Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wines & Beverages: Alsace, Germany, & Hungary!

This week is flying by and we are tasting a lot of wines and getting familiar with some unfamiliar wine growing regions. Our focus today would be the white wine producing Alsace, France, Germany, and Hungary.  Yes, Hungary......they make more than just paprika.

What kind of wines come out of the Germanic-French town of Alsace? None other than top quality Riesling, Pinot Gris, and the ever hard to pronounce Gewürztraminer (ga-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner). Sorry Napa Valley, but I find myself desiring these cool, refreshing, acidic, floral, and fruity whites more and more often than these monsterous, stubborn, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon's I have been tasting around the Valley.

When thinking about German wines, the first one that always comes to mind is Riesling.  But, Germany has a pretty wide range of wines in its portfolio including Gewürztraminer and some unique cool weather reds. Just south of Germany, Austria is credited with being the top producers of Gruner Veitliner (GROO-ner VEHLT-ly-ner). All of these wines are well worth a try the next time you are serving your favorite fish dish, asian food, or anything with a little spicy kick.

Remember, Hungary also makes wine and most notably highly sweet dessert wines. If you are looking for a dessert wine that can be a dessert itself, look to this 2005 Royal Takaji at 5 puttonyes.  What does 5 puttonyes mean? It is a sweetness distinction but other than that, I think it just means tasty! Sorry, note the wine geek terminology that you are used to, but tasty works just fine for me. Cheers!

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