Monthly Archives: June 2012

2009 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

You recognize the bottle by the piece of vine that is incorporated. My shot of the label is so blurry, it does not really help.

Just a short tasting note today. We are in full preparation mode for our Germany trip and expecting a visitor this weekend.

Last night, we were invited over to friends and brought this bottle of wine. I had picked it up a while back, and had read a great review HERE! somewhere, cannot find it anymore. If it was you, give me a sign and the link and I will enter it here. The dinner was spaghetti with a pancetta, roast red peppers and chili sauce with parsley, so I figured this wine should be working well with it.

The nose was quite appealing, no distinguishable notes for me. Directly after opening, the wine was still somewhat unbalanced, and I noticed some sauerkraut notes (seriously!). It was not unpleasant, but definitely surprising. After half an hour the wine had opened up to a really appealing fruity wine. With strawberry jam in the nose, and a round, balanced acid-flavor structure on the palate. Combined with the chili in the dish, the wine’s peppery notes raced over my tongue.

We finished the night with some bourbon (Hirsch and Five Roses) and called it a day. For about $12, I think this is a decent enough wine.

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2009 G. H. von Mumm 50° Riesling Trocken

I have heard some good things about this wine. Anyone else have given it a try? Seems like a reasonably priced bread and butter wine…:)

The magical world of wines from Grocery Outlet

Qualitätswein Rheingau (apparently also close to Winegetter’s hometown), Germany; 12% ABV
“Trocken” = “dry”
$10 at the Berkeley, CA store

For local context, 50° north latitude is about 80 miles north of Vancouver, BC, Canada.  This wine clearly shows it’s the product of a location where grapes ripen less, but if you like this sort of thing, it’s quite good.

While the wine has a component of yellow apple, its main attraction is the nicely delineated acid of lemon, green apple, and the white part of melon rind.  While it reminded me of the 2008 Muddy Water Riesling (New Zealand), it is less sharp and provides a longer, more even, and more complex taste on the palate.  It went very well with lemon – ginger ground pork over rice, where the ginger was freshly grated and the lemon was fresh zest and juice, with no other sugar.  Although I…

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2011 Karl Erbes Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett feinherb and Korean food

Moselriesling with Korean food

Having written about the photo exhibition in Seoul in my post last week has made me think of Korea and Korean food a lot. I spent 5 months in Seoul in 2000/2001 and fell in love with Korean cuisine there. Then later, I learned to appreciate the wonderful pairing possibilities that riesling and Korean food have. Especially the off-dry and sweeter rieslings. While Korean food tends to be very hot and also has strong notes of sour (think kimchi, 김치, the Korean marinated and fermented cabbage that tastes very sour), these semi-sweet rieslings bring fruitiness and sweetness to the dishes. This compliments the sour notes heavily. The acidity in the wines makes them refreshing relief from the heat of Korean food. They truly can form a great pair. And it works the other way around, too: Take bulgogi, 불고기, the Korean national dish. It is marinated beef that gets broiled at the table. The marinade is actually quite sweet. That is were the acidity of the rieslings gives a great counter-balance. One cannot help but think ying and yang.

Cucumber kimchi

Luck had it, that I also discovered a Korean grocery store in Ann Arbor and finally biked there. Their selection is fantastic, truly anything a Korean stomach could ever ask for. So I bought kimchi mandu (김치만두, small dumplings filled with kimchi, the Korean fermented cabbage), japchae mandu (잡채만두, dumplings with a glass noodle filling), kimchi fried rice (김치볶음밥) and several of the traditional Korean side dishes, or banchan (반찬): marinated lotus root, radish kimchi, cucumber kimchi, and garlic roots. All of them, except for the japchae mandu were pretty hot.

We opened one of the recently arrived Karl Erbes 2011 wines that a friend of ours had brought from Germany for us. It was the 2011 Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett feinherb. I prefer the kabinetts with Korean food, because they are a bit lighter and offer more of the refreshing relief than spätlesen. The color of the wine was very light, translucent. In the nose, I smelled the typical Würzgarten. Würzgarten translates to “spice garden” or “perfumy garden”, and these wines tend to have very floral notes in their nose, it is almost a trademark for this hill. Some alcoholic notes, grassy, a bit like the freshness of asphalt after a rain (in a good way!). The texture was velvety. It also tasted rather typical for Würzgarten: floral, some apple, very fresh. The wine seemed a bit off balance, which could be blamed on the fact that it had just travelled for quite a bit and not settled down yet. It is also still very young! It did go quite well with the food. However, a bit more sweetness would probably have helped (and that is more on me for picking a less sweet wine than on this wine!).

The next day, we had some more sips to truly appreciate the wine on its own. It is a very nice wine. The nose was still stunningly beautiful after 24 hours. The taste is incredibly fresh and refreshing. I would love to try this again in 6-9 months. Karl Erbes wine can be bought in the U.S. There are several wine merchants that offer his wines.

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