What to Expect When Visiting a Finger Lakes Winery- Part 3

This post is the third in a series that details what you can expect when you visit a Finger Lakes Winery.  When winery visitors first walk into a Finger Lakes winery, the big decision they need to make is “what should I taste?”  This post can serve as a guide to selecting the right wines for your taste… FLX style!

You’re ready to taste, now what?

Feel free to ask your server for help in selecting wines to try.  Most tasting room menus separate out whites and reds.  The whites will be listed from driest (e.g. Chardonnay) to sweetest (e.g. Riesling), and the reds are typically listed from lighter bodied reds (e.g. Pinot Noir) to heavier bodied reds (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon).   A tasting typically consists of 5 pours, with the option of trying more for an additional cost.  Most tastings range from $5-$10 for 5 tastings.

If you are going to visit a Finger Lakes Winery there are a few “must try” varietals.  These include Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Dry Rose and Cabernet Franc. 

  • Our Rieslings are award winning, and in my opinion are far better than even the best quality German Rieslings. 
  • Gewurztraminer is a fun, light hearted wine that appeals to so many with it’s floral nose and fruit forward taste. 
  • ROSE ALL DAY!  Who else is with me on this one?  Dry Roses are the “up and coming” wine of the Finger Lakes.  Pink wine is not always sweet, so don’t pass these up!  These are usually crisp but have a heavier mouthfeel than white wines.  Most Roses in the Finger Lakes are made from Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc.  I can’t get enough of the FLX Dry Rose!
  • Cabernet Franc is the epitome of a utility player.  Great on its own but has been made famous for its incredible blending capabilities.  Do not pass up on trying this spicy varietal that is the backbone of cooler climate Finger Lakes red wines.

In case you need a few more to try, take a look at this list of varietals that can be found in the Finger Lakes:

Dry Whites:

  • Chardonnay- oaked or stainless steel fermented
  • Dry Riesling
  • Albarino (only at Billsboro)
  • Gruner Veltliner (only at Inspire Moore)
  • Sauvignon Blanc (limited production in the FLX)
  • Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio (same grape!)

Semi-dry Whites:

  • Semi-dry Riesling
  • Gewürztraminer

Sweeter Whites:

  • Cayuga White (French-American hybrid)
  • Vidal Blanc (French-American hybrid)
  • Vignoles (French-American hybrid)
  • Sweet Riesling
  • Niagara (native NYS grape)
  • Diamond (native NYS grape hybrid- Concord x Iona)
  • Delaware (native NYS grape)
  • Traminette (French-American hybrid, Gewürztraminer like)
  • Seyval Blanc (French- American hybrid)
  • Ice Wines (a dessert style wine created using frozen grapes)
  • “Late Harvest” Wines (typically wines with a special “noble rot” that makes the grapes turn to a raisin-like fruit and produces very sweet wines that can age well)

Dry Rose (pink wines, but not sweet!):

  • Pinot Noir
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Blend of various dry reds

Sweet Rose:

  • Catawba

Dry Reds (from lighter bodied to heavier bodied):

  • Pinot Noir
  • Teroldego (only at Red Tail Ridge)
  • Lemberger
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Dornfelder (only at Red Tail Ridge)
  • Syrah
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

Semi-dry Reds:

  • Baco Noir (French-American hybrid)
  • Chambourcin (French-American hybrid)
  • Marechal Foch

Sweet Reds:

  • Concord

Have any more to add to my list?  I’m always looking for new and unique FLX varietals!  Please drop me a line at: stephanie.marks@flxfinest.blog

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