Good Food Revolution and the New York Wine  & Grape Foundation present Taste NY…
Remember the world before the COVID-19 crisis? In March of this year the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the LCBO, and a handful of boutique wine importing agencies launched an ambitious project to bring a showcase of some of the best wines of the Empire State to Ontario. The plan was to introduce local wine enthusiasts to treasures from Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes through this promotion at the LCBO website, and make the wines available online… then COVID struck and like so many plans in March, things didn’t quite go as expected.

The good news is that the wines have been safely stored in the LCBO’s climate controlled warehouse and are still very much available through their online shop. Back in the early spring NYWGF got the esteemed wine writers and critics David Lawrason and Sara d’Amato to host a series of video tastings of each wine with the legendary New York City sommelier and Terroir Wine Bar restaurateur, Paul Grieco. Good Food Revolution is working with New York Wines to help get this story out and connect Ontario wine enthusiasts and GFR readers with eight ‘Taste NY‘ wines rarely seen on this side of the border.

The third wine we’re featuring is the 2017 Wagner Dry Riesling ($24.90 – LCBO# 726389) from Wagner Estate Winery in the Finger Lakes AVA, a region renown for its Riesling. Read Jamie’s notes and summer pairing recommendations below. Watch the video below for d’Amato, Grieco and Lawrason’s notes and impressions, as well as winemaker John Wagner’s introduction to the wine. And then follow the instructions on how to order however many bottles you’d like from the LCBO online shop. You can also see the other wines in the Taste NY series here. – Malcolm Jolley, August 2020

Jamie Drummond’s notes on the 2017 Wagner Dry Riesling

Wines like this dry example from Finger Lakes’ acclaimed Wagner Vineyards remind me of exactly why I find the Riesling varietal so thrilling, stimulating, and intriguing. Wagner now have the largest planting of estate Riesling in the Finger Lakes, and with over 40 years experience with the varietal, they certainly know what they are doing.

Aromatically this bottling sings like an exotic bird, with a heady bouquet of limes, orchard-fresh Crispin apples, fragrant baby powder, and a pleasant whiff of that elusive kerosene character that Riesling fanatics find so beguiling.

The palate is all about finesse and balance, walking that fine line that only well-crafted Riesling can, with decidedly firm, spine-tingling, and tangy acid holding up and pushing forward some lovely, lean, pure, citrus-tinged, sherbert dusted, green apple fruit. Despite the lower alcohol (12.3%) the mid-palate is sufficiently weighty to transport one seamlessly through to an extended zesty gooseberry and stone finish.

As with most well-made dry Rieslings, this wine is extremely versatile when it comes to pairing, but I found that this worked extremely well with homemade Choucroute Garnie. Saying that, I’m going to grab another bottle and experiment with some sashimi, as I feel that would also be a rather excellent match.

As an aside, I came back to this bottle with Malcolm Jolley a full seven days after it was first opened and it was still quite delightful, the bouquet having opened up a little more, and only a touch of that intense fruit profile having gracefully faded, bringing the kerosene note to the fore.


Order this wine, and any of the eight Boldly, NY wines available in Ontario at the online shop at this special LCBO Discover The Wines of New York page. Order for home delivery or store pick-up following the instructions provided.

Email versions of this post won’t display video. Please click here to see the video at GFR.

Watch GFR every week for a new featured Taste NY wine, offered in Ontario for a limited time, while stocks last. Or browse the series here.

Taste NY, launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2013, highlights the quality, diversity, and economic impact of food and beverages grown, produced, or processed in New York State. Taste NY aims to create new opportunities for producers through events, retail locations, and partnerships.
The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is a Good Food Fighter. Please support the businesses and organizations that support Good Food Revolution.