Category Archives: Alsace

Fall NJ Trip

Moby and I took a half day Friday to take a trip down to visit Aunt, Uncle, and Cousingrape last weekend. We ate great food and drank fantastic wine making a perfect weekend. We also stopped by wine library and stocked up on Champagne and Cotes du Rhone. Here’s the wine lineup along with a few blurry pictures in here and some wonderful hand modeling by Auntgrape and Mobygrape:

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton-Charlemagne

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton Charlemagne

NV Albert Boxler Cremant

Albert Boxler Cremant

2010 Domaine Blain Gagnard Chassange-Montrachet

2010 Chassange-Montrachet Domaine Blain-Gagnard

1988 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

88 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

1990 Campo Delle Piane Boca

90 Campo Delle Piane Boca

1989 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron

89 Pichon

1990 Chateau Leoville Barton

90 Chateau Leaoville Barton

For me the wine of the night was hands down the 1989 Pichon. With the wine market the way it is Moby and I do not have the luxury of drinking mature Bordeaux regularly but thanks to Unclegrape it’s a special treat every so often. The tannis had melted away leaving structured and delicious fruit. From nose to finish you get a complete wine experience, just outstanding. I’ve developed a taste for younger Bordeaux but honestly it’s not even close…if you have the will power age your Bordeaux. Be patient, it’s worth it. Moby really enjoyed the Cremant as well. Light, refreshing, not as big as a Champagne it’s a great aperitif. We’ll definitely be having more Cremant in the future.

You may have noticed the oddball Nebbiolo in our otherwise French theme. I found this bottle at Vin Bin recently and brought it along. We enjoyed it quite a bit and will be purchasing a few more bottles. It wasn’t a fair fight vs. the 89 Pichon however a delicious mature Nebbiolo at $65 is a steal.

Plate of the Trip:

foie gras NJ

Foie Gras from Le Rendez-Vous Bistro. Wow. Perfectly cooked, creamy, melt in your mouth liver with a balsamic reduction and carmelized apple. There’s a strong possibility this was the best plate I’ve had all year.

Purchase of the Trip:

corkatoo

Completely unnecessary yet completely necessary at the same time. Aunt and Unclegrape have two parrots so this was the perfect purchase. Does it work? Who cares…It’s a Corkatoo and it’s hilarious.

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2010 Domaine Schoffit Sommerberg Riesling

2010 Domaine Schoffit Sommerberg Reisling

A very nice bottle of Riesling from Alsace. This is a top notch bottle and will usually run you around $50. I picked it up last year at Wine Library for $40 and we brought it up the other night to have with some Thai food. While spicy Thai goes exceptionally well with Gewurztraminer I think it also works with the dry Rieslings from Alsace.

colonelgrape: 94. Definitely a French Riesling, dry as a bone. The acidity was just right and gave the wine some pep. The flavors came through after the inital rush: lemon, peach, orange, honey. A long finish, hints of mineral along with the tartness from the acid made it very enjoyable. I’ve been into minerality lately…really good terrior coming through from Loire Valley and Alsace recently. This glass worked well with the Thai food but I think it would be just as good on it’s own on a nice hot summer day.

MobyGrape: 90. I feel somewhat betrayed by Riesling.  In my head, all Rieslings are all jolly German creations hopping around in lederhosen.  They’re sweet and delectable and most of all…sweet.  Let me warn you, this is not sweet.  I will admit that yes, I had done a reasonable (minor) amount of homework about Rieslings and was fully aware that if from France instead of Germany, they tend to not be sweet.  To that, I say stop fermenting everything and throw some sugar back in there, France.  Even though I had an idea what I was getting into, I hoped against hope that this one bucked the system and decided to be a sweeter variety.  It wasn’t, at all, but I can’t deny that it was a delicious wine.  It was crisp and tasted like lemongrass.  I don’t know if that’s a real thing you would want to eat or not, but I do know I’ve smelled it in soaps and whatnot.  All that said, refreshing and lemony and delightful in its own way?  Yes.  Sweet?  Noooooo.

2007 Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel

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This has to be one of the most interesting wines we’ve tasted so far here at Grapestorm. The producer calls this a “white red wine” and it’s an accurate description. This wine is 1/3 each of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling…it is white though because they do not ferment the Pinot Noir skins with the juice. The result is a fuller-bodied wine with both red and white characteristics. It’s not cheap at $40 (on sale…usually $50) but this is definitely something you could bring to surprise or wow a friend.

Keeping with our spicy/sweet wine pairings we enjoyed this bottle with take out from Meung Thai downtown. If you’ve never been there you should check it out. We got 3 dishes and an appetizer for $30 and they were all good…and the crazy noodles were very spicy.

colonelgrape: 95. To me this wine had a serious honey and mineral nose, almost like a mead. In the glass it is much darker than a Gewurztraminer or Riesling from the Pinot Noir. On the palate it retained it’s mineral flavor but started off dry and spicy then easing into the honey sweetness at the end. This wine actually had some tannins too which I wasn’t expecting but they were very mild and fit right in with the flavor. The nice, sweet finish lingered after the sip and really this is a great wine.  I’d love to bring this to a wine party and see if anyone could figure out what it actually is in a blind wine…my money is on no one figuring it out.

