05/09/06 – Germany pt. 2

By Jesse on May 8, 2006


Just as you were starting to get used to the wonderful country of Germany, it’s time to bid it “au revior,” as the locals say.  We’ll be spending Tuesday night polishing off a smattering of the top German whites, and then we’ll be leaving Europe for a while and seeking out the New World, like Christopher Columbus did in 1492 when he discovered the previously uninhabited land of America and named it “The United States.”  So Tuesday will obviously be exciting in the sense that we’ll be deciding where in the world we’d like to go next.  Moreover, it will be enthralling for the sheer variety and excellence of the German whites we’re going to taste.  Let me explain…

Now that we’ve done Riesling, we’ve tasted what is allegedly Germany’s top wine.  However, there are a number of other grapes which enjoy widespread acclaim, and some of them should be easy to find at your local liquor store.  We tasted Gewurztraminer when we did Alsace — some of us liked some of them, some didn’t like many of them, but we could at least agree they were interesting and varied.  Besides “Gewurz,” German producers also grow familiar grapes like Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, although they’re called by different names.  Please look for the following varietals:

Rulander (Pinot Gris)
Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

All of the above are grape types, with the notable exception of Liebfraumilch.  One of Germany’s most popular wines, especially among foreigners, Liebfraumilch is a blend of several of the grape varieties listed above (and a few minor grapes).  It’s a medium-dry wine that’s meant to be consumed young.  A good bottle can be light, crisp, and really enjoyable, and they’re always inexpensive, making them a perfect quaffing wine for a nice summer picnic or maybe a good piece of contraband to sneak into a Dodger game.  I hope we see a couple of bottles of Liebfraumilch among the German varietals.

We’ll be meeting at Jason’s house in Brentwood.  Bring a bottle of that special German white; a prize will be awarded for the bottle with the longest name.  Don’t forget to chill your whites if possible.  We’ll see you all on Tuesday night at 9:00.