Clark Smith is a tough act to follow. By this, I don’t mean that it’s hard to step on a stage after he has danced his ideas across it, but rather that it’s often hard to understand what he’s getting at....
New Yorkers love finding the next big thing, and if they do it in California, Virginia, even not-so-far-away Long Island, presumably it is time for a city of 8 million people to catch on. This is why, in a time of hyper-locavorism with city residents growing vegetables on their fire escapes, raising chickens in their yards, and setting up rooftop beehives, wine is being made in the big city.
In the May 2006 issue of Wine Spectator Mitch Frank penned “New York Rising”, a story identifying New York as “America’s next great wine region” adding that “New York was once known for industrial bulk wine production, but passionate vintners, most working from small wineries, have dramatically improved the quality of the state's wines.
In some ways, New York’s wine regions are ideal for making sparkling wine. The generally cool weather—combined with lake effect in the Finger Lakes and ocean breezes in Long Island—allows grapes to ripen slowly with gorgeous aromatics and natural acidity.
Though it’s a bit more expensive than most of the others, this wine is richer and beefier, with fragrant notes of almond croissants, toasted wheat bread with lemon marmalade, orange blossoms, hazelnut, and honeydew. It’s complex, slightly earthy, and well integrated, with lively bubbles and a puckering acidity.
This sparkling rosé, a blend of 54% Pinot Noir and 46% Chardonnay, is tart and elegant. It pours a light peach orange, just barely pigmented. There’s a hint of biscuits, cream, red berries, and lemon zest on the nose. It’s a delicate wine with a mineral backbone and dry notes of peach tea, but still some rich, yeasty brioche flavors—with a dollop of lemon-rosehip marmalade on top. Buoyant mousse and tart acidity, hints of unripe strawberries, green apples, and fennel, make this refreshing wine a winner with food. Try pairing it with lobster rolls or crab quiche. The finish is long, silky, and lingering.