When it comes to white wines, New York - especially the Finger Lakes - makes some of the best in America. But Long Island's North Fork is coming on strong, too, as evidenced by this pinot blanc from Lieb Family Cellars, the 20-year-old pioneer founded by Mark and Kathy Lieb, who decided California's wine country wasn't for them after experiencing an earthquake.
It turns out that some of their 62 vineyard acres on the North Fork are ideal for producing a crisp rendition of this Alsatian grape. The 2011 bottle, currently with a near half-off Chairman's Selection discount in Pennsylvania, offers a nose of aromatic orchard fruits - pear, peach, blossoms - but skirts the fat texture of more typical pinot blancs. That means a wine with good acidity and mineral notes that has the grace to pair nicely with light seafood dishes, including raw oysters or sushi, without fading into the background. At $13 a bottle, it's a perfectly affordable way to welcome guests to your Thanksgiving table with an opening sip of some fresh East Coast fruit.
Lieb Family Pinot Blanc 2011 (code 32604), $12.99, in Pennsylvania.
- Craig LaBan