06 December 2013

Holiday Wines of Germany

Quick note: I've got a new article up at Palate Press about the challenges of being a wine lover in a hot climate. The timing is great--I wrote the article back in November when it was pretty warm, but yesterday it got to 73°F here in the River City. Alas, right now the temperature is crashing and we're bracing for a major ice storm with temperatures that might get near the freezing point. I'm sure all of my readers in the north are laughing as my city completely shuts down in the face of a tiny bit of ice and snow.

And now, let's take the opportunity to celebrate some delicious German wines that would be great on the holiday table.

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Wines of Germany USA continues to provide this humble blog with quarterly deliveries of two bottles of wine. I'm always surprised by their selections--some are not available in the US, some are inexpensive while others are more pricey, but all are interesting and provide a valuable insight into the incredible diversity of German wine.

These producers also tend to have a lot of history behind them, and I love digging into that while sampling the wines.

2012 Selbach Riesling Kabinette "Trutta Fario"
Mosel, Germany
100% Riesling
$18, 9.5% abv.

Selbach-Oster has been around since 1660, formed from two families that lived on opposite banks of the Mosel river. This affordable bottle has a delightful German minerality combined with a splash of lemony acidity and just enough sweetness to round out the bottle. The nickname of the wine refers to the brown trout, and I think this would be a fantastic pairing for freshly caught trout cooked in brown butter and almonds.

2008 Lingenfelder Pinot Noir
Pfalz, Germany
100% Pinot Noir
$32, 14% abv.

Lingenfelder goes back to 1520, meaning that these vineyards got to witness the Reformation and all of the turmoil that followed. I've had mixed experiences with German red wines, but this one was quite well constructed. It has a profile of overripe wild strawberries, a touch of earth, low tannins, and a very mild body. It's just a little tart, and one that I'd enjoy serving with an appetizer platter of sausages and cheeses.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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