Delicious wine can come from just about anywhere -- including the much-maligned state of New Jersey. Econo Boy and I recently hit up a couple of Delaware Valley wineries, and one in particular stood out: Alba Vineyards in Milford, New Jersey.
After a delightful tasting, we walked away with three bottles: Old Mill Red, Mainsail White, and the 2005 Dry Riesling.
Old Mill Red is a blend of Marechal Foch and Chambourcin, with a bit of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in to round it off. It tastes a bit like dried blackberries -- fruity but smoky, dry and rich. Mainsail White is also a blend, of Vidal Blanc, Cayuga White, and Riesling, and it's delicate, with floral notes and a wonderful nose. Both of these wines are under $10, and the woman at the tasting room described them as "weekday wines" -- wines you can break out just because you feel like it. That's a sentiment I can definitely get behind!
Our favorite, however, was the 2005 Dry Riesling.
I've made snotty comments about Riesling in the past, fueled mostly by my brother's adoration for the sweetest Rieslings he can get his hands on, which taste a lot like flat Sprite in my opinion. But dry Rieslings are another story -- those I like. I also love whites that, like this Riesling, are fermented in steel tanks. There's a clarity and purity to them that I find really appealing. (I'm not a big fan of oak in white wines, which is why I rarely go for Chardonnay unless it says "unoaked" in big letters on the label.)
The Alba 2005 dry Riesling has serious presence -- it's a perfect balance of acidity and richness. It's crisp and smooth and would be glorious with grilled salmon or gourmet cheese. If we weren't moving, we might have picked up an entire case! It's also quite reasonably priced -- $14 a bottle.