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Finger Lakes Summer Whites: Riesling

The White Wine of Summer has to be Riesling from the Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York!

Seneca Lake - Image

Seneca Lake – Image

Refreshing Respite in Your Mouth When the Heat is on OUTSIDE!

The component of any white wine that makes it lively and interesting on the palate is acid. Climates that that don’t cool off at night — thereby not allowing the acids in grapes still clinging to the vine to build back up — produce juicy but insipid wines. This is an issue that the Finger Lake wine region of New York rarely has to worry about! As it is a cool climate, white grapes grown in the Finger Lake region have crisp acidity providing a refreshing respite in your mouth in the warm days of summer. Refreshing with a capital “R” – Rieslings are produced, dry, off-dry (semi-sweet) and sweet. Even the sweetest is invigorating as again the acidity in the wine makes it sprightly on your tongue.

I’ve been using the Rieslings from both Hermann J. Wiemer and Dr. Konstantin Frank wineries for years in my wine programs; pouring them blind and to my amusement and their dismay, stumping winemakers. Because of these wines’ great acidity and interest on the palate, the winemakers always assume they are from Alsace in France, a region famous for fabulous white wines.

As the Finger Lakes wine region produces every classic style of Riesling, I’ve chosen my favorite in three different sugar levels. Try these three but don’t stop there…you will truly expand your wine repertoire if you continue to taste different Finger Lake Rieslings in all the various categories. Who knows? Maybe when you attend one my programs, you’ll be the one to blow away the professional winemakers by proudly stating that you know what you’re tasting is not only a Riesling but one from the beautiful Finger Lake district of New York!



Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2014

Lovely aromatics on the nose with the scent of sweet summer stone fruit. Crisp with drier fruit components on the palate along with wonderful, true to the varietal, minerality. A terrific wine to pair with many foods – try to match the acidity.

Off-dry (semi-sweet):

Red Newt Cellars 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling

I would include this winery for the name and label alone. Don’t give me those cutesy cupcake style labels; just give me a red newt! Fortunately, the wine is good too with pretty and sweeter summer fruits and nice acidity. A great value wine which would cost a lot more if it had a California appellation on the label. Look for the Circle Riesling first and if you can’t find that, go for the Semi-Dry Riesling. If you are not on the East Coast, you should just go direct to the winery website for purchase at www.rednewtcom.

Dr. Konstantin Frank 2013 Reserve Riesling

I went to college in a very “hot” region and sometimes the temperatures at night didn’t dip below 80°. This wasn’t a problem for my roommates and I as we would stay up to the wee hours, sitting with our feet in the pool, talking and sipping a sweet wine. Had I known about Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Reserve Riesling, it would have easily been one of our favorites! Luscious and sweet with the fragrance and taste of peaches and honey! Just remember this wine is SWEET!




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About The Author
Roxanne Langer
Sommelier, international wine judge, marketing director of various wineries and wine writer/author, Roxasnne has over 20 years experience in the international wine industry. Currently, Roxanne owns and operates WineFUNdamentals, a wine edutainment and experience company which provides wine programs to corporations, associations and universities. These programs include key note addresses, breakouts, wine incentive travel, wine seminars, food and wine pairing programs, wine receptions and dinners and wine team building. She is also also an adjunct wine professor for a culinary college and a university.

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