Sommelier Thomas Pastuszak Is Making Some Fine Finger Lakes Dry Riesling

   Vineyards overlooking Beautiful Seneca Lake in New York's Finger Lakes Region. Photo by Lisa Denning

Vineyards overlooking Beautiful Seneca Lake in New York's Finger Lakes Region. Photo by Lisa Denning

Thomas Pastuszak, Beverage Director of NYC's NoMad Restaurant (home of the best roast chicken in Manhattan!) believes that Riesling is a misunderstood wine, often assumed to be sweet when, in fact, it is made in many styles from dry to semi-sweet to sweet. While he personally enjoys all variations of a well-made Riesling, he takes particular pleasure in turning people on to the drier styles of these aromatic, mouthwatering white wines. 

   Thomas, with his 2016 Empire Estate Dry Riesling. Photo: Lisa Denning

Thomas, with his 2016 Empire Estate Dry Riesling. Photo: Lisa Denning

"Oftentimes, I'll have a guest who comes in and says, 'I just want to have a glass of dry wine. Something not too expensive." Thomas told me during our recent video interview, "Maybe they won't pay it any attention, I'll come over and pour a dry Austrian Riesling or something from the Finger Lakes in a drier style, like Empire Estate. They'll taste it and they'll say something in the range of, "That's really good. What is it?" Then when I tell them that it's Riesling, a light has been shown, the doors are open, and they realize that Riesling can be made in a dry style. I think it's a misconception and often you just need to get the wine into people's glasses. You need to get them to taste it to realize what it can be."

Empire Estate is Thomas' own wine label, started in 2014 which produces two excellent dry Rieslings. Read the full interview at GrapeCollective.com. And, as a bonus, you'll find out if awesome hair helps to sell wine!!