How do you buy wine when you don’t know what it tastes like? A lot of folks rely on reading wine descriptions to get an idea of what a wine will taste like. What do they actually mean? If you are relatively new to wine, it is quite helpful to know what to expect from a bottle, which is why some retailers highlight this in the name, although mainly at the cheaper end of the price spectrum.
As a follow up to my recent food and wine post as well as a request from long-time follower and friend Jim. Here is a short food and wine pairing primer. Jim asked me to expand on what it means when a wine reviewer states “this wine needs food” in her/his review. What was it about that wine that made them say that? The example he used was the magical pairing and flavor enhancement he experienced on New Year’s Eve when he paired a local Meritage (red blend) from Thirsty Owl with steak. When this happens, it is a “wow” moment.
If the differences between Champagne, Prosecco and any other sparkling wine of the world seems a bit murky, consider this primer a jump-start. Champagne can seem confusing at times, especially considering we don't shop for it and drink it too often (can be very pricey and a celebratory wine) and for good reason. It involves a complicated winemaking process and a dictionary of French terminology. So, lets break down Champagne into its numerous parts.
My second stop on my personal winery tour was at the beautiful Heron Hill meeting with my friend Jacqueline and Bekka. It was a very cold and snowy early evening and i was the only person in the tasting room. Both these ladies took great care of me and gave me VIP treatment as we tasted through a wide variety of wines. My visit was cut short due to the weather conditions and the fact that they needed to close. It was a lot of fun.
Point of the Bluff Vineyards has been around since 2008. They offer award-winning wines with a specialty in producing Old World style Rieslings in a beautiful setting overlooking Keuka Lake on the south-western side of the lake in Hammondsport. The boutique-style of the winery allows the winemaker, Mike Countryman, with more than 20 years of experience, to be intimately involved in every aspect of the process from plantings at their Keuka Park/Keuka Lake vineyards to bottling.
Here ya go Tambi - Part 2 of wine post will focus on aged Rieslings, primarily from Germany, but a brief mention of Alsace Rieslings from France. Riesling is Germany’s specialty. The regions of Pfalz, Rheingau, and Mosel produce some of the world’s best Rieslings with high aromatics, acidity, intensity, minerality, and balanced off-dry styles making it food-friendly. Before we begin to understand these Rieslings, it is important to discuss terminology that is unique to Germany.
For this week’s wine post part 1, we will be focusing on Old World Chardonnay, for example, Chablis from Burgundy region of France, unoaked Chardonnay, and Old World and New World aged Rieslings (part 2 in a follow-up post) as requested by Tambi Schweizer, friend and follower of the blog. Hopefully this topic sparks interest among other followers as well. These wine styles can be different from what we are used to drinking from California, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa to name a few, especially in the case of New World Chardonnay.