Monthly Archives: September 2014

Chenin blanc from Loire Valley, France

If you’re in the mood for a neutral white wine, the chenin blanc grape is the way to go. A good pick is the golden yellow Anjou Blanc 2010, which hails from Chateau Soucherie in Samur, France, in the Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is known for its 1,000 castles and sordid history, but it’s also a superb growing region for chenin blanc grapes.

Chateau Soucherie’s Anjou Blanc is a supple wine offers white floral aromas and a long finish of creamy caramel that indicates a slight oak aging. It’s best served with shellfish, lean fish and fruity desserts. I’d enjoy this with oysters.

This 2010 Anjou Blanc won a silver medal at the 2012 Concours Mondial Bruxelles, which is a prestigious honor. And you can purchase this wine for 8,40 euro (U.S. $11). Oh, and you actually can find this in the U.S.

Martini sampling on a Holland America Line cruise through Alaska

Aside from the spectacular Alaskan scenery on board the ms Westerdam, one in a fleet of Holland America Line vessels, there are many options to educate yourself in the arts, technology, fashion and wines, the latter with chocolate pairings that proved worth the small fee to attend. But the most fun is when you get a chance to sit in on a martini sampling in the Atrium, where there were more attendees than stools at the bar. That didn’t stop me from sampling four delicious takes on the cocktail sipped by sophisticated travelers. Here are my favorite four recipes:

Classic Kamikazi: 2 lime wedges, 1.5 oz. vodka, .5 oz. triple sec and 1.5 oz. sour mix

Tuscan Lemon Drop: rosemary sprig, 1 lemon wedge, 1.5 oz. citron vodka, .5 oz. limoncello, 1 oz. sour mix.

Pomegranate Ginger Drop: 2 lemon wedges, 1.5 oz. vodka, 1 oz. sour mix, .5 oz. pomegranate juice, .5 oz. ginger syrup

Tropical Cable Car: An eighth of a grapefruit, 1 oz. Captain Morgan, 1 oz. malibu, 1 oz. sour mix, 1 oz. pineapple J. and a dash of bitter

I have to say that my favorite martini proved that pomegranate and ginger work well together, and the Tuscan Lemon Drop made me wish I were headed to the rolling hills of Italy.

A grape unites the Finger Lakes and France

Riesling is king in the Finger Lakes.  This noble grape is the Finger Lakes most widely planted Vinifera variety with nearly 850 acres in production and almost every winery produces at least one Riesling brand. The microclimate conditions and the slate soils that are so special to the Finger Lakes are exactly what make Riesling thrive here.  The wineries of Finger Lakes Wine Country continue to be internationally recognized for their award-winning Rieslings in such publications as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, and Decanter.  Many of the region’s Rieslings have won many prestigious medals at wine competitions like Riesling du Monde, or Rieslings of the World, in the Alsace region of France.

The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance is thrilled to announce the official debut of the 2013 Finger Lakes Rieslings through its fourth annual Vintage Riesling Launch promotion, Sept. 230, 2014.  The month long celebration will include Riesling tasting events at restaurants, wine bars, wine shops, wineries, and specialty events throughout New York State.  Finger Lakes Wine Alliance will also host a virtual tastings including the popular Riesling Hour, a social media driven Finger Lakes Riesling tasting.

The 2013 Vintage Riesling Launch is the fourth annual celebration of the Finger Lakes release of a new Riesling vintage.  Following the successes of the Riesling Launch the past few years, we are delighted to celebrate the launch of the 2013 Rieslings.  Riesling tasting events will be held at restaurants, wine bars, wine shops, wineries, and specialty events throughout New York State throughout September.  Highlights of the celebration include two events in New York City, Harvest in the Square and Wine Riot.

The 2013 Finger Lakes Riesling Launch will be a sponsor of the 19th Annual Harvest in the Square for the fourth year in a row. The event, presented by Union Square Partnership, will take place at Union Square Park in New York City on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.  Seventeen Finger Lakes Riesling producers will be paired with “chefs from the hottest and most popular restaurants in the Union Square District,” according to the Harvest in the Square website, to enhance the Riesling tasting experience for attendees through pairings with farm fresh culinary creations.   For more information,

Finger Lakes Rieslings will also be featured at the New York City Wine Riot. The Riesling Launch will have a wine booth at the Riot featuring 17 Finger Lakes Riesling producers for two days,September 1920, 2014, at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. The Wine Riot is an exciting event where consumers can taste and learn about wines from all over the world in a fun, comfortable atmosphere. For more information,

Another highlight of the 2013 Vintage Riesling Launch is Riesling Hour, the world’s largest Finger Lakes Riesling virtual tasting, on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT.  Wine enthusiasts nationwide are invited to grab their favorite bottle of Finger Lakes Riesling, pour a glass, and join the conversation by sharing their photos and thoughts about the Riesling in their glass via Twitter using #FLXRiesling or the Finger Lakes Wine Facebook Fan Page.  In addition, there will be a media-exclusive virtual tasting focused on 2013 Finger Lakes Riesling; #WineChat onWednesday September 10, 2014 from 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EDT.

More information about all events for the 2013 Vintage Riesling Launch can be found at