Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Slacktastic Few Weeks

As my loyal readers (all 5 of you) must have realized by now, I have been extremely busy. Of course this has not kept me from drinking wine, it's just kept me from writing about it. I have a lot of highlights so I'll try to be brief, but, oh, who am I kidding?!?
Last Wednesday was the WSET class on Germany, Austria and Hungary. Germany and Austria are known for their Riesling and, to a lesser degree, their Gewurztraminer. Many people think of Riesling as a sweet or "Off Dry" wine but most of the best Riesling is dry. Since dry Riesling has been the trend as of late a few German producers have started labeling their wine as "Dry Riesling." However, you don't need to see "Dry Riesling" on the label to find an elegant, dry Riesling. Just ask your trusted wine store for some guidance. I'd try to explain it here, but the German (and Austrian) labeling system is about as complex as a good Riesling and a lot less delightful! So the next time you're looking for a crisp, refreshing glass of white wine, skip over the Sauvignon Blanc and French Chardonnay and give a Dry Riesling a try.

And Hungary?!? Most people are surprised to hear that Hungary makes wine, but Hungary Tokaji (pronounced Toe-Ki) is considered to be one of the best dessert wines in the world. If you get the chance to taste it, give it a try - even if you don't favor sweet wines.

This week is Italy and though I'm a little worried about trying to get through all of Italian wine in a 2 hour class, I had a good primer this past weekend. My friends and I headed out to Otto, an upscale pizzeria in New York City. we were celebrating 3 back to back to back birthdays - Joanna (the hostess with the mostest with the serious cooking chops), Wendy N. (the professor extraordinare with the wonderful dry wit) and Laurie D. (the internet and tech guru with the sense to laugh at every joke I attempt).
Since we ordered a bunch of appetizers and entrees to share and we had 7 different palates, I picked two very different wines - Guttarolo Primitivo 2007, a fruit forward, medium bodied red with a lot of berry notes on the nose and the palate and a Pelissero Nebbiolo 2007, a drier red, but also full of red fruit, albeit a bit more restrained. Both were really enjoyable and very well made. We finished off the evening with a Moscato D'Asti, which we all know is one of my favorite treats, or as I call it "liquid candy."
If only memorizing the finer points of Italian viticulture, viniculture and wine labeling were as easy as drinking Italian wine!
Until the next sniff, sip, or quaff, or until I find a way to get less overwhlemed,
Alli M.


Wendy said...

Loved the choice in wines at Otto!

elliej said...

What fun it must be to be one of your friends!

Joanna said...

Veni, Vidi, Vino, right? The Primitivo was fantastico!