More Finger Lakes Whites for your Thanksgiving Glass

atwater_cuveeLast week we shared Red Feet Wine Market recommendations for tasty Finger Lakes Rieslings worthy of inviting to your Thanksgiving meal. As Dewi Rainey, owner of Red Feet explained, Riesling is the grape that puts our region on the global wine map, but it is just one of the many white wine grapes that succeed in our region. If you’re curious about venturing out to try other white grape varieties, follow this thoughtful short-list for a few stunning options. Remember, Red Feet Wine Market is open Thanksgiving day until 2:30 in case your dinner wine and spirits stash runs low.

Other Finger Lakes Whites for your Thanksgiving Glass:

Need bubbles? We’ve repeatedly been impressed with Atwater’s Cuvee Brut, now on the 2010 vintage.  This traditional method sparkling wine (half Riesling, half Chardonnay) has layers of apple, peach, pear, citrus, brioche and walnut.  The bubbles are fine and delicate and it’s a reasonable $28.

To pair with your white meat, pick up a bottle of Ravines Wine Cellars Chardonnay 2011.  WOW!  This is everything you want in a Chardonnay, whether you’re the type to like a crisp, Burgundian style or more typically a toast-and-butter lover.  It’s a wine that bridges the Chardonnay gap, bringing together everything in one package.  There’s beautiful acidity, mouthfilling creamy texture, bright flavors and a wonderful vanilla, coconut and hazelnut tone.  Ravines achieves this flavor profile by drying 20% of the grapes for six weeks, and it seems to be just the right recipe this vintage. $20.

The wine that might get more play during Thanksgiving than any other time of year is Gewurztraminer.  Its bold and mighty aromas stand above all the mayhem and its wintry flavors and texture seem to match autumn’s rich bounty.  We were recently impressed with Hector Wine Company’s 2012 Gewurztraminer.  It’s dry and perfectly weighted with lovely white floral aromas, ginger, fall spices and a hint of mango chutney. Gewurztraminer is one of those wines that can easily become heavy and clumsy, like a bull in a china shop.  This one dances a bit and we love its bright, crisp tone.  $20.

There’s not a lot left, but for $15, you can enjoy an off-dry blend of Vidal Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Silverthread Vineyard.  Good Earth White 2012‘s floral aromas mingle with a variety of apples, dried pineapple, lychee and a faint quince note.  This has a rounder texture with 1.5% residual sugar.

Speaking of rounder textures, Sheldrake Point Vineyard’s Pinot Gris 2012 wonderfully expresses the ripeness and weight of the warm vintage, making it a viable option for Thanksgiving too.  You’ll find tropical fruit in this dry white and soft notes of ripe pear, kiwi and citrus zest.  Cayuga Lake represents with this one! $16.

If you’re on a budget, consider Atwater’s Stonebridge White, a combination of Vidal Blanc and Cayuga White from the 2012 vintage.  This is off-dry, yet refreshing with juicy melon, lemon-lime and pear fruit.  Its vibrant acidity makes it a good starter wine, as you nibble on appetizers and wait for the family to dribble in. $11.50.

Eve’s Cidery makes a delicious half bottle of iced apple wine called “Essence” which should be the pride and joy of every Finger Lakes table next Thursday.  Flavors of honey, caramel, apricot jam and juicy apples are balanced by a lively tartness.  15% residual sugar.  $25 for a half bottle.

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