Those who live in, say, North Dakota, may scoff when I say that I am beginning to understand their frustration with snow and cold. Another “wintry” spring day here in Colorado, preceded by a few 80-degree, sunny days, has my mood stability mimicking this late spring’s indecisive highs and lows. Put away the boots, paint the toes, shave the legs (yes, at my best, it is a weekly treat, over the winter!), and start sifting through the seed catalogs. Ahhhh…not so fast. Better keep those boots and scarves handy because the next day might greet you with a soggy, bitter snowstorm…
I guess I set myself up for a leisurely afternoon from the get-go. I caught up with a great friend earlier this morning, and we exchanged plans for our gardens, discussed kitchen remodeling dilemmas, and enjoyed a light, spring salad, accompanied by some Pinot Grigio. Yes, it is Wednesday, but it is my day off. Sometimes, I have to throw in the justification, since I do work “off-peak” hours and days. I did have to drop by work to pick up some material, so I grabbed some coffee on the way just to wake myself up a little.
Upon entering the restaurant, the two other sommeliers greeted me with a short glass of crisp, white Naschetta. I had some impeccable timing stumbling in on their tasting session! The three of us are trying to flesh out our “old world” whites section on the wine list, and this particular Italian gem is a prime candidate. I grabbed my needed items, selected a bottle of Gruner Veltliner for the evening, and got away, before I was sucked in to help out. Today is a delivery day, and the boxes of wine were piling up. Thanks for the sip, guys, but, goodbye!
Gruner Veltliner felt like just the choice for this evening. This up-and-coming grape from Austria is crisp, lean, bright, and racy. Great alone and perfect with rich, herbaceous sauces or lighter meats. I always enjoy pairing Gruner with many of the vegetable-based dishes that I make. What am I pairing with this glass tonight? That is to be determined. So far, it is pairing quite nicely with a cozy chair and a copy of Amy Stewart’s latest book, The Drunken Botanist.
Loimer, Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria 2011
Breaking it down: Loimer is the producer, Gruner Veltliner (100%) is the grape, Kamptal is the region within Austria, and 2011 is the year the the grapes were picked. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks.
- On the eyes – brilliant, pale yellow with green reflections.
- On the nose – spiced kaffir lime, white pepper, green apple, and almost a chalky, lime Sweet-Tart candy.
- On the palate – dry, crisp, lively, grapefruit, lime peel, mineral notes, with bright acidity, leading to a lengthy mineral-driven, medium-bodied finish.
- On the table – perfect with trout or other light fish, chicken, or sauteed vegetables.
- On the shelf – about $18 to $25.
- On the ears – enjoyed and paired with Ladytron’s “Destroy Everything You Touch” from their album, “Witching Hour.” This snowy afternoon begs for some sharp, experimental, electro-pop like this. This lean, racy white wine really mimics the structure of this song.
By no means is this a review of Amy Stewart’s latest book, for I have yet to even pass part one. I am simply excited to read a book that combines two of my favorite subjects: cocktails and botany. “Every good drink starts with a plant.” This phrase is true on so many levels. Every good wine. Every good perfume. Every good piece of chocolate. Even every papery page of every good book. It all begins with plants. I am anxious to further connect myself and my loves of wine, gardening, cooking, and cocktails to the world of botany. To my Denver friends, be sure to attend Amy’s lecture at the Denver Botanic Gardens this October. I will be sure to grab a seat, while they last. Cheers!