I don’t know about you, but on my way home from work on most Fridays, I usually stop into a local liquor store to pick up some wine for the weekend. I’ve tried a few different area liquor stores, but one that stands out is Ryan’s Wine & Spirits in Canandaigua, NY. Hands down, their New York States wine selection is the best in the area. Ryan’s also has incredible customer service. I’m always asked if I need help finding anything or need assistance in making a selection. It’s the best!
One mid-July Friday, I went into Ryan’s and was excited to see there was a table set up for tastings. Now there’s a great start to the weekend! And even better, the wines they were tasting were Bloomer Creek Vineyards; a Finger Lakes winery I had never heard of. I was PUMPED!
Cameron was very insightful and provided me a background on Bloomer Creek. Bloomer Creek makes natural wines focused on organic viticulture. This includes the use of natural yeast and minimum sulfur usage. Cameron mentioned that Bloomer Creek has been around for thirty years. I have been in the FLX wine industry for ten years and had never heard of this winery, so I was very intrigued!
First up on the list to taste was the 2014 Chardonnay. I like to call myself the “anything but Chardonnay” type of white wine drinker, so I was SHOCKED at how good this wine was. The wine was barrel fermented on the lees (meaning, the yeast stayed in the wine as it aged). The wine took less than a year to go through malolactic fermentation (a secondary fermentation that turns malic acid into lactic acid), which gave it a beautiful butterscotch flavor. My favorite part of this wine was that it was well balanced… nice and crisp like a FLX white should be, but with the beautiful balance of oak and toastiness from the barrel fermentation and the malolactic fermentation. Honestly, it’s probably the best Chardonnay I’ve tasted from the Finger Lakes in a while. The only other one that compares for me is Fox Run.
Next on the list was a dry rose. If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that dry roses are my favorite! I was interested in this one as it was quite a bit darker than the traditional dry rose I see from the Finger Lakes. The wine is 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Cabernet Franc. Cameron noted that this rose was on the cluster for 24 hours which gives the wine more tannins. The nose on this wine was incredible, very different from most roses I have tasted. The wine had an herbal and black raspberry nose. I loved this rose for how savory it was. This is a rose I could probably drink through the winter time!
Edelzwicker. What a name! This wine is what vitners call a “field blend,” as it is typically made from a variety of grapes. This blend is 60% Riesling, 20% Cayuga and 20% Gerwurtztraminer. I’m usually not a big Gerwurtztraminer drinker, but this wine was very approachable. It was floral, but not overpowering. This is the perfect type of wine to bring to a party; a semi-dry beautifully balanced wine that is easy drinking.
Last but not least, I tried the Pinot Noir. 2014 had the driest September in 20 years which was excellent for the FLX red wines. This Pinot had a nose of blackberries and herbs including clove and thyme. The first sip lingered in my mouth forever with huge tannins and big jammy fruit (plum and blackberries). The grapes in this wine had a very long hang time which resulted in a big bodied Pinot from the FLX.
This was a wonderful Friday evening happy hour! Did you know that many local liquor stores around the area do tastings on Friday evenings? Tastings are not always for Finger Lakes wineries, but I’ve been luckily at least three Fridays this year with Finger Lakes tastings. If you get a chance, check out Ryan’s Wine & Spirits in Canandaigua. The selection and service is unbeatable.
As far as Bloomer Creek Vineyards go, WHAT A GEM. I can’t believe this is the first time I have heard of this winery. If you are a Chardonnay drinker, you should absolutely grab a bottle of the 2014 Chardonnay. Also, the next time you are headed to a party, grab the Edelzwicker for a sure to please bottle of white. I will write again once I make my way to their tasting room. I read a bit of their back story, and besides being a Cornell alum (go Big Red!), Kim makes his wines in the Old World style which is definitely the style I prefer.
Do you have a favorite Liquor store? Share it with me below!