Monday, March 7, 2011

Lemberger Conquers the Big Apple?

by Dan Mitchell, Regional Sales Manager

I spent four days last week in The City That Never Sleeps and I found an interesting yet possibly not surprising fact: I didn't sleep very well.

Over the six-plus years that I hosted wine lovers in the tasting rooms of Fox Run, I saw Metro-Gnomes from all over the Northeast; cities like NYC, Boston, Toronto and Philadelphia. There was a common complaint I heard from many of them which always struck me as very odd, "It's so quiet here I can't sleep". What an interesting phenomenon I thought. After I finished my tasting in mid-Manhattan one evening, I had an excellent meal with other Finger Lakes wine lovers, caught the late hockey game at a local pub, then walked over to Times Square. I leaned up against a post on the corner and watched the post-midnight flurry of activity. Horns were blaring, media was streaming out of buildings, cabs were being hailed, and I was the only thing within sight not moving. I looked up to the stars above and thought how they appear to be the same stars I see over our silent Finger Lakes vineyards. The same ones I sit under at night as my dogs run through the rows of grapes and I notice that they are the only things within sight that are moving. It's a funny paradox to me. The funnier paradox comes the next morning as I start my day at a red light in Manhattan behind an Aston Martin, and finish my day at a red light behind a Mennonite horse and buggy in Penn Yan. Too quiet to sleep?

On the Loose in Times Square
What Does 'Tonsorial' Mean?

That being said, I had a very successful visit. It seems that our 2008 Lemberger is becoming a powerful force in wine-by-the-glass at a number of stylish locations around New York City, locations with notable wine buyers and chefs with celebrity status such as Terroir in Tribeca, Slice in the West Village, and Seersucker in Brooklyn just to name a few. At first it seemed to be a risky choice to not lead with the world famous Finger Lakes Rieslings, opting instead for a relatively unknown dry red. Yet these savvy buyers see something I was able to put my finger on almost immediately. Not only does Lemberger present a delicious, food friendly, affordable dry red but it also may very well be the next big trend in reds. Red wine drinkers love finding new dry reds and even more importantly love being in front of the curve. I can already see this scenario at a party:

"You brought an Argentinian Malbec?!? That's SOOO 2008. I'm drinking Lemberger."

"Lemberger?  Sounds like the cheese.  What is it?  Let me try.  Wow, it's delicious!  And so affordable!"

I am eagerly looking forward to my next trip to NYC for the possibility of a wine dinner and to turn more people on to the soft, food friendly wines we have to offer.

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