So, today is December 16th . . . 9 days until Christmas and 16 days until a New Year . . wow, doesn’t seem possible. The week ahead looks promising with Daughter #2 coming in from Boston on Tuesday and Daughter #1 coming in on Friday . . . we’re ready for company even if they aren’t ready for US!!!! Funny how when you are left to your own devices things change – or is it, while the Cat’s away the Mice do play ? Hmmm, makes you wonder. For the past 18 months we’ve been on our own for the most part – and yep, our lives are a wee bit different from when we had D1 and D2 under our roof. Not that we are up to no good – we are just able to do pretty much what we want, when we want. Don’t get us wrong – we absolutely LOVE when they are here, and quite frankly are counting the hours until we are all together under one roof – albeit for such a short time, but we’ll take what we can get!
So tonight, Brian decided he would make one of his all-time specialities – Kung Pao Chicken. This is a dish that he started making right after we got married and lived in our lovely two-bedroom apartment – complete with a 5×5 concrete patio (yep, we thought we were living uptown!). This was the apartment where we hunkered down and survived Hurricane Alicia – we are talking 1983 – single pane glass and no cell phones – but we survived and will share more on driving around Houston while the eye came over later. Back to dinner – KPC has since become one of Brian’s signature dishes – but, when he first started cooking it we were into white wine in a big way – guess you could say we were in training. We loved, loved, loved sweet German wine – red never touched our lips. We thought we were pretty cool because we drank Auslese and Spatlase – even a Kabinett from time to time. Now we kinda roll our eyes at sweet whites, but tonight in honor of Kathryn we returned to our roots. The other deciding factor was that sweet wines do go well with spicy food – and no doubt about it, Brian’s KPC is a wee bit on the spicy side.
So, while we were out shopping a week or two ago we saw it – 2011 Piesporter Michelsberg Reisling Auslese – yep, it was staring us down and double dog daring us to buy it and take it home. Well, truth be told we only did so to appease our favorite white wine drinker Kathryn. Kathryn only drinks sweet wines – which is not a bad thing, in fact she was kind enough to take some blueberry, cherry and other really sweet concoctions off our hands.
The wine is best served really, really cold – at least that’s the way we like it – as it warms up it’s ok, but we prefer it bottom of the freezer cold. Hard to really describe what it tastes like – it’s just sweet – not quite like unchilled jello, but very close. The sweetness does cut the garlic that runs rampant in KPC – but other than that – it’s just sweet. One thing for sure – since it is so sweet, it has really great legs when swirled. We won’t make a steady diet of these wines – Jean does use it to make sauce for Chicken Cordon Bleu (she did use red once, but the sauce was purple and nobody would touch it) – but on occasion it’s good to visit an old friend. So, Kathryn – just for you we’ve once again but on our big boy and girl panties and taken one for the team! We raised a glass in your honor and really wish you were here to join us – mainly so you’d drink it and we wouldn’t have to! But seriously, thanks for reminding us to step out of our comfort zones from time to time.
Whether you like a bottle of red or a bottle of wine (isn’t that a Billy Joel song???), sweet or dry, always remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.
December 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm
That is too bad. I wish you could have picked up a bottle from the opposite vineyard, just on the other side of the Mosel, the Piesporter Goldtroepfchen (literally “little golden drops”). That might have provided some much needed acidity in the wine. In general, auslesen are usually better and less sweet as they age. 2011 was a very ripe year, so the acidity levels were low…
December 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm
We can’t thank you enough! Can you recommend a wine that is available in the states that might provide a better tasting? We’d love to try something new so let us know and thanks again for your comment! Brian and Jean
December 18, 2012 at 9:04 am
Well, it all depends on how much you are willing to spend. The most prominent winemaker in Piesport is Reinhold Haart. His wines are readily available in the US, but also can command some steeper prices, especially when you reach the auslese level. I am usually fine with the spätlese, especially as company for Asian food. The 2010s had rather high amounts of acidity, so they are the most interesting taste wise, but you can pretty much buy any of the last 5 or 6 years.
If you want to travel a bit along the Mosel, you might want to look into Erdener Treppchen and Ürziger Würzgarten. Lots of good producers there that are available in the US (Dr. Loosen comes to mind). The wines by Markus Molitor and JJ Prüm are stellar.
I would recommend to get spätlesen with Asian food. If Auslese, older ones (over 6 or 7 years) usually taste less sweet.