Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ed McCarthy Raves About New York Wine!

Recently, Ed McCarthy, co-author of Wine for Dummies with Mary Ewing-Mulligan, wrote an exceptional piece on New York state wines! Ed has forgotten more about fine wine than I know. He's incredibly knowledgeable about wine, and a nice guy to boot. Ed McCarthy is author of Champagne for Dummies and co-author of Wine For Dummies, White Wine For Dummies, Red Wine For Dummies, Wine Buying Companion For Dummies, French Wine For Dummies, and Italian Wine For Dummies, as well as regular contributor to QRW magazine, and columnist for Nation's Restaurant News and Beverage Media. He and Mary Ewing-Mulligan co-authored WINE STYLE, published in October '05.
I beg you to write is overview below, especially the last paragraph of his article which I have included...and go to the website to see the wines and their reviews!!!!!
- C. DeVito, Editor

The New Wines of New York State
By Ed McCarthy
Mar 25, 2014

I have been living in New York State all of my life, and have been following the wines of the world since my early twenties.  You might think that I would have become an expert on the wines of my own state by this time, but that is not the case.  I became more engrossed with the wines of France, Italy, and the West Coast of the U.S.

So, when New York State held its Grand Tasting of NY Wines a few days ago, I was surprised by the exceptional quality of many of the wines I tasted--especially from the state’s two leading regions, the Finger Lakes and Long Island.  Of course, I had tasted these wines from time to time over the years, but until I attended this tasting, I had not realized what heights of quality New York State wines had reached in the cumulative years.

Bone-dry Rosé wines were the biggest surprise:  I had never tasted such dry rosés from the U.S. before--from Europe, yes, but not from California.  The really good Rieslings I tasted were not a big surprise; many wine critics think that New York is leading the way in the U.S. with this variety.  Yet, I was astonished by some very good Gewürtztraminers; many compared favorably with to those made in Alto Adige, Italy.  The few sparkling wines I tried were standouts, but I knew this has been a strong suit for many New York wineries.

Another discovery came in tasting some very fine red wines, particularly, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Lemberger, and blends of the three.  Lemberger, a Germanic variety that thrives in cool climates and grows in Eastern Europe (better-known in Austria as Blaufränkisch; and called Blue Franc in Washington) makes dry, fruity, medium-bodied wines. 

Undoubtedly due to its cool climate, especially upstate, New York is better known for its white wines more than its reds--although the rather warm 2012 vintage in the Finger Lakes has apparently benefited 2012 red wine production in this region.

Some little-known facts about New York State Wines:
New York ranks third in the U.S. in wine production (after California and Washington), and currently makes 180 million bottles a year;
There are 353 wineries in New York, 213 of which have started in the last ten years.

Over 5 million tourists visit New York wineries annually.  That last figure accounts for much of the sales of New York wines, but many of the wines--excepting those from the smallest wineries--are available across the U.S.

What follows are some of the wines I was impressed with at New York’s Grand Tasting. Unless otherwise indicated, the wines are made entirely from the named grape variety:

*                  *                *

Even though the New York Grand Tasting did not involve some of the state’s celebrated wineries, I left the tasting convinced that the state is now producing some of the best wines in the country, at least for my palate.  And the wines are really value-priced, especially those from the Finger Lakes.  My highlights include its superb dry rosé wines, its really fine Rieslings, its exceptional sparkling wines, and perhaps the nicest surprise of all for me, New York’s vastly improved red wines.
High praise indeed from a very, very trusted source! Go read the entire review and buy some New York state wine!

Read the reviews at: