Sunday, March 06, 2005

First Post: 2001 Trimbach Gewurtztraminer

It is impossible to know everything there is to know about wine. Thousands of years, thousands of varietals, the unpredictable nature of the juice itself. My knowledge of it has grown from having been a server and bartender for fifteen some-odd years, and, of course, drinking it. I've recently changed "careers" and I'm now on the retail end of the wine biz. I was hired because I know more about wine then the average Austinite. But my meager knowledge might be compared to having just entered junior high. I know enough about winemaking, varietal styles around the world, and food pairing to guide a lost soul away from the Yellow Tail into the Italian Barbera section and make them happy enough to mention it on the next visit. But I have definitely become addicted to The Beautiful Juice. I'll try not to geek out on anyone; it wouldn't be seemly, especially since I'm a Texas girl and possess no tolerance for assholes who take fermented grape juice too seriously. But I might occassionally wax poetic over a juice that really moved me. Like this one:

2001 Trimbach Gewurtztraminer

I hate to start with a white wine; I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I didn't start appriciating sweeter wines until I began working for CM. I told the other stewards (aka 'my boys'; I'm the only woman) that I didn't like sweet wine, and they promptly introduced my palate to some of the most gorgeously racy, salty-sweet German Reislings and I saw the light.

Last night, my husband and I met up at the new Wink Wine bar, the offshoot of the small and popular restaurant. You can spend a pretty penny there, to be sure, so we had planned only to have a couple of glasses at the new wine bar, then head off for cheaper fare. But once we'd finished off a tasty glass of Spanish Rose Cava (the name escapes me), paired with Wink's crunchy homeade potato chips (don't laugh, this combo is great!), we couldn't resist.

Our culinary experience there was a little disappointing, but I don't want this to turn into a restaurant review, so let me skip to the wine. I ordered a glass of the Trimbach because it's something we carry at the store that I haven't tried, and I thought it would pair well with the thai green curry mussels we'd ordered ( I had expected them to be spicier...).

The nose on this juice was divine. I could almost smell it while it sat on the table, once it warmed up a bit. I got big, fragrant white roses, apricots, ripe apples. The palate likewise was bursting with these flavors. My husband caught me pressing my glass to my cheek, eyes closed, smiling, and told me to cut it out. The finish was suprisingly clean, making it an absolutely perfect pairing...for something other than my mussels, which themselves were oddly sweet. This is definitely the glass for super spicy Asian food; I'm thinking red pepper based. I had been told that Alsace Gewurtz was the best, and this one definitely defended the claim.

I made a beeline for the bottle in the Alsacian section the next day. It's price--about $18--was over the usual mark for those who come in looking for 'sweet' wine, but I was determined to sell this bottle to someone who was headed in the direction of some dull, cloying California Reisling. I thought, man, if I can turn someone on to a gorgeous bottle like this, I'll have done my part in converting the masses.

I did it, too. A young couple had written down the name of a bottle of a domestic Gewurtz they'd had at a restaurant. "It was so delicious, not too sweet, and smooth," the woman said. The bottle they wanted retailed for just over ten bucks, but I asked them if they'd be willing to go out on a limb. They were.

Yeah, maybe they'll get home and not be transported to a field of white flowers, fruits and fairies like I was, but at least they'll get that there's a wine out there for every taste, and smooth, sweet wine doesn't have to taste like simple syrup.

9 Comments:

Blogger Alder said...

Welcome to the world of wine blogging. Looking forward to reading your stuff.

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