June is officially Idaho wine month, for those who are members of our wine club we found some great wines from right here in Idaho. Watch out-Idaho is doing some pretty great things right now. Before prohibition threw a monkey wrench in the system, Idaho was on track for serious wine production. We border two amazing wine growing regions, it's nice to be part of all the action. We will be featuring two tasty selections for a while, both of them from Cinder winery in Garden City (NW of Boise).
Did you know that Idaho had grapes planted way before Washington and Oregon? Two French and one German immigrant were responsible for the first grapes planted in Idaho, way before Washington and Oregon. Before prohibition gutted the Idaho wine industry, Idaho was producing award winning wines. Prohibition in Idaho lasted from 1916 to 1933, the damage was done. Fast forward 40+ years, grapes were planted again in what is now know as the Snake River AVA (American Viticultural Area). It wasn't until 2007 that the Snake River AVA was recognized. Idaho vintners insist that southern Idaho has ideal growing conditions-four distinct seasons, the cold winters are conducive to allowing the vines to go dormant to prepare for the coming season, and the winters help with the bugs. Warm summer days and cool nights helps balance acids and sugars.
Idaho is in its infancy in the wine world. Boy is that changing fast. In 2008, there were 38 wineries in Idaho, currently there are more than 60 wineries with over 1,300 acres planted. I can only imagine that winemakers and growers are still learning as they go, in the meantime I hope they continue to produce great wine.
We have a couple of wines right now on special that I think are amazing representations of what Idaho can do. The wines come from our friends at Cinder. CINDERWINES.COM
Melaine Krause and Joe Schnerr are the masterminds behind this winery. The Cinder name and label design are inspired by the volcanic soils of the Snake River Valley. A little after we opened our first restaurant syringasushi.com, they were pretty much going door-to-door and sold us wine. Way before they had a local rep to sell their wine. It has been really exciting to see the evolution of their wines. I was even more excited to taste through the line-up with Joe recently and discover they have been busy with making some really unique varietals.
The first wine we are featuring is the 2022 Verdejo.(verr-day-ho). This varietal is normally grown in Spain in a dry hot climate, aaaand now it's grown in Snake River Valley AVA Emerald Slope. (Technically speaking the vineyards are just across the Snake River in Adrian, OR, but made in Idaho.) This wine won a Gold Medal in the 14th annual Idaho Wine Competition, recently and for good reason. This light bodied white, is a refreshingly different wine wine. If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris give this baby a try. Right off the bat floral notes and peaches lure you in, on the palette its medium body has hints of lime and the finish has plenty of acid but it is so nicely balanced it just keeps you coming back for more.
Try the Cinder Verdejo with our Salmon dish (King Salmon, mushroom risotto, grilled asparagus and miso butter.) Pairs perfectly with a hot summer day on the patio.
Our next wine is the 2021 Cinder Rosé of Grenache. This wine screams summer days on patio. Some winemakers might not appreciate the term "porch pounder" but with the recent weather and long winter we've had, the thought of cold Rosé on a hot day....yes please.
"Like choosing your wardrobe for the day, sometimes when choosing your wine, it's best to check the weather. We find this Rosé of Grenache, like a woman's beautiful sundress or a gentleman's dapper Panama hat, is best enjoyed in the sun. Remember, as long as you can see the sun, a Rosé fits perfectly. -Joe Schnerr, Founder
I've been on a Grenache kick lately, so this wine just makes me happy. This wine starts out with ripe summer strawberry aromas on the nose and slight hint of green pepper on the voluptuous pallet 🤤 This wine is perfect for any one of our small plates.