By Michael Welch
We all have our cooking-at-home preferences, and we’ve had plenty of opportunity to fine tune them this year. My first act when cooking dinner is to kick everyone out of the kitchen. I love being alone while cooking and I think it comes from my years as a private chef in New York City. I was alone in kitchens all day and came to love cooking without distraction. Cooking is also my therapy and how I work through the stress of a day, so it’s best I do that alone. That is, until I need someone to taste test something, then the humans are welcome back in.
I also prefer to have a glass of something while I cook. Something refreshing, uplifting and palate cleansing that doesn’t interfere with the flavors of whatever I am making. So I was excited to get my hands on the Boundary Breaks 2019 #356 Bubbly Dry Riesling ($19.95). It’s a carbonated sparkling wine, meaning that carbon dioxide is added to a Riesling “still” wine to give it a bit of effervescence without all the tremendous labor and time of a traditional champagne-style sparkler, hence it is a little easier on the wallet. There’s a rise in this style amongst Finger Lakes wineries and they get the technique down better and better every year (look for an article about this in an upcoming edition of the magazine), making for well-balanced, affordable and delicious carbonated wines.
The team at Boundary Breaks puts a significant effort on their Riesling production at their sloping vineyard on the east side of Seneca Lake, and this wine is a top seller for them, especially in the summer. The #356 on the name is the Riesling clone, which is harvested early to capture the acidity and freshness for the wine while still maintaining the Riesling fruit flavor. It’s a pretty pale gold in the glass and has a whiff of petrol and tangerine peel on the nose. The first sip is assertive, with bright meyer lemon dominating. It has a nice lemon-candy finish that lingers for a good long while. At 12% alcohol, it is light bodied enough that you can have that second glass, without worry of losing your focus in the kitchen.
Pair with a Finger Lakes cheese and charcuterie platter, a salty ham sandwich would go great with this too.
2019 Boundary Breaks #356 Bubbly Dry Riesling, $19.95. 1.0% RS, 100% Estate Riesling, 1,600 cases produced. Widely available at retail stores around the state and available on order at boundarybreaks.com.