GSN was recently invited to attend the first of a new series of pairing dinners in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The night’s wines were provided by Red Newt Cellars, located in nearby Hector, NY, while the dinner was held inside the Lake House on Canandaigua in the Rose Tavern. Our evening began with a seating arrangement that allowed guests to view the chefs working the kitchen, while enjoying conversation with other diners at our table. I started with a glass of Louis de Sacy brut, while my partner enjoyed the house cocktail “St Tropez Snowbird”.
After a brief introduction from the hosts, we started the dinner with a crispy oyster appetizer paired with a 2018 Pinot Gris. The oyster was a perfect starter, light but with some depth of flavor, just like the wine pairing.
The next course was a rich mafaldine pasta and duck ragu paired with a 2015 Lahoma Riesling as well as a 2015 Tango Oaks Riesling. The difference between the Rieslings was quite surprising, and I found myself enjoying the Tango Oaks more with the second course. While the Lahoma Riesling was sweet and crisp, it overpowered the richness of the ragu. The Tango Oaks Riesling was mellow and light enough to blend well with the foie gras and black truffle in the dish.
The third course included a Pennsylvania lamb with vegetables, paired with a 2013 Merlot. The lead winemaker for Red Newt, Kelby Russell, mentioned that they are not well known for their reds amongst the Finger Lakes region. However, the glass was delightful and had notes of peppercorn and plum which paired nicely with the roasted lamb and seasonal vegetables.
The final dish was a chocolate intemperance cake with hazelnut praline and a caramel made from a reduction of the paired wine, a 2017 Late Harvest Riesling. This wine had quite a bit of citrus which was a nice contrast to the rich chocolate of the dessert. The caramel reduction had quite a bit of intensity which brightened both the cake and the wine itself.
Overall the event was a wonderful way to spend an evening. I enjoyed discussing the wines with the hosts and getting to know our neighbours at the table. I would recommend an evening like this to anyone who wants to dabble in trying wines and enjoying quality food and conversation.
For more information about Rose Tavern click here
For more information about Red Newt Cellars click here
- Louis de Sacy Brut: A+
- St Tropez Snowbird: B
- Crispy Oyster – Lovely cornbread coated oyster with a well-balanced caviar and poached egg yolk. A perfect starter: A
- Mafaldine Pasta – Very well balanced, perhaps a touch too much black truffle, pairs well with the Lahoma but not the Tango. Perfect portion : A
- Pennsylvania Lamb – Large portion, carrots were superb, potatoes were delightful : A-
- Chocolate Intemperance Cake – Praline was delightful, chocolate was nice, caramel was a reduction of the Riesling : A-
- 2018 Pinot Gris : A- (pear)
- 2015 Lahoma Riesling : B (sweet)
- 2015 Tango Oaks Riesling : A (light)
- 2013 Glacier Ridge Merlot : B+ (peppercorn)
- 2017 Late Harvest Riesling : B+ (citrus)
Review written by Autumn Ellen Rose for Good Spirits News