New York Wine & GrapeNews



The Press Deck ~ July 4th, 2018

Valerie Ross

Category: Industry

Happy Fourth of July to you all. This week's Field Notes is a special edition Guest Post from our newest team member Paul Brady, New York Wines Brand Ambassador . We invite you to enjoy your holiday with a glass of one of the amazing New York wines mentioned below. I know my wine store shopping list has just grown...

Barbecue is a loaded topic. So much so that it’s not even unanimously agreed upon as to how it's spelled -- is it “cue” or “que” or the simple “BBQ”? Does it refer to the slow-smoked meats and regional sauces ubiquitous throughout the American south? Or am I simply salivating over the thought of a Ballpark Frank on a Wonder Bread bun? Is it just a term for a festive outdoor picnic, or a proverbial cage match between pitmasters, one from Austin, another from Kansas City?

It is all those things and more, and it is as American as jazz. So what better to drink with this unique regional cuisine than our own state’s wines? And just as jazz takes influences from the classical music of the old world, let’s look to pockets of wine-producing regions of Europe for inspiration, where grilled sausages, slow-smoked meats, and cheesy-potato dishes abound: Germany and Alsace. This is a focused approach that will help narrow down the embarrassment of rich choices that would pair well with barbecue. In general, we’re looking for high acid wines that are light but complex and will refresh: riesling, muscat, gewurztraminer and pinot gris of Alsace nobility; pinot noir, lemberger, and their corresponding rosés; and definitely sparkling wines.

From the North Fork of Long Island, consider the Champagne method2014 Blanc De Blancs from Bedell Cellars with grilled or smoked Chicken; or from the South Fork, the 2014 Sylvanus Vineyard Blaufrankisch (AKA Lemberger) from Channing Daughters with burgers or ribs. In the Finger Lakes, Anthony Road Wine Company produces abarrel fermented pinot gris that will satiate and provide enough texture to stand up to most of the heavier grilled or smoked meats, but also look for delicate and floral muscats from Sheldrake Point and Dr. Konstantin Frank to drink with vegetable dishes as well as the salty, fatty ones. If you like brisket with a simple side of hot sauce as much as I do, try the2017 gewürztraminer from Hermann J. Wiemer. And of course, there’s riesling. Try playing around with dry, sweet, or sparkling styles from any of the above Finger Lakes producers with just about any dish.

“Pinot Noir is red riesling,” the well-known sommelier Paul Grieco likes to assert in reference to its versatility with food. Ravines Wine Cellarsbegan the modern pinot noir movement in the Finger Lakes and has produced consistently high-quality pinot vintage after vintage. For a rosé version, try the 2017 from Nathan K. Wines -- a serious charmer worthy of a decant.   

By no means does this Germanic focus have to be yours. The French grape gamay noir, which is finally becoming more widely planted on fallow New York sites, is the perfect red wine for submerging in an ice bath for a good chill, and will pair beautifully with grilled and smoked meats. Whitecliff in the Hudson Valley produces a gamay and is betting heavily on its future success. The current vintage shows an absolute understanding of gamay fruit purity and I find it hard to not be excited about the potential that is proper gamay from New York.

I hope you’ll have as much fun as I do pairing these regional northeastern American wines with the most regional of American cuisine, whether it comes come from your grill, smoker, oven, or your favorite barbecue joint.

Sincerely, Your Barbecue Sommelier
Paul Brady
New York Wines Brand Ambassador