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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New York Wine Dinner & New York Wine Month

NY State Wine Dinner
April 25th, 2008
$75 per person
845-647-3000 reservations
Aroma Thyme Bistro

Bread Alone Focciaca

Whitecliff Awosting White

Grilled Duck Breast
Grilled Spring Asparagus
Riesling Blackberry Coulis

Rivendell Chardonnay
Whitecliff Reserve Chardonnay

Saturn Farms Baby Arugula Salad
Curry Pumpkin Seeds

Dr Frank Semi-Dry Riesling
Soho Riesling

Herb Roasted Poussin
Bobo Farm
Sweet Potato Mash

Dr Frank Pinot Noir

New York State Cheese Plate
Fig Compote

Hazlitt Cabernet Franc
Anthony Road Cabernet Franc

Mixed Berry Strudel

Wagner Vineyards Ice Wine
Whitecliff Port


When it comes to fine wine, New York has been playing catch up for a long time. But, it's safe to say, that our state has really arrived now on the big stage for quality wines. Vitis Vinifera offerings come now from the Finger Lakes, from the Hudson Valley and from Long Island.

Which are the best? That's up to the individual taster, but each region seems to be slowly evolving specialties, determined by the length of the growing season, the winter cold and the other difficulties that nature has placed in the winemaker's path in our region.

Thus, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Long Island are winning awards nationally. Rielings, Seyval Blanc and various hybrids are producing stellar white wines in the Finger Lakes. In the Hudson Valley, winemakers are making Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and blends with Vidal and Vignoles from the palette of hybrids.

Aroma Thyme Bistro, in Ellenville, is taking part in the celebration of New York Wine during April, and our wine dinner for that month will be all about New York wines, matched up with great food.

On hand will be everything from great Rieslings, delicious blends from the hybrids and Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir from the Finger Lakes. And for dessert, Ice Wines made from Vidal and Vignoles.

When you taste the range of wines now available from New York you can begin to perceive the outlines of what is becoming an important region for first class wines. Winemakers have faced the challenges, largely provided by our long, sometimes harsh winters. Slopes, micro-climates, protected little nooks in the hills, have all been explored, and many now flaunt vines. Perhaps not Cabernet Sauvignon, but perhaps Pinot Noir, or Riesling or any one of a dozen other varietals.

Looking ahead what might we predict? Well, it seems clear that the Finger Lakes is well on its way to earning global respect as a Riesling appellation. But Chardonnay grown there is showing more and more "Burgundian" style and character- not the opulence and tropical fruits of California and Australia, but the leaner, graceful delicacies of the classic Burgundian chardonnay. Meanwhile wineries all over upstate New York are producing really tasty, lively blends of Vidal, Seyval Blanc and Vignoles, and also making Ice Wines and even botrytised dessert wines with these same hybrids.

Finally, there's the holy grail of winemaking. Pinot Noir. From the Finger Lakes there are already examples of excellent Pinots, quite unlike Pinots from anywhere else. In the Hudson Valley, another style of pinot, closer perhaps to the Burgundian model, is evolving. And, let us note, that when it comes to resveratrol-- the magical super anti-oxidant-- New York Pinot Noirs rule. Because our summers are perfect for fungi, the Pinot Noir boosts its production of resveratrol to levels that are considerably higher than in any other grapes grown anywhere.

Eventually, New York is likely to be known for big fat Cabs and Merlots from Long Island, for lush and lively Rieslings from the Finger Lakes, for lots of innovative blends and sem-dries using the hybrids and perhaps a whole new level of Pinot Noirs to beguile and fascinate wine lovers everywhere.

In honor of New York Wine Month, Aroma Thyme is hosting a New York Wine Dinner. The dinner is April 29th at 7pm. Chef/owner Marcus Guiliano is designing a six course menu to pair with over 10 New York Wines. The dinner is $75 per person and seating is limited. Reservations may be made calling 647-3000.

The wineries that will be featured are Whitecliff, Rivendell, Dr. Frank, Hazlitt, Adair, Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Atwater and others. Current information may be found on the web at www.aromathymebistro.com.

Chris Rowley
Marcus Guiliano

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