Drink pink: Discover Dry Rose from the Finger Lakes
Spring is here. It's time to lighten up our wardrobes, menus and beverages.
If you're a red wine drinker in the winter and a white wine drinker in the summer, it's time to bridge the gap and drink the pink. By that I mean dry Rose from the Finger Lakes region. This is the season the pink- and cherry- and salmon-hued wines are released and celebrated. There are plenty of new choices each year, as more and more Finger Lakes winemakers embrace this style of wine and put their best red wine grapes into it -- Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Merlot and others.
Finger Lakes dry Rose doesn't threaten to topple Riesling from its throne any time soon, but it is gaining momentum and appreciation. The Discover Dry Rose promotion was introduced in 2013 with just over a dozen participating wineries. This year, 30 wineries are represented -- from Anthony Road Wine Company, near Penn Yan, to Zugibe Vineyards, in Geneva. Click here for participants and visit the individual websites for promotions and deals.
I visited the New York State section of one of our neighborhood liquor stores (Liquor City) recently to see what they had in the way of Finger Lakes dry Rose. Unfortunately, the answer is: not enough! They did have dry roses from Fox Run, Anthony Road and -- happy surprise! -- the signature label dry Rose by Kelby James Russell, the winemaker at Red Newt Cellars.
The best place to find these wines is at liquor stores with excellent regional selections, like Ryan's Wines and Spirits, in Canandaigua, and directly at the wineries. Spring is a great time to hit the wine trails -- there's elbow room in the tasting rooms and the busy tourist season is just gearing up. Billsboro Winery, five miles south of Geneva on the west side of Seneca Lake, offers a rose of Merlot and rose of Pinot Noir. Silver Thread Vineyard, on the east side of Seneca Lake, has an off-the-beaten path location and tasting room that is well worth a visit. Through the end of April, enjoy a complimentary sample of Silver Thread's rose of Pinot Noir, paired with a local cheese.
If you think white zinfandel when you think of pink wine, think again. Dry Rose from the Finger Lakes isn't sweet. These wines are crisp, refreshing, fruity and a friend of all foods. Try them with cheeses, cured meats, salads and vegetables, poultry, shellfish, seafood, pizza, pasta, paninis, fruit desserts -- just about everything.
They would be perfect for a picnic. Don't forget the corkscrew.