2011 New York Riesling Experience by Applewood Winery

2011 New York Riesling Experience by Applewood Winery

You often hear me blog, Tweet and/or Facebook about Riesling – perhaps my favorite wine.  I’ve sipped on this fabulous grape while touring France, Germany, California and New York State and enjoy it both sweet and dry.  What I mostly love about Riesling is its versatility – not quite sure what to pair with a dish? Chances are a Riesling would do the trick.

Living in the New York metro area, I’m really excited to attend the upcoming 2011 New York Riesling Experience at Applewood Winery in Warwick, NY.

The New York Riesling Experience is a celebration of New York’s most misunderstood grape.  “Riesling is the most nuanced, thought-provoking and interesting grape.” says winemaker Jonathan Hull of Applewood Winery, and host of the 2011 New York Riesling Experience.  The well-attended event takes place May 7th & 8th from 12-5 PM at the winery.

The weekend will feature food & Riesling pairings, recipes, live entertainment, special bottlings of Riesling as well as admission to the Applewood Winery tasting room with over a dozen different wines to sample.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and include a keepsake logoed wine glass.

For more information, visit www.applewoodwinery.com.  Groups of 6 or more must call the winery for tickets at 845-988-9292.

Tickets are available at http://2011newyorkrieslingexperience.eventbrite.com/

Please let me know, by leaving a comment here, if you plan to attend this fun event so we can meet in person.

Applewood Winery
82 Four Corners Rd
Warwick, NY 10990


Dr Konstantin Frank – Enjoyable Beyond the Cab Franc and Riesling

Dr Konstantin Frank – Enjoyable Beyond the Cab Franc and Riesling

Photo Credit: Finger Lakes Visitors Assoc

Who could visit the Finger Lakes wine region of New York and not visit Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars?  Not my party and nor should you.

First, the tasting room in Hammondsport, NY is vibrant with fun energy (did I mention we visited on Halloween weekend?).  The staff, especially Colleen, is helpful and knows its pitch.  During our tasting, Colleen ensured that we not only enjoyed the wines the winery’s famous for, but some of its less known stars.

Our tasting featured:

  • First on the list was the Chateau Frank Célèbre ($19.99).  Thought this Cremant-style sparkling wine was super.  Riddled by hand and aged ‘sur lies’, this sparkling Riesling offers apple on the nose and tiny, creamy bubbles.  Super enjoyable.
  • Next came the 2009 Dry Riesling ($14.99) and the 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling ($14.99).  The dry Riesling shows tart green apple on the nose and citrus, wet stone in the mouth.  The semi-dry Riesling offers a mouthful of juicy ripe pear that lingers pleasantly on the finish.
  • We then moved on to the 2008 Rkatsiteli ($17.99).  This varietal that originated in Georgia, and is still popular in Eastern Europe, is known for its high level of acidity. To counteract this trait, Dr Frank adds some natural sugar to produce an enjoyable, balanced wine.  The in-your-face tropical fruit palate and floral nose would be a good match to spicy food.
  • We moved on to the 2009 Gewurztraminer ($17.99).  Citrus fruit with subtle honey notes. Nice balance and level of acidity.
  • We compared the 2007 Pinot Noir ($19.99) with the 2008 Salmon Run Pinot Noir ($13.99) next.  the ’07 is an award-winning wine and shows beautiful purple hues in the glass, bright silky cherries in the mouth with a long dry finish.  The ’08 isn’t as bold and bright and has more earthy qualities than the ’07.
  • Finally, we sipped on the 2008 Salmon Run Meritage ($13.99).  54% Cabernet Franc/39.5% Cabernet Sauvignon/6.5% Merlot create this French oak barrel aged wine.  Was described as a good match for pizza night, and it is.  Nothing bold about this wine, just a neat choice for a casual meal.

Planning a Finger Lakes visit?  Don’t miss Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars situated in a beautiful area of Keuka Lake at:

9749 Middle Road

Hammondsport, NY 14840

Telephone: 800-320-0735

You can buy Dr Frank wines at the winery, in select stores and through its online store.  Want to learn more about this winery?  Subscribe to its newsletter.

Hermann J Wiemer – The Fame and Attitude are Warranted

Hermann J Wiemer – The Fame and Attitude are Warranted

Most fans of Finger Lakes wines and Mosel-style Rieslings have heard of Hermann J. Wiemer, and the fame, awards and accolades are well-deserved.

The winery’s history is rich with Hermann J. Wiemer’s mother coming from a family of Mosel winemakers dating back 300 years and a father who was a skilled nurseryman.  Hermann J. Wiemer is regarded as one of the pioneers of viticulture and winemaking in the Finger Lakes.

During a recent visit to the winery, I encountered an attitude I had not experienced at any other Finger Lakes wineries that was reminiscent of some French vineyards.  The attitude was pure – ‘you’re privileged to be tasting our wines in this space today’.  Do I think the attitude is warranted?  Mostly, yes for the following three reasons:

Wiemer Building

First, the ‘barn’ housing the winery is fabulous.  The winery was designed in 1982 by an award-winning team of Cornell architects. Enclosed within the shell of the 70-year-old scissor-trussed barn is the wine shop, the tasting room and the production facilities.

Second, our tasting was conducted by Michael, a catering company owner from Manhattan who makes weekend trips to Hermann J. Wiemer to share his passion and wine expertise with winery guests.  Loved him.

Third, most of the wines are simply great.  Our tasting included the following wines:

  • 2008 Dry Riesling: What Wiemer’s known for – crisp, light lime floral bouquet with a minerals-laden long finish. Around $17.50.
  • 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling:  Rich, peachy bouquet and an almost orangey flavor. Unctuous finish that lingers. Think – spicy Thai food. Around $17.
  • 2009 Gewürztraminer: Ripe pear with nice spicy finish. Around $22.
  • 2008 Frost Cuvee: A blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, this is an easy-going wine that’d be perfect sipped on a warm summer day at an outdoor party. Not complicated, with peach aroma and a dry finish. Around $12.
  • 2009 Late Harvest Riesling: This Spätlese-style wine is full bodied, rich with a 5.9% residual sugar. Mouthful of honey and ripe green apple.  Around $23.
  • 2007 Cabernet Franc: This wine sees new and old French oak barrels and is bursting with bright fruit and offers soft tannins. Around $25.

Hermann J. Wiemer wines are relatively easy to find at local wine stores, at least compared to some other Finger Lakes wine brands.  You can also purchase wines online at http://wiemer.com/shop/ and at the winery’s story located at:

3962 Route 14

Dundee, NY 14837

Click HERE for driving directions

Telephone: 607 243 7971

Make a point to visit this winery when touring the Finger Lakes wine region.

Mosel Wine Region of Germany in Three Days

Mosel Wine Region of Germany in Three Days

Wehlen Vineyard

Wehlen Vineyard

Wine lovers looking for a quick getaway to one of Europe’s most beautiful regions should consider the Mosel Wine Region of Germany.

The heart of the region is a mere 3 ½ hour drive from Amsterdam and a short 1 ½ hour drive from Dusseldorf.  A rental car is highly recommended to fully enjoy all that Mosel has to offer.  The region is filled with neat little towns, country roads lined with castles and vineyards on steep hills overlooking the beautiful Mosel River.

Vine-Covered Bernkastel

Vine-Covered Bernkastel

For those who have not been exposed to German wines or think of German wines as overly sweet, a 3-day visit to the Mosel region will provide a new perspective.

Day 1:

An ideal place to start this short wine tour is in Cochem.  Cochem is an attractive town famous for 1,000 year-old, late-Gothic Cochem Castle.  Cochem is a great place for wine enthusiasts to lunch on traditional local fare before heading south to begin wine touring.

After lunch, travelers can head south to Briedern where they’ll find a charming inn named Mosel Landhaus.  The inn is small and inviting and the hosts, Sylvia and Jan, offer warm hospitality and well-appointed, newly renovated rooms.  This inn is centrally located within a short distance of popular vineyards and attractions and is quite affordable.

The hosts of Mosel Landhaus will make insightful recommendations for places to have afternoon drinks and dinner.

Day 2:

Weingut Lipmann in Beilstein

Weingut Lipmann in Beilstein.

Riesling tasting at Weingut Lipmann in Beilstein

Riesling tasting at Weingut Lipmann in Beilstein

After a lovely breakfast at Mosel Landhaus, a short drive east to Beilstein offers cute shops to visit and the welcoming Weingut Lipmann for a tasting of the region’s best whites.  The friendly staff at this cozy winebar, also known as a Weingut, offers a cheese course to pair with the wonderful Mosel wines.

Day 3:

Weingut Friedrich Storck

Weingut Friedrich Storck

A trip to Bernkastel begins a full day of wine tasting.  The drive to Bernkastel offers beautiful views of the regions’ most expansive vineyards.  A great place to stop for a first tasting is a quaint wine bar named Weingut Friedrich Storck in Traben-Trarbach.  The place offers a vast selection of German whites and modest selection of reds.

After lunching and visiting Traben-Trarbach, it’s only a short drive to Wehlen, home of well-known SA Pruem Winery, with its breathtaking vineyards spread over steep hills.

Cellar tasting at Mosel Landhause in Briedern

Cellar tasting at Mosel Landhause in Briedern

On the last evening at Mosel Landhaus, guests can participate in a wine tasting in the inn’s wine cave.  I strongly urge patrons to partake in this activity as the wine cave is full of charm and the inn’s hosts are proud to share their love of Mosel wines with guests.