Ice hockey and wine – 2008 No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Chardonnay

July 30, 2011

Traveling through Canada, my wine of the week is the ‘2008 No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Chardonnay’ which we drank the other night at my friend Dominik’s house in Stratford, Ontario.

It is well known that not only dentists and medical doctors get lured into the wine business but also sport stars. Wayne Gretzky the famous Canadian ice hockey player being one of them. His winery, the Wayne Gretzky Estate, which opened in 2007, is located on the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario.

This unoaked Chardonnay is a very pleasant wine. We had it with a pizza. The wine has all the good characteristics of a good ‘Chardy’. It won some awards (silver and bronze) as well. I liked the peach notes and the fine balance of acids. It is also a very affordable wine (12.95 Canadian $). We had great pleasure sampling it.

Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery
3751 King Street
PO Box 55
Vineland ON L0R 2C0

Where men are men

July 30, 2011

We had breakfast at the Moose Cafe in Dwight, near the Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. And what did we find on the table?

“Mansauce”, it was called, the “manliest condiment”. That’s quite a promise. Unfortunately, we are coming from Asia and used to hot stuff.

Sweet chili sauce comes to mind after I tasted the “manliest of the condiments”. Bring on the hot stuff Canada. But of cause we are having a great time up here in northern Ontario.

Cry from the wilderness – the wines of Canada

July 28, 2011

Bruce peninsula

This is just a teaser, a reminder that the Man from the Mosel River is still alive and kicking.

We are traveling through Canada. In fact we are visiting our friends Dominik and Kym Franken in Stratford on the Avon river in Perth County, Ontario. Stratford is the Shakespeare and music town of North America. It is most famous for its annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Dominik and I, we go back many years, in fact decades. We shared a flat during our university years in Bonn. He also loves wine and good food, a passion we share.

But before I can write something about Canadian wines, I will have to visit a Canadian winery, which has not happened yet because we are exploring some of Ontario’s nature and wildlife parks right now.

But, as always, there is light at the “wilderness tunnel”. In a couple of days from now, we will visit Prince Edward County, one of the three wine regions of Ontario. The other two are the Niagara Peninsula, Canada’s largest wine growing region and Pelee Island at Lake Erie, Canada;s most southerly wine region.

I will write more about Canada and its wines later. Stay tuned.

Summer break – The Mosel Man is gone!

July 14, 2011

Hi folks. This is my last post for some time to come. We are leaving tonight and will travel for a couple of weeks in Europe and Canada. I will see my beloved Mosel and my home town Trier. I will collect stories and drink a lot of good wine, mostly Riesling.

In Canada I will visit my old friend Dominik Franken who lives in Ontario. The last time we met was in 1989! It will be a joyous reunion. I am very excited about this.

Before leaving Bangkok we opened a bottle of bubbly. Cheers my friends and fellow bloggers and wine lovers.

..and what was it?

Woolshed Brut from Victoria. I have no idea what it is. I will find out later. Now it is holidays and nothing else. Cheers folks. Seeya later.

Brass Razu, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand

July 10, 2011

Brass Razu Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand

A very nice white wine is the ‘2008 Brass Razu Sauvignon Blanc’ from the Marlborough wine region in New Zealand. Apart from Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favourite white wines.

Brass Razu is a wine brand produced by Warburn Estate formerly called Riverina Wines in New South Wales, Australia.

The company has about 1,000 ha under vines and a crash capacity of about 40,000 tonnes, not exactly a boutique winery. But the firm is still a private business and independent.

The Brass Razu Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes grown in Marlborough, New Zealand. The wine is a typical specimen of a good Marlborough SB, technically well made and very pleasant to drink.

“Brass Razoo” is an Australian and New Zealand expression defined as “a non-existent coin of trivial value”. Is is used in “I haven’t got a brass razoo” indicating the speaker is out of money.

Warburn Estate
700 Kidman Way
Tharbogang, 2680
New Zealand

Japanese food at home

July 9, 2011

Japanese food is very popular not only in Asia but also in Europe. Even my hometown Trier at the beautiful Mosel river got a sushi bar.

Also my family just loves Japanese food. And there are so many different kinds. We even bought a table grill so that we could enjoy a “Japanese table barbecue” or a “hot pot”.

It innocently starts with an egg

Followed by vegetables and dofu

Then comes the meat

And at the end it all comes together in the hot pot to which a broth needs to be added

My wine suggestion is broad. A Cabernet Sauvignon would do but also a Merlot, a Tempranillo or a Malbec. Also Italian reds would go well with the food.

However, I would not rule out a white, especially if the meal is a lunch time affair. For dinner I prefer a red. So the choice is yours.

Seafood pasta and wine from Slovenia by Kristančič

July 7, 2011

I love seafood pasta and thought that we still had a beautiful bottle of white wine from Slovenia which was given to us by our friends Giuseppe and Lucjia which I opened for the occasion. I should have looked at the bottle more carefully. It turned out that it contained a red wine. Well, it was a Pinot Noir, the bottle was open and I did not mind to try it with seafood.

Light red colour of the Pinot

In fact the ‘2008 Modri Pinot’ by Kristančič winery from Slovenia is a wonderful wine and a good match for fish and seafood as well. The brothers Dušan and Marko Kristančič are doing a good job in their vineyards and the winery. Today three generations of the family work on the farm.

The front label of the Kristančič Modri Pinot

Their outstanding quality has been recognized internationally. Decanter for instance awarded gold and bronze medals for its wines in 2010. The website could me more informative, I think. However, the wines speak for themselves. I just wished to have a few more of them.

Back label: 14% alcohol is big in the Kristančič Pinot Noir

Thank you dear friends for providing us with this elixir from Slovenia, a country whose wines are not so well known as yet. No doubt, however, that they deserve to be further explored. So if you look for a holiday destination Slovenia might be the ideal choice for a vacation in Europe.

Kristančič Winery
Medana 29a
5212 Dobrovo
Goriška brda

Tel.: +386 5 39 59 533
Fax: +386 5 39 59 534
Mob.: +386 41 690 699

2004 Fromm Pinot Noir from New Zealand

July 5, 2011

2004 Fromm Pinot Noir

I will not tell you where I detected this wine. I only want to say that it was in this Thai restaurant that most of the white wine on offer was completely off, so to speak. The white wine bottles offered to me had a rather yellowish colour.

In my view, the place would greatly benefit from some oenologist’s advice.

This was the reason why I went for a red wine. My choice was a‘2004 Fromm Pinot Noir’ from Marlborough, New Zealand. It was a good choice. The Pinot Noir went well with the Asian cuisine served in the place (delicious food by the way).

Frankly speaking it was also high time that the wine was consumed. I guess it will be much less enjoyable in the time to come. But maybe the bottle was just badly stored, not an easy thing in the tropics anyway.

Established in 1992 by Swiss winemaker Georg Fromm Fromm Winery is a boutique vineyard in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. It is managed following biodynamic practices.

The wine is a good specimen of Pinot Noir (a single vineyard wine by the way). It is subtle, with good tannins and not too fruity. It is not overpowering earthy, although normally I like the earthy style.

If you can get hold of a bottle of the 2004 vintage, this is the time to enjoy it.

Godfrey Road, RD2
Blenheim 7272
New Zealand
Phone +64 (0)3 572 9355
Fax +64 (0)3 572 9366

Gurame and Gruener Veltliner

July 4, 2011

After extensive travel to Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and then to Germany I am finally back home in Bangkok. For too long I had no time for my blog. As a consequence my stats have come down. The prospects for the next two months are not any better. That’s somehow frustrating because I worked so hard to get all these people to look at my stories about food and wine.

But such is life.

Today was a family day (as you all know it is also celebrated in the USA as the day of the declaration of independence). We had family lunch and later family dinner. I would like to share with you what we had for lunch (we had a delicious pasta for dinner by the way with a blend of Primitivo and Merlot from Southern Italy).

Back to our lunch.

We had “gurame”, a fresh water fish from Indonesia. The fish is marinated in “Bumbu”, a paste freshly made of root spices and herbs with pestle and mortar.

The Gurame in the pan

..and on the plate with rice and asparagus in coconut sauce

The recipe for the “bumbu” you can find in Sri Owen’s cookery book of 2008 titled “Indonesian Food”. The “bumbu” (paste) is made as follows:

– 6 candle nuts (we used makademia nuts), chopped
– 5 shallots, chopped
– 4 garlic gloves, chopped
– 4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
– 2 tsp chopped fresh root ginger
– 1 tsp chopped galangal
– 1 tsp ground tumeric
– 4 tbsp tamarind water
– 4 tbsp coconut milk
– 1 tsp salt

And here you go with the mortar and “pestle” away.

How about the wine for this meal?

During my stop-over at Vienna Airport I was looking around for some Austrian wine. I bought a bottle of Gruener Veltliner which seemed to be just right for this feats.

I bought a ‘2010 Gruener Veltliner Edition Chremisa’ by Winzer Krems@Sandgrube 13, Lower Austria. The wine has 13.5% alcohol and feels almost like a sparkling wine with all the bubbles it releases after being poured into the glass.

This wine won a gold medal at MUNDUSvini 2010 and was declared ‘best dry white wine of Europe’, not bad I think. I had to pay 6.50 EURO only for this treasure. The high acidity (7.1 g/l) complemented the food in an ideal way.

Edition Chremisa 2010 Gruener Veltliner by Winzer Krems

Back label

The wine in the glass is full of bubbles

As dessert we had a piece of home made orange cake. That prompted me to open another one of my wine treasures. Some time ago my friend Felix had given me a bottle of ‘2007 Kracher Auslese Muscat Ottonel’ by Weinlaubenhof Kracher, Burgenland, Austria.

The orange cake

This dessert wine is just wonderful. The grape variety produces a stunning sweetness in the wine, a full aroma of honey and peach. I could not imagine a better way to end this family meal.

2007 Kracher Muscat Ottonel

Try this wine if you can, it’s worth it.