This week,we have four contributions to What We Drank, including the first from Sasha Smith. I wanted to mention something this week, badly, but there wasn't anything that I drank over the weekend that inspired me enough, sadly. More on that later this week I think.

 Wwd_03From Bryan Calandrelli: Freedom Run Winery Celebration Series Rosé

This weekend called for a simple, easy to drink wine that I could open up for my family at the picnic table. I didn't need to look any further than my fridge thanks to this Freedom Run Celebration Series Rosé. Now I know you may be thinking that just I'm plugging another local wine, but this one goes well beyond that obvious connection.

Working in the cellar at Freedom Run, I designed this wine specifically for my wedding favors. By that I mean blend, color and sweetness. The favor was a 375ml with a palm tree (we got married in Key West) and the wedding date. The blend, 93% Cayuga and 7% Cab Franc, with a residual sugar of 1.5%, turned out to be a big hit with everyone in Key West, so much so that I convinced the winery to bottle 100 cases of it and call it a dry rose.

Light and refreshing with aromas of strawberry and watermelon, this wine shows a delicate balance of acidity and sweetness. Luckily the Cayuga is quite neutral and makes a great base for the Cab Franc fruit to lead the way. While it\'s not the most complex rosé, nor will it satisfy the terroirists of the wine world, it can be a perfect addition to any summer meal.

Photo From Evan Dawson: Marc Hebrart NV French Champagne - Brut Rose

I try to resist marketing contrivances, but I am apparently no
match for the tidal wave of Rose that is racing across the Finger
Lakes. In that spirit, I tried a brut rose — but wanted to see how a
French Champagne would fare. My wife opened this (rather expensive)
bottle this weekend. It's a one-note effort: Like drinking a
strawberry, it's fresh at first before eroding into a bit of Windex and
musty flavors.
In retrospect I wish we would have opened this alongside a Finger
Lakes sparkling rose. Heart & Hands already makes one, and I'd like
to know if others are doing the same. If we see more sparkling rose
locally, it will truly be a sign that Finger Lakes winemakers see the
world through rose-colored glasses.

From Melissa Dobson: Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Martini-Reinhardt Select Vignoles TBA

This past Saturday, Rich and I attended the 7th Annual
Martini-Reinhardt Selection Grazing Gala at Anthony Road Wine Company. I had a difficult time choosing one of the featured
Martini-Reinhardt Selection wines as my weekend stand-out, but the 2008
M-RS Vignoles TBA edged out the pack because of the
scrumptious dessert pairing from Deb Whiting of Red Newt Bistro, who
prepared the food pairings for the gala. Deb presented the 2008 M-RS
Vignoles TBA with an orange curd mousse topped with candied orange peel
that was light and elegant, showcasing creamy bright citrusy heaven. 

Johannes Reinhardt explained that the 2008 dessert wine grapes
encountered a "tough birth" but this traditional TBA was effected by
noble rot at over 50%, cool room stored, sorted for one week and
foot macerated.  The result is a full-bodied, silky dessert wine with
citrus and apricot "showing its muscles" but playing well with the
orange curd mousse. This and the 2008 M-RS Riesling Trockenbeeren and
2008 M-RS Riesling Berry Selection dessert wines are not in bottle yet,
but will be within the next 2-3 months.

Flag punch From Sasha Smith: Flag Day Punch

In honor of Flag Day and our third anniversary, my husband and I
invited over 30 friends for a cookout. Because we're of the mind that
no party is complete without a signature drink, we came up with this
punch. Save for one ingredient, it's pretty low-rent…but it's also
pretty delicious.

This concoction is sure to please anyone who
appreciates a whiskey sour. Here's the recipe, such as it is: place
about 2 cups of frozen black currants, 6 cups of water and 1/2 to 3/4
cup of sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. (We used frozen
currants from this farm in Staatsburg, New York.) Lower to a simmer and cook
until the liquid reduces by more than half and becomes syrupy. (Around
an hour and a half.) Strain. Fill a 4-gallon jar with five limes,
thinly sliced. Add four cans of frozen pink lemonade from concentrate
as well as however much water it calls for on the canisters, minus a
cup or two. (You'll be adding ice to the jar and don't want the mixture
to get too diluted.) Pour in the black currant syrup and add several
trays of ice. Serve alongside a bottle of Jeremiah Weed bourbon
liqueur. That's right, bourbon liqueur. If you can't find any, Jack
Daniels will do, but there's something about the sweet, boozy kick of a
$16 bottle of Jeremiah Weed that hits the spot here. Not a drink to
serve to your boss, your in-laws, or anyone else you're trying to
impress, but a delightful beverage to enjoy among friends.