Is there any better way to prepare for the big football game than sampling some delicious New York wines?
Ok, probably tasting beer, or doing a flight of chicken wings, or watching highlights from previous games… Let’s start this again.
For me, there is no better way to prepare for the big game than sample some delicious New York wines. One of the best places to do this is at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. I absolutely love this place (and got married there, so I’m more than a little biased towards it), so I’ll save a full review until later, but for right now all you need to know is that they are a non-profit dedicated to celebrating New York’s food and drink. In addition to their restaurant and classes, they also have a fantastic tasting room that rotates their menu with different wine flights. It is a great way to sample wines from different regions in New York, and try out some wines you may have never thought to taste.
Also, they have great beer options so if you’re more inclined to celebrate football with hops and malt, or have a tasting partner who’s more inclined to that type of drink, they’ve got you covered.
I went with the White Flight option (although the current red wine option is fabulous as well), which included five wines:
The Martha Clara Sauvignon Blanc was a fun surprise, and very different from the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that we usually associate with this type of wine. The wine has an intense nose of tropical fruit and a medium body that is balanced out by a crisp acidity. It also lacks the ‘cat pee’ notes found in the New Zealand wines… which may be a positive or negative depending on how you like the wine, and cats.
The Mazza Pinot Grigio is floral, with notes of lemon and apple. While having a medium body, it is quite dry and has a nice acid. While the winery may be out of the Finger Lakes, the grapes themselves are grown in Anthony Road’s vineyards on Seneca Lake.
Peach and green apple dominate the nose of Lieb Bridge Lane Chardonnay. It is an unoaked wine, so it doesn’t have the buttery notes usually associated with this varietal. There is a nice minerality to the wine, which adds a slightly stony and refreshing element. (Also, spellcheck says minerality isn’t a word. Drink more wine, spellcheck!)
My personal favorite was the Damiani Chardonnay, probably because it was cold outside and this wine just screams for you to drink it on the couch with a big fluffy blanket. Like the Lieb Bridge Chardonnay, there are notes of apple and peach, except that they are a little riper and not so green. The rich, cozy quality to the wine comes from the oak, which gives it a bigger body and fuller taste. However, it isn’t an oak bomb- there is enough acid and mineral to clear your palate and make you want another sip.
The flight ended with the only wine that wasn’t totally dry, Keuka Springs Celebrate, a blend of Riesling and Vidal Blanc. This is really just a fun wine (also love the bright blue bottle it comes in). It smells of white peach, green apple and some tropical notes. There is a great acidity, so the sweetness doesn’t become overpowering. I tend to prefer totally dry wines, but could see enjoying this wine with spicy food or as an alternative to dessert.
The best part of the tasting? The people! The tasting room staff is always friendly, ready to chat all things wine and beer, and very knowledgeable about the diverse wines they have. It makes for a much richer experience when you can learn more about each winery and what’s going on in general in the New York wine world.