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Tag Archives: wine and food pairings

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.

Steve’s Birthday Dinner

As part of Steven’s Birthday Weekend, we enjoyed dinner out at PK’s Pub in Herkimer, NY. I’ve given PK’s shout-outs before, but I always like to give another, because it is always a good time and a great meal.

We arrived shortly after 4:30. Pete escorted us to the room with the fireplace. We chose a table by the window. I debated what kind of wine to order, because I wasn’t sure yet what I wanted for food. Then again, I am not that knowledgeable about food and wine pairings. I don’t think my palate is sophisticated enough to notice a less than ideal combination. I finally settled on Cabernet Sauvignon. Steven had Merlot.

For food I got Chicken Riggies while Steven chose Chicken Marsala. Yes, we both had red wine with chicken. Wasn’t that bold of us? I said I don’t know much about wine and food, but I know the most basic rule of white wine with chicken, red wine with beef. Perhaps real oenophiles are horrified (I don’t even know how to pronounce oenophile), but I thought it tasted pretty good.

I did not eat all my entree, because I was saving room for dessert. That worked out pretty well, because I was able to heat up the leftovers as part of our dinner on Tuesday, when I was tired.

Desserts are always a highlight at PKs. I got chocolate chip cheesecake. I completely cannot remember what Steven’s dessert was called. I know, if I was a real blogger, I would have made a note of it at the time. Let’s not open that can of worms. It was a kind of cream pie with chocolate and nuts and other stuff. I know it was yummy, because he nicely gave me a bite.

PK’s Pub is located at 221 King St. in Herkimer, phone (315) 866-3494. They are open Tues. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. 4:30 to 9 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday. You can Like them on Facebook. I did.