Tag Archives: Surdyk’s

Nora Albariño

Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Surdyk’s

Grapes: Albariño

Region: Spain

Vintage: 2010

Nora Albariño

So it was yet another hot weekend, and I was home alone. What’s a girl to do? Well, let me tell you what I did. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I watched the classic 90’s movie “Singles”. This will surely date me, but I don’t care. I totally bought into the grunge era: music, wardrobe, dirty hair and all. I had a bowlful of white gazpacho left and looked into my wine selection. Aha, Nora Albariño, that sounds good. I cued up the movie and garnished my soup with chives, cucumbers and fresh sweet tomatoes. The Albariño was chilled perfectly so pour away I did.

I’m new to Albariño, but know that they can vary in sweetness. It may be “dumbing it down”, but I’d explain it as sitting on the spectrum between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The Nora Albariño definitely sides more toward the acidic & tart variety. I’d liken it to a Sauvignon Blanc, but with a slightly fuller body due to the aging in oak. Also, this is not as thick and syrupy as some Chardonnays, for those who say they don’t like oaked Chards.

This wine was light golden in color and the fragrance included hints of apple, green grapes, peach and herbs. On the palate, citrus fruit, herbs and floral minerality emerge. I did some digging and the vineyard where the grapes are grown are surrounded by pine and eucalyptus. Aha, those scents must waft and swirl around the vines imparting their essence into the grapes. I am not saying you are drinking a glass of gin; but rather suggesting that, beyond the citrus and stone fruit, you get hints of the surroundings that play along.

I continued to enjoy the way the crisp and vibrant Albariño danced in my mouth, and I must say, this went swimmingly with the creamy gazpacho.

White Gazpacho

This taste experience was made even better, as I enjoyed watching a young Eddie Vedder [hey, that kind of rhymed] portray the Citizen Dick drummer, and 20-somethings are “finding themselves” in Seattle set to the sounds of the late 80s-early 90s. I finished the soup but continued sipping the Albariño. I noticed a smile on my face as I was listening to Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Jimi Hendrix (yep, from Seattle, and on the must-have soundtrack).

While I’m not rushing to bring back that whole look, I did go in search of my old flannel that I’ve kept in the bottom of a storage box. Some things, like comfy clothes or a good gazpacho/wine pairing, never really go out of style.

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!