Tag Archives: Germany

Cupcake Vineyards Riesling

Cost: Average price $9.99

Where buy now: Just about any liquor store, check out Savvy Soothsayer page for upcoming sales, you’ll find it for even less.

Grapes: Riesling

Region: Mosel Valley, Germany

Vintage: 2011

Cupcake Vineyards Riesling

I received this wine as a sample, courtesy of a PR Firm. Admittedly, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. Cutesy, blue bottle, syrupy sweet name- I had this feeling it was all a bit too Bridget Jones. But hey- something-something gift horse, something-something mouth, right?

I was at Costco and bought a big ol’ container of coconut lime curry sauce. I didn’t know what I was doing so I ended up with an accidental fusion dish. I sautéed some garlic, added sweet potatoes and cooked the combo for a bit to soften the spuds. Later, I added broccoli, tossed in some shrimp, added the curry sauce and let it all simmer for a while. To that, I added bean sprouts and rice noodles, then topped it off with Sriracha, green onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Vietnamese-meets-Indian-meets-Thai? Whatever. I call this the “make-up-what-you-can-with-what’s-left-in-the-fridge” kind of culinary experience.

“He’s cooking our garbage!” exclaimed my husband (quoting the classic “Uncle Buck”) as he peeked over my shoulder. Admittedly, it felt a bit like that moment when a young and innocent Macaulay Culkin walked in on John Candy cooking breakfast.

To our pleasure, this wine went swimmingly with the spicy Asian concoction. Visually, the Riesling had all the usual Riesling characteristics: golden yellow hue, sweet, fuller-bodied. Getting my nose all up in the glass, I detected golden delicious apple, peach and light lemon. On the tongue, I definitely got a buttery, citrus flavor with some slight acidity balanced by mild sweetness. I was really digging this wine. It contrasted with the spice very well. I even continued to enjoy it after the meal, too.

If you like sweeter Rieslings you’ll enjoy it; if you like drier Rieslings, you’ll enjoy it. I like the versatility of this wine. Again, with spicy food, it was great. Enjoyed it alone, it was great. Dig on this with some grilled peaches or Italian lemon-cream cake, and you’ll have a lovely time. I have to say, Cupcake Vineyards is making some interesting stuff. This is now two out of two that have passed muster, and with a modest price to match, I’ll be adding this to the rotation.

Jakob Schneider Riesling Kabinett

Cost: Average price $16.99

Where buy now: Surdyk’s- $11.99

Grapes: Riesling

Region: Nahe region, Germany

Vintage: 2009

Jakob Schneider Riesling Kabinett

I love sausage! Keep giggling, Beavis & Butthead, but it’s true. We grill them up all year ’round at my house. Recently, I’ve been testing Rieslings that pair well with the garlicky, smokey, fatty, flavors that are packed inside that casing. I’ve found one and, get this: it’s a liter! A liter, man!

I introduce you to Jakob Schneider’s Riesling Kabinett. I was at Surdyk’s because a faithful follower went there looking for the Riesling Spatlese I reviewed a month ago to no avail. So, I had to go in and investigate. I talked to Roger, a wine dude who knows his stuff. I took a wine class from him once, and when possible, I seek his spirit guidance. He is a quirky fella, not unlike Paul Giamatti’s character in “Sideways”(minus the Merlot pretentiousness). Plus, he loves to cook! I often buy what he recommends because he has such passion and really evokes the senses when discussing wine and pairings.

Kabinett- what is this? I’m not going to lie, I may be a 1/4 German but this language confuses the hell out of me. “Kabinett” is a variety of Riesling, and refers to the ripeness of the grapes. These grapes are not as ripe as other Riesling grapes [for example, the next step up the ripeness ladder is Spatlese]. The riper the grapes, the sweeter the wine.

Two great things about this Riesling: 1.) It’s a liter [I’m sorry, am I repeating myself?]. 2.) Screw cap. I may love drinking wine but I’d rather not sip Riesling all day long, just two – three glasses with some succulent sausages or on a warm Spring day, thank you. With the screw cap, I can enjoy my glass or two, screw the cap back on, and return the bottle to the fridge. Perfetto! Waste not, want not.

Upon twisting the cap off, scents of floral, apple, pear, and light citrus immediately escape. The scents reappear on your pallet. This is a dryer Riesling, which I prefer. A decent finish with a touch of acidity to make your mouth water. Take a bite of a freshly grilled sausage, snap into the casing letting the oozing flavors envelop your mouth. A sip of this Riesling Kabinett, and I was suddenly singing, “Springtime for Hitler”.

I suggest picking up a liter then walking down the street to Kramarcyzks to buy a sampling of their sausages. I love the Hungarian and Andouille, myself. Dust the snow off your grill and set fire to those little piggies. A little sauerkraut, mustard and this Riesling- your evening is set. Oh, and watching the Zero Mostel/Gene Wilder version of “The Producers” would be most excellent.  Achtung: das German trifecta!