“My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.”
If you’re from the Capital District, then chances are your summer isn’t complete until you’ve been to Lake George at least once. Last time I was up there I realized that I hadn’t been to the Village in a long time without any purpose. Usually when I go to the village it’s to go to a specific place to eat, to watch a concert in Shepard Park or maybe to go swimming but rarely just to walk around. The other day I did just that.
Aside from all the touristy shops where you can buy “I Love NY” and “Lake George Village” shirts and sweatshirts there are some genuinely great places to eat and check out for those of us locals. That includes my new favorite place, the Adirondack Winery (285 Canada Street, Lake George). I walked in just expecting to check everything out and Sasha, who is part owner with her husband Michael, asked if I wanted to take part in a $5 wine tasting and I get to take home the wine glass. How do I say no? No need for a reservation for these wine tastings unless you have more than 8 people, I went in and did the whole thing by myself.
To start, Sasha gave me a piece of paper and for the $5 I was able to taste 7 different wines ranging from reds to whites to drys to sweets to dessert wines to fruity wines. The list is made up of some of the best wines of their 35+ award-winning wines hand-crafted in the Adirondacks. I started off with the bronze medal winning Riesling described on the sheet as dry, delicate, zesty, fresh/ apricot, peach, nutty ($15.75). I don’t usually enjoy white wine but I know that I like Riesling so I figured it was a great place to start. I liked it until the nutty finish. It wasn’t terrible, I liked it, I would drink it but the nutty finish was distracting and not something I’d necessarily drink on its own. My next white wine was their gold medal winning Pinot Grigio that was described as off-dry, slightly sweet/ floral, smoky, honey, citrus ($15.25). This was delicious, I can understand how it won a gold medal. As Sasha described to me about their wine, they like having the smoky flavor in their wine but not so much that it overpowers everything and I love that about the flavor of this pinot. Even if you’re not a fan of the white wine, make sure you try this one!
Next were the reds. I started with their silver medal winning Fireworks Red Merlot described as soft, silky/ fruit forward, light oak ($16.25). The wine was described as ‘fireworks’ because there was a picture of fireworks on the label. All pictures on the wine labels are local photographs and really enhance the local wine experience. I love looking at the various labels and being able to recognize locations or specific images- makes me really feel how local this wine is. I had to ask what it meant when the description said “fruit-forward,” since it was a wine term I’d never heard before. Sasha explained that you may be able to taste fruit in all wines but in fruit-forward wines it’s the foremost flavor on your palette. My second red wine was the silver medal winning Cabernet Sauvignon described as soft, supple, tannic/ black currant, dark cherry, earth ($18.00). Cabernet Sauv. is generally my favorite wine. What makes a Cabernet Sauvignon is it’s dark, dense texture- a mix between the Cabernet franc and the Sauvignon blanc. I loved the flavor of this wine, strong but not too over-powering. The wine is accompanied by these delicious wine crackers (that I ended up buying a box of) but you could also choose for a little extra money to have cheese with the wine, I decided to pass on that.
The last group was the fruity and blush wines. You could also add a dessert wine for $1.00 more but I decided to stick with the regular choices. First of the fruity wines was the gold medal winning Orchard Blossom (Green Apple Gewurtztraminer) described as sweet, tart/ green apple ($13.50). This is the one I decided to buy that day. By itself, the sweetness tends to end tart but Sasha was very helpful in discussing foods I should eat to cut down on that tartness like eel sushi and grilled chicken salads, two of my favorite foods, luckily! The second to last wine I tried was their NEW Season’s Flourish (Pomegranate Zin): sweet, light/ pomegranate ($15.00). This tasted like juice more so than wine, it’s dangerously delicious. If you want a wine that you can drink while pacing yourself, this probably isn’t it especially with the surprisingly high alcohol content. Be careful! My last wine was the gold medal winning Amethyst Sunset (Blackberry Merlot): semi-sweet, light/ blackberry ($15.25). Between this and Orchard Blossom it’s hard to decide which I like better. The blackberry flavor in this wine is light but strong, robust.
Overall, all the wines are delicious and for only $5 to have the chance to try the different wines is brilliant. If you can’t make it to Lake George Village for the wine, you can also find the wine at other locations found on their website HERE as well as a few wine events coming up in the area found HERE. Even if you can’t get up to the tasting room, find your local wine store and try a bottle, let me know what you think!