As an Upstate New Yorker, I am a proud supporter of Finger Lakes Region wines. Some of the best Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer wines that I have enjoyed are produced in the Finger Lakes. If you noticed, I only mentioned white wines. The thought of a Finger Lakes red makes me cringe. Every time I do a tasting, I make sure to avoid any red wine they have listed. I constantly wonder why this region would even attempt a Cabernet Franc or Merlot, as they will NEVER compare to the rich, full-bodied Californian version. That is until I visited the Hermann J. Wiemer winery.
Wiemer is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, Finger Lakes winery. Their Rieslings are award winning legends and nothing short of perfection (I'm craving a nice chilled glass just writing about them!). I made an exception to my very strict "NO FINGER LAKES RED!!" rule, when the sommelier at Wiemer suggested the 2007 Merlot. He described it as, "The kind of wine you want to curl up and watch a movie with." It happened to be a rainy, cold day, so it was hard to deny a wine that carried such a sentiment. I carefully examined the color, drew in the aroma and was ready to taste. To my shock, my palate was delighted to be experiencing such a treat. It was comforting, smooth, and slightly smokey. I was so enamored with this wine that I completely forgot it was raining. The sommelier was right and I was sold. Before you head out to the liquor store I must be the barer of bad news: this wine is not sold in stores. It can be purchased at the winery or online. So next time you visit the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, be sure to stock up! I promise you won't be disappointed with this purchase.
GO RED! (...and green...save the earth...yadda-yadda)