Are you a Gewurztraminer sceptic?



Floral, or maybe better described, perfumed white’s are obviously wines of controversy placing consumers in a 0 or 1 position. Had you asked me 10 years ago I would join the non-believer’s but either it’s go to do with age – or just better wine – I’ll keep from commenting. The perfumed wines are delicious starters but also great food wines – if the acidity is kept. An excellent example of what Gewurztraminer can offer is the Schützingen Heiligenberg from Württemberg from Ilse Häge.
A young weingut, founded in 1987, was divided in to two properties a few years ago when Ilse Häge made all the organically grown and harvested vineyard sites in to a branch of Weingut Häge. The Heiligenberg site offers Gewurztraminer with smoky and gunpowdery scents. Not as perfumed perhaps as an Alsace version and therefore a great way to start giving the wines a chance if you’re a sceptic. 

Tasting note on the 2009 Schützingen Heiligenberg Gewurztraminer Spätlese Trocken:

Light color. Young nose with delicious smoky and gunpowdery notes. Elderflowers, green apples and a cool feeling to it. On the palate a dry mouth feel. I am overwhelmed by the utterly seducing fruitiness and acidity that is kept in nice balance by the mineral feel to the wine. Jasmines, elderflowers and green apple peel adds extra dimension. Quite long and with such a refreshing aftertaste. (88 points)

The 2009 (EUR 8,50) is sold out at the weingut but that shouldn’t stop the curious for sampling some other wines of Ilse. So, how do I serve a wine like this? Easy peasy; follow my ridiculously simple yet gorgeous recipe:
First, find a nice cauliflower. and break them in to tiny little bunches. Pour some boiling water over them and just let them stay in the hot water for a minute or two. Never boil again. Pour the water off and let cool down.
Then make your own perfumed jelly by using a dry Gewurztraminer, Muskateller or similar. Heat it up slowly and add just on or two tablespoons of sugar. 25 cl of dry wine should be enough. Add jelly for cooking and let it melt in the wine. Still, don’t let it boil. When heated for around 10 minutes it should all be there; then you pour it up on plates, not too thick though – takes too long to jellify. Place it in the refrigerator.
Pick up some nice Serrano or Pata Negra. I find these better to use for the dish than Parma or San Daniele ham. Take two or three slices and put on top of each other. Roll it and form like a rose. Cut of a piece in the bottom and place the ham rose in the middle of a plate. Press it a bit so it stays. Then sprinkle out the little bunches of cauliflower and finally take out the perfumed jelly and sprinkle out as well, preferably on the little bunches.

A great starter; it’s both elegant and delicious and goes so fine with a wine like the Schützingen Heiligenberg Gewurztraminer Spätlese Trocken.

(2009 Schützingen Heiligenberg Gewurztraminer Spätlese Trocken, Ilse Häge, Württemberg, 88 points)

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