Being from California, I had no idea that New York State was the second largest producer of wines in the country, just recently supassing Oregon.
I learned this while I was walking through Soho with my roommate Susana and we stumbled on Vintage, a wine store/bar that offers local New York State wines from the Finger Lakes and the North Fork of Long Island at $5 for 5 tastings. Check out the selection:
The tastings are either self-chosen from a list of bourdeux blends, pinot noirs, merlots, cabernet savignons, syrahs, table wines, chardonnays, fruity whites, fruit wines, ice wines, sparkling wines, fortified wines, etc... you name it they have it. Or you could do what we did and let the very knowledgable bartender choose a selection of different full-bodied reds for us. This is what our $5 got for us:
2001 Macari Bergen Road from Long Island
2001 Paumanok Assemblage from Long Island
2001 Osprey's Dominion Cabernet Savignon from Long Island
Richmond Creek Red Table Wine from Long Island
2002 Jamesport Merlot from Long Island
All the pours were great wines from their respective categories. The table wine was so-so, but we were told not to expect much as the flavor is very mediocre. He recommended a French table wine - Les Jamelles, which I'll pick up a bottle of next time I'm at Broadway Warehouse Wines. I wish I could be more descriptive with what I tasted, but that will have to wait until I take a wine class, hopefully soon. All I can say it that my favorite was the 2001 Paumanok Assemblage.
If our 5 pours wasn't enough of a great deal already, we got 2 additional pours of dessert wines:
2003 Wolffer Late Harvest Chardonnay from Long Island
2004 Casa Larga Delle Stelle Vidal Ice Wine from the Finger Lakes
Late harvest wines are those made from grapes that are allowed to ripen on the vide for an extended time, giving them an increased and intense sugar content. Ice wines are those made from grapes that remain on the vine until after the first frost, allowing for the same concentration of sugars when they are pressed. I don't particularly like dessert wines because I don't have a sweet tooth, but the Vidal was pretty good. I'd definitely have to have a complementary food with it next time I drink it though. Susana really liked the Wolffer, but it was too sweet for me, almost syrupy.
For anyone curious about New York wines or if ever you're wandering around Broome and Wooster Streets and have $5 in your wallet, I suggest you check this place out and get a cheap buzz.
Vintage New York
482 Broome Street
Corner of Wooster