Archive for August, 2010

What the heck is…Zweigelt?

Posted in What's the Deal With...?, Wine Review with tags on August 10, 2010 by winechef

Only my new favorite inexpensive red that you can start drinking first thing in the morning! Well, maybe you should at least wait until lunch time…but that’s not the point! This unpretentious red is light, low in alcohol, and generally pretty damn affordable! Picture a juicy Zinfandel masquerading as a Pinot. The first time I bought a bottle I was going for something eccentric, something new that I didn’t hold much stock in. It came in a liter bottle with a bottle cap. Really, how good could it be? About half way though the bottle I decided. This is farking delicious!

So what is it? A cross between Blaufrankisch and St Laurent, Austria’s other two shining reds. It’s light, often refreshing and has flavors of cherries in varying degrees of ripeness.

What should you eat with it? Pure picnic wine. With its lightness, fun fruit, and nice acidity this wine will go with everything from pizza to BBQ chicken. I’d even dare to say that it would go well with some Chinese dishes, or at least pork fried rice.

Here’s a few:

2008 Martinshof Zweigelt 1L

2007 Walter Glatzer Zweigelt Riedencuvée

2008 Umathum Zweigelt

What the heck is…Blaufrankisch?

Posted in What's the Deal With...?, Wine Review with tags on August 10, 2010 by winechef

Besides being fun to say, Blaufrankisch is a red wine most commonly exported from Austria. Spicy like a Syrah, (minus the roast beef and pastrami flavors that have been making me gag), and light like a Pinot noir. It’s also grown in Croatia, Washington state, and Germany, where it is known as Lemburger. For more on that click here but for now, let’s concentrate on what it is, where it’s available and what it pairs with.
Similarities abound between a killer gamay and German pinots. Cherry and pepper with a nice acid backbone make this for an ideal food wine. The tannins are supple and the alcohol is relatively low. As long as you avoid the overly oaked Blaufrankish’s when they’re young, you shouldn’t have any problem picking one off the shelf of a reputable wine shop to have with dinner tonight.

Here are my picks:

2008 J. Heinrich Blaufränkisch

Another light, unfussed with Blaufrankisch that could easily become your go to Summer red at $13.99 a bottle.

2006 Wenzel Blaufränkisch

Beautiful, light, elegant, and a great price at $17.99 a bottle for  a pure expression of Blaufrankisch

2007 Moric Blaufränkisch

An ageable Powerhouse from a killer vintage. This one will go with your over the top meat dishes.

And for something closer to home try Washington’s Steel “Blue Franc.”

The lighter versions can pair nicely with lighter meat dishes and takes nicely to a slight chill. Burgers off the grill with pepper Jack, and smoked paprika aioli would be a perfect pairing for a cellar temperature Blaufrankisch, where as an older age able Blaufrankisch would pair better with medium-rare lamb chops and a mint and red pepper vinaigrette with roasted potatoes.