Thursday, October 11, 2012

Onabay Striper White

Producer: Onabay Vineyards
Name: Striper White
Varietals: Unknown
Region: Long Island, USA
Vintage: Unknown
Tasted: September 27, 2012
ABV: 12.5%

For just about my entire life people have said that I am what in Yiddish is called a kvetch, which is to say not just a complainer but a professional complainer, a complainer par excellence, a complainer's complainer. So maybe it is just that side of me coming out, but no matter how delicious Onabay's Striper White is (which is a lot), and no matter how versatile it can be (which is also a lot), I simply cannot get past the fact that they put neither a vintage year nor a varietal list on the label. Not even a year! This is wine, not fruit punch. Some things are just not acceptable.

What we do have, though, is a wonderful white wine to sip. The color is somewhere between pale gold and full straw. The nose is of white table grapes, citrus, and melon, more crisp than acidic. Actually, it almost approaches the nose of a red wine. The palate has a delightful fruitiness to it, like a fusion of tropical berry and tropical citrus. There is the very slightest bit of oakiness around the edges. The acid is there, but it feels very smooth, not acidic at all. One feels a slight bite right on the tip of the tongue - this is alcohol, after all - but mostly it is nice, relaxed, and sweet, reminiscent of lazy tropical days. The finish is of melon and apples. After breathing for twenty minutes, it does not change very much at all.

While Striper White's flavor implies balmy beach bumming, it would actually pair well with a variety not only of foods (chicken or seafood grilled with citrus, or with a tropical marinade like mango or papaya), but of scenes as well. I would be equally comfortable sipping this wine at a hot poolside barbecue or on a boat out on the sound on a cool, breezy day. In fact, this white can easily carry from the summer right through the fall.

But for goodness's sake, put a year on the label!

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