As some may have guessed, I am spending a good part of this summer in the Hudson Valley. It is an interesting experience for me. I went to camp here when I was a teenager and haven’t really been back since. I have discovered a vibrant food and wine scene that many others know well.
New Paltz, the town where I rented a house, is home to three really good wine stores: In Good Taste, Fox and Hound, and New Paltz Wines & Spirits. The staff at all three are very knowledgeable and helpful as well. The selections are much vaster than those at my local wine store on broadway.
I’ve hit a few milestones this summer: I did my first handstand in Yoga today after 25 years, I overcame my fear of sleeping in a house in the woods and I tried acupuncture and actually enjoyed it. All that pales with my first pleasurable encounter with a French-American hybrid, Seyval Blanc. It happened this weekend, much to my surprise. Lenn Thompson’s Appellation America gives great information on this and other interesting grapes. I went to visit the Whitecliff Vineyards winery and found that I liked two wines, Awosting White made with Seyval Blanc and Vignoles and Traminette 2007, a cross between Joannes Seyve 23.416 and Gewurztraminer. Wonders never cease. Perhaps it is the magical nature of the New Paltz area. Who knows. My Italian friends will probably say I have been away from Italy for too long.
I make it a point to stop by In Good Taste every time I make it up to New Paltz. The owners are quite friendly and very knowledgeable, especially about the wines of central Italy and Abruzzo (http://abruzzi.wordpress.com). They have great tastings and I wish I could get their more often!!