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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday Tasting: Thousand Islands Winery

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we taste some wine along the northern border of New York state.

No one will ever confuse Jefferson County, N.Y., with Bordeaux, France. The temperatures often dip well below zero during the winter months. The growing season is short. Dairy farms greatly out number vineyards. Then there is the Thousand Islands Winery.

The winery sits at the base of the Thousand Islands Bridge, which takes you over the St. Lawrence River from the mainland to Wellesley Island and then to Canada. There are a couple of rows of vines outside the winery, but the grapes used are imported from elsewhere around New York.

The wines are pretty easy drinking and lean toward the sweet side. Since the area is a vacation mecca during the summer, these wines fit nicely with outdoor warm weather dining. Here are a few wines to try if you find yourself in northern New York:

Saint Lawrence Red: Deep purple color, slightly tangy nose. This blend of French American hybrid grapes is on the sweet end of the scale.

Thousand Islands Frontenac: Light purple garnet color. Fruit aroma with berry notes throughout the semi-dry flavor.

Wellesley Island White: A blend of Diamond, Catawba and Cayuga grapes this wine has a grape skin nose, with pineapple, pear and honey flavors.

Thousand Islands Riesling: Sweet floral nose, with plenty of honey and pear flavors. The 6 percent residual sugar dominates this wine.

Thousand Islands Niagara: Jammy character, packed with sweet notes. A traditional American style white that works well in the hot weather months.

Thousand Island Raspberry Isle: Loaded with raspberry aromas and flavors, this is a nice dessert wine.

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