New York Finger Lakes – I Hope You Like Riesling! #WinePW

Wine Pairing Weekend with Finger Lakes Wine Alliance
In June, our Wine Pairing Weekend Group is teaming up with the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance to highlight the wines of the region with some creative pairings. The wineries were very generous with samples, so our bloggers will have lots of opportunity to experiment. Take a look further down in this post for a full list of links to all the great posts.

Finger Lakes Riesling
New York’s Finger Lakes region has emerged as one of America’s best regions for cool climate grapes. While a variety of grapes are successfully grown here, Riesling has risen to the top of the heap. Our group received a generous number of samples from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. True to form, 6 of the 8 sample bottles I received were Riesling. Luckily, I love Riesling and maybe you’ll give it a chance too.

If you’ve tried Riesling before and been put off (too sweet, petrol aromas, too much acid) then look for a Finger Lakes Riesling to try. Here’s why:

  • Many of the wineries (all the wines I sampled) are posting a sweetness indication on the back. This will help you pick one that suits your taste. Do you like dry wines? Do you like sweet wines? Turn the bottle around to find your match
  • Riesling is refreshingly acidic, there’s no denying it. If you like a wine which is refreshing but maybe not bracing or sharp, the Finger Lakes might be your solution. The wines I tried retained the refreshing acidity but kept a softer texture compared to some old world regions.
  • Petrol aromas – these go along with Riesling as well. While many of these Finger Lakes wines showed petrol notes, but they won’t hit you over the head.

International Riesling Federation’s sweetness scale is so helpful!

International Riesling Federation Sweetness Scale
Many Finger Lakes Riesling producers post a sweetness estimate on the back of each bottle of wine. Since Riesling has such high (refreshing, think lemonade) acidity, it often benefits from having some residual sweetness. This sweetness scale is managed by the International Riesling Foundation, so it should be a reliable indicator for Rieslings wherever it’s used. Cool!

Disclosure: the wines in this series of posts were provided as samples, no other compensation was involved.

Lamoreaux Landing with Steamers
Our first pairing with Finger Lakes Rieslings (and a tasty rosé) was Lamoreaux Landing Wines with Steamers.


Lakewood Vineyards with Slow Smoked Pork Ribs
Next, we found Lakewood Vineyard Rieslings are a perfect match for smoky, spicy and sweet pork ribs.


Red Newt Cellars with Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Salmon
Keeping on the grilling theme, we paired Red Newt Cellars Rieslings with a sweet and spicy Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Salmon.


Wine Pairing Weekend Group Adventure with Finger Lakes Wine Alliance
Take a look below at all the great ideas our Wine Pairing Weekend group have for your Finger Lakes Adventures! If you’d like to know more, join our chat on Twitter Saturday June 12 from 10-11am CDT. Just look us up at #WinePW.


22 Responses to “New York Finger Lakes – I Hope You Like Riesling! #WinePW”
  1. Thanks for mentioning the sweetness scale – a consumer-friendly guide. Leave it to these down-home Finger Lakes producers to be so thoughtful!

    • Thanks Linda. I’ve seen a similar scale on some Alsace wines, but it wasn’t a standard based scale. I’m happy so many in the Finger Lakes have embraced and used a scale which is repeatable between wineries.

  2. Pinny says:

    The sweetness guide is so helpful. What a beautiful display of the large mix of Finger Lakes wines and food

  3. Love these labels — and your photos of them! Fun for you to taste so many of the wines of the Finger Lakes!

  4. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    I did not know that the sweetness scale on the back of the bottles is under international regulation – good to know ! All of your pairings look delicious as always😋

  5. Great summer-friendly pairings to go with the different range of sweetness in these wines. I need to try BBQ ribs/pork with an off-dry/semi-sweet Riesling, firing up the smoker for Father’s Day so I will get my chance soon!

  6. I like seeing that more wineries are following suit and placing the International Riesling scale on their labels. It makes it easier for a consumer to have an idea of what they can expect prior to purchasing.

  7. wendyklik says:

    I noticed that sweetness guide on the back as well. Very helpful. All of your parings sound wonderful

  8. I love that you opened my eyes to BBQ’d ribs as I wouldn’t have thought that type of sauce would go with the Rieslings.

  9. robincgc says:

    Your pairings look divine! Dinner at your house always seems to look amazing! What is in the salad with the quinoa? It looks delicious!

  10. Jill Barth says:

    This was a total treat to taste and explore these wines. The quality and range is impressive. Love all of your summertime pairings, Jeff. Looking good!

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