Wine of the Week

I love it when things come together in just the right ways.

Back in May, you may recall I did a review of a Riesling from New York, the Forge Cellars 2014 Riesling Classique.  In the review, I made a comment on how much I liked German Rieslings and made a promise that I would review one when I found just the right one.

Well, as luck would have it, the 2015 Vintage in the Mosel Region in Germany was coming off one of their best years and a slew of phenomenal wines were coming out or have been out for a short time.  So phase one of my plan was in place.  More on the specific wine selection.

The next step was to consider what my perfect dinner might be to accompany the wine.  Since this is a white wine I gave some thought to some form of seafood.  Given that the wine has a small amount of residual sugar to it, the food could use some spiciness to it.  A trip to the store and I found my dinner-to-be; SHRIMP!  I like the shell on type.  They even had whole langoustines (head on style).  But while I don't mind the peeling and deveining part, I'm not a fan of the head on, twist off suck out head type of shellfish.  So I passed on those.

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How to prepare?  I've been on the lookout recently for a paella pan as I've been wanting to try my hand at making that, but that really requires a much larger audience.  Next.  That did get me thinking about a Spanish or Mexican dish.  Having recently prepared enchiladas for the first time in years, it came to me.  Spicy Shrimp Enchiladas!   A stop at the tortilla display and the Mexican isle for the sauce (I didn't want to make my own sauce so I opted for pre-made) was next in line.  Running back home in high expectations for an excellent meal.  It's the little things that excite me....Preparations for the dinner are exceedingly easy.  Prepare a couple veggies (red bell peppers and onions were my choices) then, ready the shrimp.  (Here's where I made a tactical error).  I marinated the shrimp in chipotles in adobo sauce.  Wanting it to be spicy, I added not only some of the adobo sauce but chopped a couple of the chipotles as well.  Here's the TE (that's short for tactical error).  I put in both the chipotles AND and a good portion of the seeds that were in them.  If you know anything about peppers, it's the seeds that can kill you.

So onward to sauteeing the veggies, adding the shrimp to just barely cook through and then compiling the enchiladas covering them with that nice sauce and finish cooking in the oven.  Out they come and it's time to open the wine to set the table for this perfect pairing.

J. J. Prum 2015 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett

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If you haven't had an upscale German Riesling before, you don't know what you're missing.  The most difficult issue with German Rieslings is understanding the labels.  I've frequently said you need a BS in German Wine Labeling, or maybe German Wine Labeling is BS?  Either way, it ain't easy.  Sweet Dry, it can be a mess.  Good news is that some wineries are now adding a label on the back indicating the level of dryness or sweetness of the wine.  Help for those of us that need it.

Pour, SSS (if you have to ask, you don't read enough of my blogs) and lastly savor the experience.   Aromas and flavors of peach, apple and that mineral note so sought after by Riesling lovers.  Even though a Kabinett (that's usually a drier version) the wine comes in at 8.5% alcohol.  But you'll never think about the sweetness.  Fortunately, I did think about it right after my first bite of my Shrimp Enchiladas, AND, it was the elixir that slew the dragon.  Sweet versus spicy.  One of the best combinations with wine I can think of.

So as my taste buds start to die as I continue eating, it is still the wine that continues to envelop the senses.  With just a slight stoney element and nice, but not overbearing, acidity, I continue to enjoy my evening.  Even though I realized afterward how much I was sweating.  Was all worth it.

So if you are interested in trying this wine for yourself, it should be out there for a little while.  There are other great Rieslings from the 2015 Vintage out there, so experiment a little.  I picked this wine as Wine Spectator gave it 94 Points to Vinous Media's 92 Points.  Guessing you should be able to pick it up around the $30 mark, give or take.  If you do, I strongly suggest thinking about some food with that little "kick!"