In early September I suggested an anniversary plan to my husband that he accepted. Rather than exchanging material gifts what I wanted most was quality time with him, so I suggested we head down to Pogo’s (one of our favorite Dallas wine retailers!) to buy a really good bottle of Bordeaux or Châteauneuf-du-Pape and I will make us a nice dinner to pair with the wine as my gift. Additionally, he would make a reservation at a nice Dallas restaurant as his gift. Good wine, food and time alone with my wonderful husband…SCORE! Once we arrived at Pogo’s the always helpful and knowledgeable staff directed us to a lovely CNP for less than we were willing to pay! (article upcoming) But since we drove 40 mins from our house into downtown to Pogo’s we wanted to browse as well as sample some of the delicious Big Napa Valley Cabs they were pouring that day. (Confession: as a full fledge oenophile I am physically unable to walk out of a wine retailer with only one bottle of wine.) As we were “browsing” I came across a beautiful bottle of Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling that simply had to come home with us. My husband agreed and we left Pogo’s with three nice bottles of wine (what can I say, I bought a Ripasso too). As the weeks moved forward and our anniversary was approaching my idea grew from making us one dinner to making us two dinners using the CNP and the Grand Cru Riesling. Our actual anniversary was on a Wednesday; we had the evening alone so that was the night of the following meal.
Domaine Weinbach 2012 Riesling Schlossberg Alsace Grand Cru: This beautiful wine poured a translucent crisp light gold into the glass. On the nose this wine was quintessential Alsace Schlossberg; ripe stone fruit and melon with fresh cut herbs and pleasing minerality. On the palate the elegantly sophisticated Riesling delivered with fresh apricots, melons and lemon zest with crushed stone and fresh cut herbs lingering on the back of the palate. The wine had a creamy texture with bright acidity that was perfectly encompassed in dryness. The acidity demonstrated this Riesling was both a great food wine as well as a wine that created a strong desire to take another sip. It contained 14% alcohol. SRP $40. Click here to find this wine. I recommend this beautiful Riesling!
I chose to prepare a seafood dish to celebrate our anniversary and this beautiful wine. I made cedar plank salmon with a Dijon dill sauce, roasted asparagus and sweet potato gnocchi in a butter, sage reduction topped with fresh Italian Parmesan cheese I bought in Valpolicella. Of course the delicate flavors and creamy texture of the Riesling was the perfect accompaniment to this meal. For dessert we enjoyed a slice of traditional carrot cake and salted caramel cake. Unfortunately I forgot something important from my former Riesling tastings; dry Riesling do not pair very well with overly sweet desserts. When I have paired dry Rieslings with less sweet cookies it has been a success; however, each time I have paired dry Rieslings we cake the Riesling ends up tasting bitter to the overpowering sugar of the cake. I have now committed this pairing faux pas to memory and will not repeat it again. One more import note about the Domaine Weinbach 2012 Schlossberg Alsace Grand Cru Riesling, it makes an excellent meditation wine, just sip and enjoy.
Though my research did not uncover any insight to the wine making process of this Riesling, I was able to find out more about this great Riesling growing region. The Schlossberg region of Alsace has a steep elevation leading to terrace growing structures for the grapes. The bedrock of the region is granite, the sandy soil that tops the granite is rich in minerals, giving the grapes pure fruitiness and finesse.
The Domaine Weinbach Riesling is imported by Vineyard Brands. This is what Vineyard Brands shares about Domaine Weinbach on their web page:
“At the foot of the majestic Schlossberg hill in Alsace stands one of the finest estates in all of France. Domaine Weinbach is run with consummate skill and total dedication by Colette Faller and her two daughters, Catherine and Laurence. In the words of Robert Parker, “Colette and her daughter Laurence…pushed Weinbach to the pinnacle of Alsace’s qualitative pyramid.” Domaine Weinbach was established by the Order of Capuchin monks in 1612. The “Clos des Capuchins” vineyard surrounds the domaine; the prestigious “Schlossberg” vineyard (the first terroir in Alsace to receive the status of Grand Cru), the Grand Cru “Furstentum”, and the adjacent “Altenbourg” vineyard rise above the clos. The domaine has 62 acres of vineyards in the heart of Kayserberg’s hills and valleys.”
It was a lovely evening celebrating our anniversary. The wine was outstanding. The meal turned out delicious. Most importantly of all was the wonderful company of my loving husband in our first of three anniversary celebrations!
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with the wonderful anniversary dinner is God Only Knows by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. I was told once that Paul McCartney said this was the most romantic love song ever written. It certainly is a song I love and is perfect for this occasion. Furthermore, the song has made a resurgent lately as the BBC has re-recorded it as a star studded singer compilation as aid to their Children in Need Campaign. To find out more about the campaign click here. To watch this great music video and help me celebrate my anniversary simply click play below.
Get your own bottle of Domaine Weinbach 2012 Alsace Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!