Monday, 24 November 2008

ANOTHER Turkey Day Wine

While looking at a few posts on Twitter, I saw a series of recommendations for Thanksgiving wines. I've already done that here but there's one wine that I forgot - and it's an unforgettable wine.

The grape variety is Zierfandler (also known as Spaetrot) and it comes from Gumpoldskirchen (GREAT name!) in the Thermenregion of Austria (that's just about a 40 minute drive southwest of Vienna). Zierfandler is grown almost exclusively in this tiny region of Austria and usually is blended with a related variety, Rotgipfler, also from the region. Whether separate or apart these wine grapes make some really delicious wine that pairs well with light and/or heavy flavors.

About a year ago I had a Zierer Zierfandler at Wallse (a terrific Austrian restaurant) in New York. It was a Friday night and I was dining alone so to keep tables free for larger groups, I was eating at the bar. While waiting for my meal, I had a glass of the Zierer which I also drank with my crab appetizer. I was going to order a Blaufrankisch to go with my duck main course, but the bartender suggested that I try a bit more Zierfandler to see how it went. Wow! It was wonderful - fragrant and spicy with crisp acidity, lovely minerality and some smooth creaminess on the palate but with enough backbone that it stood up to the duck yet didn't overwhelm the crab. A cameleon wine - and the perfect suggestion for the typically multi-flavored Thanksgiving meal.

It won't be easy to find a Zierfandler in your typical wine store but it's well worth searching for. I have some (of course) so UK consumers will be satisfied. And those of you in the US, especially in New York, should be able to find it at a number of stores ( lists at least 6 stores with Zierfandler and 1 with Spaetrot in New York, and quite a large number with Rotgipfler throughout the Northeast). If you're on the West Coast or the Mid-west, you'll probably have to order on-line. Make the effort to find this - it will make your Thanksgiving happy.

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