A few weeks ago, the predominant New York wine blog Lenndevours announced a project called TasteNY, and recently I was lucky to have the chance to participate, at the invite of Hardy of Dirty South Wine. The project is labeled as a virtual wine tasting, with the tasting consisting of a case of New York wines sent to various bloggers all over the country, with the intent that each recipient would get a group of friends together to taste some local NY wines, many of which are difficult to find in various parts of the country and would be new to many palates.
Though not generally notorious for wine to many people, New York is part of the big 4 wine producing states, along with California, Oregon, and Washington. In wine lingo the other remaining states are known as “The Other 46”. Of the big four, New York is the only state from which I’ve not consumed any wine…shame on me.
A large variety of grapes are grown in New York, including some quality Cab Franc and Merlot, with the brunt of the wineries in the Finger Lake and Long Island areas. The Finger Lakes are well known for their well-made Rieslings, which is what we were tackling on this tasting.
Hardy set up the event at Dynamic Dish, which has some of the best food in town and happens to have zero corkage, and invited a great group of guys to participate, including Broderick from Savory Exposure, Ed from Wine Tonite, and Matt from Final Analysis. We also had an impromptu visit from Bill Addison of Atlanta Magazine. I had not met Ed (who was also in the running for the Murphy Goode job) or Bill, and if you do not do so already, you need to add their stuff to your must-read-list. They are extremely passionate about what they do, and very friendly and I enjoyed the conversation with them.
I should have had the foresight to take better notes on these wines, as it’s easy to lose your thoughts in a tasting with multiple bottles, so I’ll just say that in general I was very pleased with these Rieslings. There were some interesting floral and petrol aromatics on many of the wines, as well as the tongue-coating and crisp mouth-feel that I’m learning to love in Rieslings. It’s such a versatile wine, and I’ve found that there aren’t many that end up going down my sink – they are almost always enjoyable, if not outstanding. These were no exception, with a few standouts that I think can hold their own with many German Rieslings of notable pedigree.
I still consider myself to be a wine amateur, but I’m trying to learn as fast as I can, and drinking wine is just about the best type of “learning” that exists. I highly recommend putting together a tasting such as this if you really want to learn a lot about a particular region or grape. Not only are the flavors, aromas, and other characteristics more easily discernable in an side by side comparison, but it becomes a social event that is at the core of wine drinking.
If you want a little more info about these wines, Ed talked about the tasting on Wine Tonite a little over a week ago and Dirty sent in his top 5 Riesling picks to Lenndevours and they were posted today.
A variety of photos are below. Again, shout out to Dave and the rest of the Dynamic Dish crew for putting up with our mess and feeding us some amazing heirloom gazpacho and a fig pizza with cilantro and pink peppercorns that was out of sight.
Lastly, I did a quick search on Wine-Searcher, Vinquire, and Snooth and found that at least one of these New York Rieslings, the Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling, can be purchased at Total Wine and More Kennesaw.
Setting up the madness, spit buckets reluctantly used on occasion…I was driving
Ed from Wine Tonite and Matt from Final Analysis (not looking pleased with my photography, I might add)
the Heron Hill Riesling and Heirloom Gazpacho from Dynamic Dish
The fig pizza…insanely good
The wines above are not NY Rieslings, but rather a few Beaujolais wines that Hardy was kind enough to share, I really dug them