Monday, December 6, 2021

German Wines A Great Choice For Holiday Meals

Holidays mean entertaining. Here are two picks for your festive table.

Pick A Pair Of Wines

Everyone is looking for a bit of magic this holiday season. The months of November, December and January mean gatherings of family and friends and, of course, plenty of wine.

We recently opened two German wines for Thanksgiving that are perfect the whole holiday season through. We tasted the Villa Wolf Sparking Pinot Noir Rosé as well as the 2016 P.J. Valckenberg Madonna Kabinett.

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Our daughter is a vegan chef, so our meal included “turkey” cutlets with cranberry chutney, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, garlicky potatoes, salad, and homemade rolls. To kick off the meal, we popped the Villa Wolf sparkler.

We particularly enjoy rosé sparkling wine as this category has an extra dimension of flavor. This is a non-vintage wine created in the Charmat (or tank) method.

The perlage foams quite nicely as the bouquet of strawberry emerges. The bubbles dissipate rather quickly. On the tongue, there is crisp acidity with citrus and berry. This was an ideal way to open our meal. At about $14 per bottle, it is priced for buying multiple bottles.

German Wine And Plant-Based Cuisine

Our plant-based “turkey” cutlets won’t replace the Pilgrim’s original bird, but it sure is easier to prepare and clean up. With the cranberry chutney, it tasted delicious. As we plunged further into our meal, the Madonna was opened up.

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The Madonna is a “cuvée of traditional white grape varieties” from Rheinhessen, Germany’s largest grape-growing region. The leading grape there is Muller-Thurgau followed by Riesling. It also has the world’s largest area devoted to Silvaner. I expect that all three grapes make an appearance in this bottle (although the blend isn’t disclosed) with Riesling in the lead.

The grapes come from 500-year-old vines on the banks of the Rhine River. The Madonna is a light, food-friendly wine with an ABV of just 10%. On the palate, there is an enjoyable mineral twist and a slight sweetness. Notes of green apple and honey pair with a dash of lemon drop flavor. This is a wine that is fresh and harmonious. The addition of the other grapes elevate this a step beyond straight Riesling. You can expect to pay about $14 for this bottle.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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