A light turnout this week, but here are some of the wines and beers that our editors drank last week...
Even with all the great wine stores in western New York within striking distance I still stop into smaller package liquor stores every now and then to see if the wine shelves hold any surprises.
This time I found an interesting rosé made from 100% cabernet franc grapes.The package caught my attention right away with a 500ml bottle, but the origin of Galilee was the clincher. I’ve had a few wines from Israel in the past and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their quality.
This is definitely dark in color for a rosé with aromas of raspberry, cherry with only a faint herbal note. The mouthfeel is full and ripe with a tiny hint of sweetness. I love the balance of this rosé and if there’s a rosé that will appeal to red drinkers this is it.
I’ll probably buy at least one case of this wine before the end of the week. Did I mention it was only $3 marked down from $10? I think the labels are screwed up so it ended in the odds and ends bin. Now it’s going to be my go to BBQ rosé this summer.
Tom Mansell: Hickory Hollow Wine Cellars Zineca 2007
You don't see too many Zinfandels produced in New York. That's because zinfandel is often recommended for growing regions that have 3000-3500 growing degree days, while the Finger Lakes, for example, gets around 2000-2500. So, according to conventional wisdom, the Finger Lakes region is not a good area for a warm-climate grape like zinfandel.
Imagine my surprise, then, to find a zinfandel made at a winery on Seneca Lake. Now imagine my lack of surprise to find that it was made with fruit from California.
This 17% ABV catastrophe (Did I hear the tasting room employee right? 17%?!) is a raisiny, soupy, alcoholic mess of jammy dried fruit that also smells like licorice with a little fish.
By my rough estimation, to get to 17% ABV, the fruit was anywhere from 29-31 Brix at "harvest". I imagine that the grapes dried out a little bit on the long journey across the country.
Alas, according totasting room staff, it's one of their best-selling wines.
Julia Burke: Founders Breakfast StoutI arrived in Columbus, Ohio after a five-hour drive to muggy, sticky Midwestern summer weather. I made a beeline for North Market in German Village, grabbed the beer I was craving, and cracked one open as soon as I got home. A nice summer lager? A crisp German pilsner? Nope -- it's a double-chocolate-coffee-
oatmeal-stout.Yeah, I drink dark beers in the summertime. Give me an oatmeal stout in the middle of the desert and I'm a happy camper. And when I'm in the beer paradise that is the Midwest, I stock up on the beer that made me a woman: Founders Breakfast Stout.
Unavailable in New York (ahem, Founders representatives), this burly lumberjack of a beer pours a thick and grainy dark brown into a goblet with a pinkie-finger burnt-toast head and little to no lacing (unsurprising at this alcohol level -- 8.3%).
Coffee leads on the nose along with baker's chocolate, the booze and requisite sweetness minimal. Where this beer really shines to me, a certified stout maniac, is on the palate: roasty, smoky, hoppy, the sweetness as minimal as possible for the style. Out-of-whack sweetness is a dealbreaker for me but this beer is manly to the last crisp sip. When my bar customers ask me for my top five desert island beers, this Grand Rapids gem always tops the list.And just for the record: I actually have had this beer for breakfast. It's fabulous with peanut-butter-bacon waffles.