MobyGrape: 90. As much as I want to talk about Hans Gruber and start making Die Hard references, I’ll refrain (for now) and try to stick to the wine.  This reminded me of a reverse Gewurztraminer.  It’s a Renimartzruweg.  Instead of the sweetness getting you up front, this one hits you with the spice first, then settles into a slick sweetness (note to self – I’m totally using that line if I ever quit my day job and start writing erotic novels).  After being out for a while, the spices subsided and this was just thoroughly enjoyable, easily drinkable stuff.  I highly recommend that on any old night of the week, you pour yourself a glass of this and say yippee-ki-yay…I mean Cheers.

2010 Domaine Bechtold Silberberg Gewurztraminer

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Hard to read the label in this picture but the title of the post takes care of that. That delicious food you see is the chicken curry and pork fried rice from Saigon, a vietnamese restaurant 40 mins away. We found this gem years ago back when I lived in that area and it truly is a gem. Their chicken curry is out of this world: it’s not super spicy, it almost has a sweetness to it, simple with onions, potatoes, and chicken…and it’s under $10. We also enjoyed the Pho which is a vietnamese broth based soup with rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil, and meat. Both dishes are amazing and worth the drive. I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet…Saigon is BYOB…and no corkage/open bar fee! Moby and I have been in search of BYOB restaurants in MA  for a while now and sadly there aren’t too many. We’ve found two sushi places with $20 and $30 open bar fees to BYOB but that’s it so far. If you have any MA BYOB restaurant recommendations we’d love to hear from you.

The 2010 Silberberg was just as good as the food. Gewurztraminer goes extremely well with  Asian food as it cuts through spice and has a backdoor sweetness to it to match a lot of the sauces used. If you’re ever getting Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, or any other take out and are looking for a wine look no further….Gewurztraminer is your answer.

colonelgrape: 94. Very good Gewurztraminer paired perfectly. On the nose there’s spice, honey, mineral, and melon. Right away on the palate you get mild sweetness but that’s soon taken over by the spice and fruit flavor. This wine is very refreshing and light bodied. This producer uses stainless steel tanks to ferment so that explains the lack of oak/simpleness of the wine. At $20 this is an exceptional value.

MobyGrape: 94.  This is exactly what I expected this wine to taste like.  We opted for incredible Vietnamese food with this wine and it’s like they were made for each other.  The flavors of the food and wine worked so well together that I didn’t want to stop eating or drinking, but I had to, otherwise I would have exploded in the restaurant.  The deep sweetness up front, followed by the spiciness makes for one wild ride.

2008 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

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Here we have our first Gewurztraminer on the website. This is a white grape (even though its kind of red/pink looking on the vine) that is primarily grown in Alsace, France. It is grown elsewhere but the best examples almost always come from Alsace. It’s known for it’s spicy sweetness, floral, and fruit aromas. The grape itself is very finicky which probably has to do with it’s limited success outside of Alsace. It can be made into a wide array of wines from the very dry to the very sweet, it all depends on when the grape is harvested. It can also be effected by noble rot similar to the whites from Sauternes. Often times Gewurztraminer is paired with spicy, fatty, and oily meals…Asian cuisine is the most common pairing.

Another common way to serve Gewurztraminer is as an aperitif. We like to serve it both ways but in this case we had it with Moby’s home made porketta.

colonelgrape: 89. This was a very good bottle and an example of a dryer Gewurztraminer. It still had that sweetness and spice depth to it but there was no upfront sweetness…this is the kind I’d prefer to have with my meal whereas the sweeter versions go better as an aperitif. Porketta was the perfect meal to go with it because there was fat and spice and the wine cut it perfectly. We were rationing out the wine because it was going so fast. At only $20 this is a great buy…if you’ve never tried a Gewurz you need to try one ASAP…you haven’t had anything like it yet.

MobyGrape – 93.  The first time I tried this type of wine I had boogers blocking 93% of my nostrils’ capacity and had severely impaired senses of smell and taste, but I could swear I was tasting greatness.  I was super excited to try it again and this did not disappoint.  It wasn’t exactly what we had the first time but it reminds me very much of it.  There’s a deep kind of sweetness to it, it’s not sicky candy sweet, it’s more of a spicy sweet.  LIke when you’re wearing your fancy underwear under sweatpants.  You know there’s more going on under there than meets the eye, you’re just daring your husband to go ahead and try.  You feeling lucky, punk?  Might be granny panties, then again, might not…But I digress.  We had it the first time with gougere followed by assorted cheeses and crackers, but I feel like it could hold its own with lighter meat.