Riesling Paradise

  •       When someone asks me what I think is the best “All Purpose Wine” I laugh and give them my best answer “Riesling”.  It may sound too simple but when you consider the range of styles, producers, regions, and choices from very dry through sweet culminating in excellent dessert wine, the answer is actually a very complex one.  This wine is extremely food friendly and you can easily find a Riesling that will pair well with any cuisine.  You probably heard the saying “There’s an app for that” and when it comes to food pairings it can be said “There’s a Riesling for that”.  Riesling is produced globally by a host of very fine wineries but the frontrunners in quality have always been from the French Alsace Region, Germany and Austria.  Australia also markets some nice Riesling but anyone that has followed this blog knows I favor the Finger Lakes Region of New York and their world-class Riesling.  I have listed below a few favorites that should give you a good start on your search but there are plenty of others waiting to be discovered . 
  • Keuka Lake                      Seneca Lake                                Cayuga Lake
  • Ravines                             Herman R. Wiemer                   Swedish Hill
  • Dr. Frank’s                       Three Brothers                           Knapp
  • Heron Hill                        Belhurst Castle
  •                                             Standing Stone
  •                                             Lamoreaux Landing

Trip Around The Sun

      I have just completed another trip around the Sun, so my wife and I decided to celebrate in our usual way by having dinner at an interesting new restaurant.  This year we decided on the Out Of The Fire Café in Donegal, Pennsylvania.  I will keep this review short and simple because we agreed that after dining there that it was the most exceptionally delicious meal from start to finish that we have ever eaten.  We are comparing our meal to meals we have had at restaurants that were owned by Mario Batalli, Wolfgang Puck, Todd English, Emeril Lagasse and other celebrity chefs just to give you some point of reference on how good this meal was.  I won’t bore you with my perception of the evening I will report it just as the BBC reports the news with just the facts.  We began with the Seasonal Soup which was Crab Chowder that evening.  The entrées were as follows per their menu description.  My wife had Pan Seared Maine Monkfish with Carmelized Onions & Herb Polenta, Bristol Farms Cherry Tomatoes, Crooked Neck Summer Squash & Zucchini, Smoked Tomato Pesto and I had Orange & Fennel Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with Sweet Corn & Lump Crab Griddle Cakes, Grilled Scallions, Orange Section Salsa.  This is how I would describe our dessert ” Strawberry Marscapone Parfitt, Marscapone Cheese Layered in Balsamic Vinegar Infused Strawberries with a Topping of Crumpled Thin Oatmeal Wafer.  Out Of The Fire Café is a B.Y.O.B. establishment that has a $2 per person corkage fee.  I have always avoided B.Y.O.B. places and I must tell you I was wrong in doing so.  The atmosphere was festive and the bottle of Swedish Hill 2009 Reserve Chardonnay (Finger Lakes) we brought was excellent.  I would recommend making reservations any time you plan on going because they are always crowded.  Out Of The Fire Café 3784 State Rt 31 Donegal, Pa 15628.  724-593-4201   www.outofthefirecafe.com      

Picnic Basket Wine

A green wine grape.

A green wine grape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     I have just finished another enjoyable white wine from the New York Finger Lakes Region.  Swedish Hill Vineyards in Romulus produced my latest subject for review and it is Cayuga White 2010.  This wine is a light bodied semi dry that is crisp with aromas of apple and floral notes.  I think this wine would be a perfect choice for a picnic on a warm summer day.  Imagine reaching into a cooler and pulling out a bottle of Cayuga White and pouring a glass while sitting under a large oak tree in a lush meadow.  These were probably the same images that the researchers at Cornell University had in mind when they developed the Cayuga White grape for the Finger Lakes Region.  What they were thinking is open to debate but what is not in doubt is that they did an excellent job at the NYS Agricultural Station in Geneva, NY when they perfected this variety of wine grape.  All I have to say is “Job well done and Thank You”