My husband tells me that my superpower is creating unexpected, visually appealing and tasty meals out of the refrigerator and pantry scraps. What’s the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” The real challenge and reward is finding the right wine from my basement cellar to go along with my pop-up style meal. Rieslings are undeniably the most food friendly wines, but it is Hermann J Wiemer Rieslings from the Finger Lakes region of New York that are truly America’s best.
Back in 2010, I visited the Finger Lakes region with my pharmacy school gal pals. One of our personal highlights was the tasting at Hermann J Wiemer Vineyard. The wines blew our minds. At that time, Hermann J Wiemer wasn’t as widely distributed nationally, and my experience with the wines was isolated to the winery. Flashforward 9 years, and today I can happily purchase these knock-your-socks-off wines at my local liquor store in Fort Collins, CO.
Hermann J Wiemer established his winery back in 1979 next to Seneca Lake. Happy 40th birthday! Originally from Bernkastel, Germany, Hermann came to the Finger Lakes in the 1960s and pioneered the wine industry of the area. His wines continue to win awards and receive the highest accolades. The media and critics love them.
2016 Dry Riesling
It is no surprise this German style Riesling is vibrant with acidity, full of flowers, fruit, and zip. The high impact aromatics are unmistakably Riesling, and the wine’s texture on the palate along with the finish are from the meticulous viticulture and vinification methods. Unlike typical mass market, grocery store brands of Riesling, Hermann J Wiemer grapes are hand picked on multiple dates to ensure the best quality, and the wine is unfined and unfiltered. The care that goes into each bottle and every vintage is unbelievable at $16-20, depending on your retail market.
Getting back to the pop-up meal that inspired me to pop the cork of the Hermann J Wiemer 2016 Dry Riesling. This particular salad is meant to be shared because it is uncomplicated and satisfying. There are colors, textures, tang, and spice. No wonder my husband loved it, and Emily thought it belonged in this blog.
1 large head Romaine lettuce chopped
1 yellow pepper sliced
1/4 c white onion sliced
1/4 c cooked, cold rice (white, brown, or whatever is available)
½ lb Honey Smoked Salmon – cracked pepper
Arrange the chopped lettuce in a large serving bowl, layer with sliced peppers, onions and rice. Top with salmon and serve the dressing on the side. (serves 2 entree portions)
2 T Honey mustard
¼ c Apple cider vinegar – raw unfiltered
¼ c Grape seed oil
½ tsp Sea salt
Place all ingredients in an empty glass jar with a fitting lid and shake-up the dressing into an emulsion.
10 oz Palirria “My Greek Meze” chickpeas with cumin & dill
2 T Prepared horseradish
1/4 c Lemon juice
2 T Tahini paste
2 Garlic cloves – roughly chopped
½ tsp Sea salt
¼ c Water
Garnish with EVOO, paprika, dried parsley
Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Use the water to create a consistency that looks creamy. Transfer the hummus into a small serving bowl and garnish with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), paprika and dried parsley. Serve with crackers, cucumber slices, or your favorite dipper. (serves 4)
Visiting the Finger Lakes
Even though Hermann J Wiemer wines are available locally and online, make it an excuse to vacation in the Finger Lakes and taste through all of Hermann J Weimer’s available wines. Their tasting room is open everyday of the week and reservations are recommended. You’ll be delighted to know they also produce other white wines like Gruner Vetliner, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer, as well as reds, sparkling wine, and dessert wines.
The Finger Lakes is everything you want in a wine vacation destination. At various wineries, you’ll enjoy live music outside with a beautiful rose’ made from Pinot Noir, picnics with high quality sparkling wines similar to Champagne, and nature retreats with waterfalls at Watkins Glen National Park. Check the Finger Lakes Wine Country website for more inspiration.