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Posts Tagged ‘Riesling’

Holy Kale!?

Kale…isn’t that for garnishing plates?  I don’t know about you, but I never considered including kale on my shopping list.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a grudge against this green cabbage – honestly! It’s just one of those green leafy vegetables that I passed en route to the romaine lettuce or mixed greens.  Maybe a side effect of my upbringing:  salads consisted of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, Ba-Cos and French dressing.

But on one magnificent day, on a jaunt to Whole Foods with my brother-in-law, life changed:  he made the most delicious kale salad for my wife and me!

Checkout this out!

A kale salad mixed with beets, carrots, crumbled bleu cheese, quinoa, walnuts and topped with an Asian Ginger Vinaigrette (I like this one) - freakin’ delicious!!  Since that day, I’ve been hooked and make this salad quite frequently now.

To accompany this healthy goodness, I recommend a sensational Riesling…and I’ve got the perfect one for you!

Made from 100% Riesling, the 2010 Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling from Alsace, France is a delicious mouthful of dried apricots, sour apple, and almond with the swagger of flinty Alsatian terroir (plant roots are parked in part soil and part bedrock to give it that twang).  Wildly incredible wine with this kale salad!

4 Stars out of 4 for the 2010 Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling (Sample, MSRP: $15 US).

A huge thank you to my brother-in-law for introducing me to the world of kale and for broadening my salad horizons.  Lookout okra – you’re next! :)


25 Days of Christmas: Day 23

Check out our kosher wine section today.

After 23 days, how could I possibly resist not having any dessert?  After all, it is the best part of the meal!  Right!?  As in any fine establishment, you can choose between having something light or something that’s a bit more decadent to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Here are a few after-dinner nightcaps that take the cake, or even replace it! :)

  • If you’re one that enjoys the lighter side after dinner, full of healthy fresh fruits – then you can’t go wrong with the Dr. Konstantin Frank 2008 Bunch Select Late Harvest, Riesling from New York’s Finger Lakes (Sample, MSRP:  $69.99/375 ml).It oozes in sweet golden raisins, tangy pineapple and ultra-ripe apple flavors.  It’s pretty sensational, whether you want just a little or a whole lot!
  • How about an elegant sweet wine from the western region of France?   If the sound of crème brûlée whets your appetite, then a Sauterne swimming in creamy vanilla, dried apricot, peach and pineapple just might be calling your name.  Mark, Mark, Mark…look over here.  Well look at that, it’s true a 2005 Chateau Guiraud Sauterne ($69.99, half bottle) is calling for me right now! Gotta run! :)
  • How about a unique treat that’ll have you sailing away to the Greek island of Santorini? A super rich and seductive Greek dessert wine, called Vinsanto, comprised of hard to pronounce Greek grapes like Assyrtiko and Aidani is truly something special that you don’t come across very often here in the US.  This rare Greek dessert wine is a product of extensively ripened grapes, sun-dried for fifteen days and barrel aged to give it deep essences of sweet honey, dry figs, caramel and nuts; providing a sweet warm sensation in the back of your throat.  It’s the nectar of the Gods, I tell you!
  • Finally, if you envision a glass full of dark decadence, with a plate of fresh figs with mascarpone and warmed spiced honey, then you should try a classic, aged port wine.  Just the other night, my wife and I were in that dark hedonistic place with a delicious bottle of  Sandeman 10 Years Old Tawny Port (Portugal) (Sample, MSRP:  $30).It was oozing with caramel, coffee and nut flavors.  The caramel was like the burnt sugar coating on crème brûlée.  My wife, on the other hand, thought it tasted like one of her favorite cupcakes, French Toast!  This is a great entry into aged port wines @ $30.  I’d really love to see where this port will be in 20 or 30 years.  For now, it’s a crazy good way to close out a cold, late December evening.

What’s Up, Doc? It’s Wabbit Season!

When it comes to hitting the bull’s-eye in the wine world, you’ve got to have the precision of a marksman.  In the box wine segment, few can compete with Octavin’s locked and loaded lineup:  they’ve been hitting the mark time and time again.  I’ve had the pleasure of trying many of the Octavin wines, and recently sampled the company’s newest addition:  the 2009 Rudolf Müller Riesling, a.k.a. “The Bunny Wine,” from Germany.

The 2009 Rudolf Müller Riesling, produced from grapes grown in the Landwein Rhine region of Germany, showcases a refreshing peachy-apricot flavor with a hint of minerality on its soft, fruity finish. For what works out to be about $5.00 per 750ml, this slightly sweet Riesling should hit the mark with wine drinkers who prefer sweeter wines over traditional drier-style white wines.

3 Stars out of 4 for the 2009 Rudolf Müller ‘Medium Sweet’ Riesling.  For me, it was a tad too sweet to drink in the evening, but as a low-alcohol afternoon sipper, I’d spare Bugs and Daffy and happily pair it with a Caesar salad or curry chicken salad.




I’m Going to Tell You Something Flaca, and I Want You to Listen Tight…

One of my favorite varietals in the whole world is Riesling.  Originating from the Rhine region of Germany, Rieslings cover a wide spectrum of styles from dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling; and it also blends quite well with other grapes.  It’s an aromatic grape varietal capable of showcasing a wonderful floral bouquet, while delivering just the right amount of an acidic charge – which is what makes this varietal so extra special in my mind.  It can be enjoyed equally as a sipping wine or as an accompaniment to a multi-course meal.  Finally, if you’re not one for oak in your white wine, in most cases, Rieslings are kept pure and oak-free.

If you’re already a fan of this versatile white wine, then you’re probably familiar with offerings from destinations like France, Germany, and from different parts of the US.  However, one place that you may not be aware of that is producing some truly spectacular, bright, lip-puckering and affordable Riesling is the Land of Oz.  As best-selling wine author Mark Oldman of Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine puts it:

 …their splendid Rieslings have been relegated to the shadows when they really deserve a throne of their own.

I’ll second that!!  If you haven’t had the opportunity to try one yet, two of the best Aussie regions to look for when shopping are the Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia.  So now that I’ve beaten you down with my sermon and finished touting my penchant towards Riesling, I need to share an encounter that I had with an Australian Riesling.

Disclaimer: For some, you may not like this next part, but as Colonel Davy Crockett said, “…that don’t change the truth none.  There’s right and there’s wrong…”

Last night, I endured (not for long thankfully) one of the most devastating losses in quite some time; and sadly, I need to recommend a strong “Beware” on the 2006 Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling.

Lindemans is usually a very reliable Aussie producer, so how can that be?!

Let me start off by saying that Lindemans is one of the largest and premier names in Australian wine; and quite frankly, I’ve never had an awful experience with any of their selections over the years.  However, when I opened up the 2006 Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling, it felt as though I had been turned into a two-stroke engine getting filled with one part gasoline to one part oil.  Sadly, this Aussie Riesling had such an overwhelming and persistent petrol component to it that it was nearly impossible to consume.  To be fair, the rubber meets the road, or petrol factor, is something that can happen to Rieslings as they start to age and mature.  Interestingly enough, this unique profile is actually something that many Riesling collectors pay big bucks to experience.  I’ll pass…

1 star out of 4 for the 2006 Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling (Price:  $8 US).  Caveat emptor!



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