From a gathering at a friend's house before heading out for dinner...
The woman I'm dating brought back a couple of bottles of wine from a recent trip to Germany. We had one tonight: 2003 Klaus Zimmerling Kerner Trocken Landwein. Basically that means that it's a dry high-quality table wine made from a grape that's a hybrid of Trollinger (a red) and Riesling, from the estate of Klaus Zimmerling. More info? It's estate bottled ( Erzeugerabfullung), from Dresden-Pillnitz in the region of Sachsen in the former East Germany, near the Czech border. Finally, the high school German classes are useful. As for the wine? Basically like a very dry riesling, with a unique flavor that's very hard to pinpoint. Slightly sour in a very pleasing manner. Acidic without crispness. I don't even know if this stuff is available over here in any quantities, but it's a nice little wine. Comes in a half liter bottle, no idea about the price.
Our hostess poured some other leftover wines she had on hand... Not sure how long these had been uncorked, recorked and left out (several days or a week?), but I don't think I could give them fair reviews. However, keeping with the odd theme of the evening, these were two Italian wines using grapes one normally doesn't associate with the region. The second wine of the evening was the 2002 Morassutti Merlot from the Friuli region in northern Italy. Retails for around $6. Hey, I'm getting to use my college Italian tonight as well.
The third and final was a Sicilian Shiraz--I kid you not. The 2002 Mandrarossa Shiraz was reminiscent of the hotter vineyards of Australia, with a bit more tannins to please the Italian palate. I'd actually like to try this one again with some grilled meat. Retails for $8 or so.