Snowstorm or sunshine, German wines are fantastic choices for any time of year. Here we test-drive two unique bottles.
Amateur Chef On The Loose
Most of the delicious food featured in this blog is prepared by my wife, aka Green Dragon. When she is in town, my daughter, a vegan baker and chef, will also cook up a storm.
Every so often, though, I will rattle a few pots and pans. I’ve been a cook in three different restaurants, so I’m not entirely without skills. My wife might disagree.
When she was out of town for a couple of days, I decided to surprise her with a gourmet treat prepared by yours truly. It was designed to go with a delicious German wine.
A Pair Of Exotic Grapes
We were able to sample two cool German white wines. The first, destined to be paired with my culinary masterpiece, was the 2012 Weingut Weegmϋller Haardter Herrenletten Grauer Burgunder Spätlese Trocken Alte Reben, Pfalz. Phew, that’s a long name. The short story is that this is German Pinot Gris. Throughout most of Germany it is called Grauburgunder, but in Pfalz it is known by the slightly different name Grauer Burgunder.
The other wine was what I originally thought was a Riesling. It was in a Riesling style bottle, it said Kabinett on the label. Not looking too closely at the label, I thought I was pouring one or our favorite grapes – Riesling. I was delightfully surprised that it was Scheurebe (shoy-ray-beh). The wine was a 2015 Geil Bechtheimer Scheurebe Kabinett, Rheinhessen. More on that in a bit – I’m sure you want to read about my cooking first!
My Culinary Masterpiece – Pork Loin Perfection
To go with the Grauer Burgunder, I prepared Slow-Roasted Honey and Parmesan Pork Loin, Bacon and Cheddar Potatoes and a Corn, Black Bean and Pepper Medley. The entree was the difficult part, but once the prep was done, most of the rest of the work was done by the crock pot. Over a six hour period, the giant slab of meat cooked down to a tasty, browned roast of delectableness with a fantastic glaze. From the juice I whipped up a tasty sauce to go atop the meat.
After slaving over a hot stove (something my wife reminded me she did most days of the week!) we were ready for the feast and a glass or three of Grauer Burgunder! The Weegmϋller had a great depth of flavors as well as a touch of fruitiness for which Pinot Gris is known. The glaze on the roast was slightly sweet and so there was a nice interaction with the pork and wine.
The Grauer Burgunder had herbal notes – something I hadn’t experienced before in a Pinot Gris – and delicious minerality. This is a wine that would pair well with almost any seafood, too.
Scheurebe: A New One On Us
I’m an unofficial member of the Wine Century Club – I say unofficial, because no one from that organization has responded to my dozens of emailed applications. At any rate, to become a member, you have to taste at least 100 different grapes.
I’ve done that and then some. Never have I encountered Scheurebe – but I’m sure glad I did.
Scheurebe is grown in all wine regions, but has some importance in Rheinhessen, where the Geil bottle is from. It was thought to be a cross between Riesling and Silvaner. Later the Silvaner connection was disproved, so Scheurebe is a cross between Riesling and an unknown variety.
For this pairing, I hung up my apron and let my daughter Rachel (of Earth N Oven) work her magic. Rachel, a vegan baker and chef, prepared homemade pot pies – vegan for her, and chicken for Green Dragon and me.
The Scheurebe worked wonderfully with the meal, with enough acidity to cut through the creamy innards of the pot pie and a satisfying touch of sweetness. The flavor notes include honeysuckle and citrus. A cream-based soup or a spicy dish would pair nicely with Scheurebe, a grape that we’ll be on the look-out for in the future.
German whites, like the Grauer Burgunder and Scheurebe featured here, are versatile food wines. No matter if you are being hit with a March Nor’easter or luxuriating in Spring sunshine, there is a Germanic wine to pair perfectly with your cuisine.
Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.