Wild boar the German way – fine dining with fine wines and best friends

October 31, 2012

As you know, I like to eat game of all kind. The best wild boar I have eaten in a long time was served to me by my good old friend Ulrich Hillejan and his wife Elfriede when we visited them this summer near Muenster. The so called Muensterland is a very picturesque agricultural region right north of the former industrial heartland of the Ruhr.

Ulrich comes from a tranditional farming family which goes back a couple of hundred years (he keeps very impressive records). He inherited one of the traditional farm houses away from the manor house, just outside the nearby village.

His mother (I call her aunty Doris) prepared for us the leg of a young wild boar, shot by Ulrich’s younger brother Georg. Let me say from the outset that this was the best piece of game I have ever eaten. I asked her to tell me the secret of this delicacy. Her instructions were rather sketchy. I figured that mustard plays a central role. The meat needs to be rubbed carefully with a mustard-pepper-salt potion.

The following photos show what we had for dinner. Of course the side dish with the carbs consisted of good German potatoes.

The potatoes

The young wild boar’s leg

On the plate

And after….

Needless to say that we had various kinds of delicious wines with our meal. We started the extensive tasting with a white wine, a fresh Gruener Veltliner from Weingut Setzer, Austria. The Setzer winery was decoreated with the “winery of the year 2013” award.

The estate has about 30 ha under vines and produces a wide variety of wines. Main grape variety are Gruener Veltliner, and red Veltliner. Recently, Hans Setzer, owner-operater of the estate, was awarded with the “Vinter of the year award” for 2013. With its low (11%) alcohol content, this wine is wonderful for warm summer days. It is refreshing and shows great temperament.

Gruener Veltliner Vesper, Austria

Knipser Riesling, Pfalz

We followed up with a German dry Riesling by the well-known Knipser Estate in Laumersheim, Pfalz.In 2009 the winery was awarded the “vintner-of-the-year” award by Gault Millau.

The ‘2001 Laumersheimer Kapellenberg Riesling Kabinett Trocken’ was just the right wine to complement the meal. I like the minerally note and the tropical fruit aromas.

Barbera and Nebbiolo blend by Villa Contessa Rosa

Mid-term through the meal, we changed colour and switched to a red wine from Italy. Villa Contessa Rosa has currently about 70 ha under vines. The blend of Barbera and Nebbiolo, produced in the wine region Langhe, was also a good accompliment to the wild boar.

The meat from the forest animal and the red and Forest berry aromas from the wine went well together. Below you see the colour of the drop from heaven.

From here on I lost track of the wines we sampled in the course of the evening. There were a few more red wines, but honestly I cannot recall what they were and where they came from.

The generosity of our hosts knew no bounds, I might say (thank you again Ulrich and Elfriede). It was a terrific evening of reminiscing about the past and making plans for the future.

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.

A wine tasting at the airline lounge of Lufthansa

December 4, 2010

The two wines of my sample

The only consolation for an “economy-class-only-frequent-traveller” is the use of the airline lounges. Although Beijing does not offer wine, Shanghai does even if one has to drink the fermented grape juice from paper cups.

My favourite airline lounge is the Lufthansa Lounge at Berlin Tegel Airport, but the one in Frankfurt is also acceptable.

If time permits I usually conduct a private tasting. That’s what I did last time.

The white was a ‘2009 Hugl Gruener Veltliner’, very fresh, spicy and very pleasant. Weingut Hugl, a family-owned wine business, is located in Ketzelsdorf-Poysdorf, a part of Austria they call the northern “Weinviertel”. Martin Hugl and his wife Sylvia are young and enthusiastic vintners. About 70% of their production is Gruener Veltliner.

The red I tasted was a Rioja Barbaro, a bit oaky but still with lots of fruit and very round. Overall a pleasant experience and the highlight of my trip.