Saturday, June 13, 2020

New York Finger Lakes Wines – Lonesome Stony Rose and Fox Run Rieslings Paired with Quick-Prepped Seafood #WinePW

Wines from New York Finger Lakes are no stranger to wine lovers in the US and globally due to their world-class quality and the diverse wine portfolio the region has to offer. While Rieslings are the Finger Lakes’ signature variety, other varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Lemberger have been added to the mix. Thanks to Linda Whipple from My Full Wineglass, some #WinePW bloggers are very lucky to receive samples from the wineries in Finger Lakes. In this super exciting wine delivery, I received Fox Run’s Silvan off-dry Riesling and Semi-dry Riesling and Stony Lonesome’s Cab Franc Rose. The best way to enjoy these awesome wines, in my opinion, is to pour myself a full glass while eating some quick-prepped seafood and watching the sunset at the beach.

New York Finger Lakes Wine Region

The Finger Lakes wine region in New York is the home of 140 wineries. It is located south to Rochester and Syracuse, encompassing over 9,000 square miles and including the 11 Finger Lakes, part of Lake Ontario and a section of the Erie Canal.

New York Finger Lakes (Photo Credit: Finger Lakes Wines Alliance)

There are three AVAs designated in this region - Finger Lakes AVA, Cayuga Lake AVA and Seneca Lake AVA, which were established since 1982. The four main lakes of the Finger Lakes AVA include Canandiauga Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake.  Each lake showcases its own unique viticulture characteristics and resulting unique flavor profiles. 

Photo Credit: Finger Lakes Wine Alliance

The Finger Lakes were carved out by successive waves of glaciers for hundreds and thousands of years. These large and deep freshwater lakes and the soil deposits surrounding them are the Mother Nature’s gifts to modern winemaking, forming the foundation of cool-climate wines in this region. The soil types include grain size distribution and protolith composition, with the presence of clay and limestone in the subsurface. Grain size and texture mainly affect drainage, a critical parameter of vineyard performance.

The average temperature of much of central New York is too low for wine production. Most of the vineyards in the Finger Lakes AVA are located close to the lakes, particularly the deeper ones such as Seneca Lake, benefiting from their moderating effect on temperature and precipitation, known informally as the "lake effect." The effect brings warmer minimum temperatures in the Winter and cooler maximum temperature in the Summer.

Silvan Riesling: subtle oak on nose and palate, off-dry, lime peel, wet slate, almond, yeasty and creamy
Semi-dry Riesling: tropical fruit on the nose and palate, zesty, moderate-sweet

Fox Run Vineyards – Drink Wine, Be Happy

Fox Run Vineyards started its first grapes planting in 1984. Ten years later, Scott Osborn and his first business partner, Andy Hale purchased the winery from the Wildricks. In 2012, Scott and Ruth Osborn teamed up with Ruth’s sister and brother-in-law (Kathleen and Albert Zafonte) to make Fox Run Vineyards exclusively family owned. Now with 50 acres of east-facing vineyards on glacial soils, the winery produces a remarkable range of limited-production estate wines. As a certified lake friendly farm since 2002, the vineyard practices have no negative impact on the water quality of Seneca Lake. They minimize herbicide use and add nutrients back into our soils through regenerative farming techniques.

The 2018 Silvan Riesling (SRP$25) spent time in small oak barrels during fermentation. Malolactic fermentation was avoided and no lees stirring was deployed, resulting in a complex aroma and creamy mouthfeel in this Riesling.

The 2017 Semi-Dry Riesling (SRP$14) was fermented in stainless steel tank at moderate temperatures, using three different yeast strains. The wines were chilled just before reaching dryness to leave a small dose of sugar for sweetness.

3 Brothers Wineries - BOLD. BRAZEN. BRILLIANT.

3 Brothers Wineries was founded by Dave and Luanne Mansfield in 2006. Since then, the estate has expanded business into microbrewery and café, drawing over 150,000 visitors per year. Innovation and providing great customer experiences – “We’ve got something for everyone” become part of 3 Brothers’ strategies. In 2019 they have released 375 ml canned wine spritzers to tap on the trends of alcoholic canned drinks market.

Cab Franc Rose: dry, floral on the nose and palate, honey, lime, medium-mouthfeel, long finish

The 2019 Stony Lonesome Cab Franc Rose (SRP$18) was overnight-soaked prior to pressing, allowing for the vibrant red color to infuse from the skins while not catching too much textural phenolics to extract and heavy tannins.

Quick-Prepped Seafood – 15 Minutes Work

Indulging in these beautiful wines at the beach, I really don’t want to slave myself cooking-wise. A brief trip to the nearby Asian grocery store gave me quick and fool-proof pairing ideas. The quick-prepped menu is crawfish quick-boiled in Cajun seasoning, sautéed fresh mussel with a drizzle off-dry Riesling, and shrimp wonton noodles.

Crawfish tastes like a lobster and looks like a miniature one too. It’s super affordable, at the price of around $5 per pound. The prep instructions are like boiling lobsters. When the water is boiling, add some Cajun seasoning to it before dropping the crawfish in. Once the water is boiled again, the crawfish is cooked. This is by far my favorite way of cooking crawfish - spicy, salty, and finger-licking good. The presentation of crawfish is so picture perfect too!

Sautéing mussel is a fool-proof recipe. Start with a bit olive oil in the frying pan and cook the crushed garlic until golden brown. Add in the mussel until it opens up. Drizzle the Riesling that you have in your glass to get the sizzle. Here we go, I can’t think of anything else that’s as effortless and as good for the Rieslings you are drinking.

Shrimp wonton noodle gives you a bit carb for the dinner. I found the pre-made shrimp wonton noodle bowls in Costco very authentic and convenient. If you need to make your own, use any ramen noodle you have in your pantry. Prepare it according to the package instructions. For the shrimp wonton, you could buy the wonton wrappers  in the grocery store, wrap with de-shelled shrimps that are seasoned with a bit salt and sesame oil. Pre-made shrimp wontons are also widely available in the frozen aisle of the Asian grocery store.

When cooking is so effortless, you can relax, chill and sip these beautiful wines that are so good with the seafood.

Disclaimer: wines are samples. Opinions and ideas are my own.

To see what other wine bloggers are pairing their Finger Lakes wines, check out the following: