Times columnist bullish on Finger Lakes
FINGER LAKES--The Finger Lakes wine region and winemakers received only positive words from New York Times wine critic and author Eric Asimov, Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5, at the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum.
Asimov was the speaker at the Finger Lakes Community College auditorium and offered a 90 minute conversation about wines in the United States and throughout the world. The session was moderated by WXXI radio host Evan Dawson.
Asimov was asked about which wine regions he thinks have excellent potential for future growth. Asimov said, "without sounding like I'm pandering to this area, the Finger Lakes area is one to watch."
The wine critic said with an increasing interest in cool-climate viticulture and curiosity about new and upcoming wine regions this will benefit the Finger Lakes.
Prior to Asimov's Sunday presentation, via email, the newspaper columnist said he has many favorite wine producers in the Finger Lakes. Asimov said, "I like a lot of Finger Lakes wines. I'm more a fan of particular producers than individual wines. Ravines, Wiemer, Bloomer Creek, Eminence Road, Terrassen, Sheldrake Point, Shaw and Red Tail Ridge, just to name a few."
When asked whether he thinks more California growers and vineyards will invest in Finger Lakes vineyards, Asimov said, "Oh, God, I hope not."
He also commented on the grapes and wines of the Finger Lakes area. Asimov said, "One of the most interesting things about the Finger Lakes wine region is looking at the grapes that have evolved. From a pure marketing standpoint, you would never embrace Riesling as your signature brand. From the public's point of view there just isn't any traction there. They are not sure how to pronounce Riesling or if it really should come from Germany. They don't know if it is sweet or not. People are still confused about Riesling. But from a viticulture point of view for a grape that works well here, it was a courageous decision and the right decision."
Asimov said for Finger Lakes' red wines, the identity of the area is not as clear with reds as it is with white wine. Asimov said, "But Cabernet Franc has probably emerged from the area as one of the best red wines. And that's a brave thing to do and the right thing to do."
Asimov said his job as a journalist and wine critic for the New York Times may be considered a trivial pursuit by some with all of the problems in the world today. Asimov reflected, "But at the end of the day if I can provide some entertainment, some enlightenment, maybe some practical advice on how to spend their money more wisely, and If I can also help people think about their wine as an emblem of the people and the place where the wine was produced, then I think I'll be successful."
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic for the New York Times where he contributes 'The Pour' and 'Wines of the Times' bi-weekly columns which are printed on a rotating schedule. Asimov is also the author of the books, 'How to Love Wine; A Memoir and Manifesto' and 'Wine with Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes from the New York Times.'