While soaking in a stunning sunset at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, six of us tasted seven wines from Germany and France, each paired with a food item we had brought along. Ernst Loosen has been crafting acclaimed dry Rieslings under the Dr. Loosen label from vineyards along the Mosel that have been in the family for more than 200 years.
We tasted three wines from the 2012 vintage. First was the Ürziger Würzgarten Dry Riesling. I prepared a sweet, sticky and spicy chicken dish to go with the first two wines. Most people think sweet when they hear Rieslings, but these wines are as dry as can be. Featuring a fragrant nose of tropical fruit and green apples, the wine is crisp and beautifully balanced. It paired very nicely with the chicken and tart Montmorency cherries and a fantastic crab salad that Karsten prepared. It retails for $41. From the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard we tasted the 2012 Dry Riesling. Again bone dry, it has a slight effervescent characteristic. It wasn’t quite as complex as the first wine, but it went well with the chicken, blueberry lemon shortcake and a coconut curry cashew. Expect to pay around $32 for it. The final dry Riesling from Dr. Loosen was the 2012 Erdener Treppchen. I found the fruit more pronounced here, but again there’s not a hint of sugar. I picked up white grapefruit and apricot and enjoyed it with caviar, an apricot log, lamb, smoked Gouda and my chicken dish. Only one 1,000 liter cask is produced and it sells for $45.
From Germany we moved to South-West France to taste four wines, starting with 2013 Domaine du Tariquet Classic. w It paired nicely with caviar and crab salad. Also from the 2013 vintage we tasted Domaine Chiroulet Terres Blanches. Crisp and dry it had tropical fruit and white grapefruit on the nose. It’s a well-balanced wine that goes nicely with smoked Gouda, cappicola, spicy chicken and crab salad. I have a hunch it would be good with shrimp. Expect to pay $9. Todd prepared his Moroccan lollipop lamb chops for the final two wines and they were a big hit. The 2013 Domaine de Menard Cuvee Marine presented a floral nose of orange blossoms and honey. On the palate were bright acids and it went very well with the lamb, Manchego cheese, curry coconut chicken and lemon shortbread. $9. Our last wine was the 2013 San de Guilhelm Vin de Pays. The nose was very faint but I picked up a hint of pear. At $9 I enjoyed it with an apricot log, smoked Gouda and a white chocolate covered apricot.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701! Ask about special discounts.