry senses of humor).

The tasting room is part of a large warehouse. We could see large steel vats and huge wooden barrels, so I knew they would have plenty of wine for us to taste. Music by Billie Holiday was playing, so there were all kinds of things for me to like about the place.

A gentleman named Mike poured for us. He was familiar with all the wines and told us what he liked to eat with them. I liked that, because I don’t know much about pairings (although I do know the truism of “white with chicken, red with beef” is NOT always true) (um, I guess that’s why it’s a trueISM and not a truth).

We started with a 2011 Dry Riesling. It was very tart, fruity but dry. Mike said it went well with creamy stuff, like Alfredo.

Then we went to an ’06 Pinot Noir. Mike said it was cool in ’06, making the wine light, soft and chillable. I agreed that it was very light, what I would call a good summer wine. The ’07 Pinot Noir, in contrast, was vinted in a hotter, drier season. That one was Mike’s favorite. I found it tasty but not something I would crave.

The 2011 Cab Franc Mike called a “quintessential steak wine.” I could taste the light, peppery finish, which is unusual for me because in general my palate is not that sophisticated (you see, I admit it). This was my favorite so far.

The 2011 Mirth, one of their most popular wines, is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Regular readers may remember that I like blends, and I certainly liked this one. Alas, I did not make a note if I liked it better than the Cab Franc. I suppose I’d better make my way back to the Finger Lakes for another taste.

I told Mike I tend not to pair wine with food; I like to sip a wine all on its own. He said he preferred to pair it and let the tastes influence each other. I’ll have to try that. It may be good for more blog posts.

Diane told Mike I wrote a blog and would probably write about Serenity Vineyards. He invited us to Like their Facebook page and to share a link to the blog when I wrote about them. I Liked their page right away. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write the post.