Friday, August 5, 2011

52 Tastings : Week 31 -Finger Lakes Riesling with finger foods

Okay, before you load your gun and fire off the first bullet let me defend myself.   Many will think I am crazy, and how can I be a wine lover and not be enamored with cheese?   Well it is pretty simple actually. During a time when I was newly exploring wine and trying new food tastes, I was also fat phobic, meaning I avoided anything and everything I thought to be high in fat and that included cheese.   Therefor, I really never developed a deep love for the stuff and could and can really live without it.   Now I have a few that I adore, like feta, and goat cheese, but overall it still really does not get my heart racing and my palms sweaty.   And actually, I am thankful for that, because I have enough food vices as it is, and adding cheese is not really a needed addition.   Besides, my husband and son love and devour enough cheese for me, than I need not worry.   So cheese, bacon (again please lower your gun), and doughnuts are three foods that I can live without.  The first two however, are essential in cooking and pairing with wine I have found.   So they do have a place on the table, but thankfully I can monitor my intake very easily.

So that brings me to this weeks wine and food pairing.  When I first started my blog and delved into the world of Twitter, I quickly followed someone who runs a wine shop in Rochester New York.  You may already be familiar with them since I have posted their weekly YouTube videos a few times on the blog.  The shop is called Marketview Liquor.  They have a store front and also an online shop, which is what I discovered.  As I have said in previous post, it is a great place to confidently order wine, and the wine deals are amazing and so is the selection.  They frequently run specials on shipping, so it is best to follow them on twitter or facebook to know when the deals are.  Tom, who I follow on twitter, is great and found a wonderful Finger Lakes Riesling for me, that was actually recently featured on the YouTube tasting series.

So what is Finger Lakes?  It is a grape growing region in upstate New York with a very unique climate for wine. It is made up of four different lakes that also closely border Canada. They are given the name Finger Lakes due to the unusually long length and shape of the lakes, so they look like well, fingers.  It is a cool weather area due to the lakes and elevation, so the signature grapes is naturally Riesling as well as other German varietals.  The four lakes make up the regions which are, Cayuga Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, and Canandaigua Lake.  It is a beautiful location for wine not only due to the weather but the hillside slopes and glacial soil.  Most of the wine coming out of New York is made in this part of the state, with the remaining on Long Island.  For more information on this world class wine growing region please check out these two websites, Finger Lakes.com and Ilovefingerlakes.com.  Or check out this great book about wine making in Finger Lakes, Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes.

Everyone in my family loves to eat finger foods and cheese platters, and in the summer it is the perfect no-cook meal.  Since we have not done one in a while, I thought it would be the perfect time to open up the Riesling my mom was dying to try and serve up a cheese spread.  So here now is the menu and wine notes.

Ravines Dry Riesling 2008 Finger Lakes Keuka Lake New York.  I purchased this wine from MarketViewLiquor.com and it was $12.99.

Nose: stone, mineral, floral, pear, fig, and river rock
Taste: Super yummy!  Refreshing with a splash of rocks in your mouth.  As a kid, I used to like to suck on rocks in our front yard like candy, yes sounds weird but that is how I know what rocks taste like!  And maybe that explains why I love dry mineral driven wines so much.  There was also great acid in the wine, it explodes both on the front of your palate then on the finish.  Some fruit on the front, like pears, peaches and green apple.  For the price this is a super bargain wine, if you like quality delicious wine, then please pick up a bottle or two of the wine.  It will not disappoint.  And bonus, the wine is wonderful with food and without.

Menu:

Put all the below ingredients on a large platter or cutting board:

*Slices of green apple, Bartlett pears, and oranges
*Slices of Prosciutto and dry salami
* black olives and Lucques Green Olives (I found them at Trader Joe's) super amazing with the wine!
*Corn on the cob (fresh lightly buttered and salted)
*Cheese: Feta, Roquefort, Blue, Cambazola, and Stilton with mango and ginger
*Slices of a Baguette, half toasted with garlic and half plain

Chilled Summer Peach soup
(leave out the ginger or only put in a pinch.  The ginger overwhelmed the wine but the soup was yummy and would pair super with a Gewurztraminer if you do not alter it)
Serve this soup in a martini glass that way you can just sip it and it looks elegant on the table.

So that's it!  Easy breezy meal and everything paired  nicely with the wine.  The olives were super amazing a concert of lush and creaminess in your mouth. 

Thank you and enjoy!  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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