…And, no, I don’t mean dry as in non-alcoholic.
Question: What makes a Riesling Dry?
Answer: Knowing when to harvest the grapes. Harvesting later than normal will result in the grapes having higher sugar levels. Higher sugar level produces sweeter wines. Conversely, harvesting earlier results in a dry wine.
The Riesling grapevines made their way to New York’s Finger Lakes region by German immigrants in the early 19th century. But years of struggle with making wine from these vines, and prohibition, lead the region to abandon wine production and to produce grape juice and jelly. Enter the 1950’s and Ukrainian immigrant Dr. Konstantin Frank. Dr Frank’s understanding of the micro-climate and soil of the region resurrected the wine industry and lifted it to New York’s largest wine producing region.
In honor of the Dr. Frank’s contribution to the success of the Finger Lakes Region, we’ll start the tasting with wine from his vineyard.
2010 Dr. Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars Dry Riesling
This wine has beautiful floral and strawberry aroma with a pleasing mineral feel on the palate. This wine can nobly stand on its own, or accompany a meal. This is a very good varietal example and at a retail of $14.99 it should be a must on your next shopping list. Alcohol 12.2%
2010 Hunt Country Vineyards Dry Riesling
The aroma on this wine is unmistakable Riesling, a pungent, but pleasant, aroma of tart apple. The mouth was thoroughly dry, yet a bit empty, almost flat, the finish was clean. With the first few sips leaving us wondering and since we never give up on a wine, we tasted it again with Chef Brad’s signature Smoked Corned Beef Reuben sandwiches and it brought this wine alive. Keep this bottle on the dinner table to enjoy it fully! Retails for $13.99 Alcohol 12%
2010 Hosmer Dry Riesling
There is a crisp apple on the nose with refreshing citrus and mineral flavors. This is a bone dry Riesling that is perfect to drink on its own. The mineral flavors on this wine remind me of a fine French Chablis. I would serve this wine at a Sunday Brunch or an afternoon tailgate party, it would rise to both occasions. Retails for $13.00 Alcohol 11.7%
If your local wine shop doesn’t carry Finger Lakes wine, ask them to stock them. The values on these wines are outstanding; and the quality rivals their German counterparts.
Stay tuned for the next post, The Sweeter Side of Rieslings
These Riesling samples were generously sent to me from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.