Food Friendly Fall Wines
This week’s trio of wines showcase food friendly options that pair well with richer fall meals.
Though you can’t really tell it’s November outside with these 70 degree days, fall is definitely here, with Thanksgiving just over two weeks away. Though outdoor dining in the city is powering on, with makeshift structures being erected everywhere, there’s something extra comforting and cozy about a home cooked meal or delivery from the folds of your couch. And the added advantage? Being able to pop open a bottle of wine you paid half the price for.
Which means this week’s blog is focused on well priced, versatile wines that will stand up to an array of meals. This quest took us to find a zippy Austrian wine in a signature Coke shaped bottle; to the Niagara region of New York for a one-of-a-kind sparkler made with grapes, pears and honey; and a beguiling four varietal pet nat from Germany that makes unfined and unfiltered a palette pleaser for everyone.
Claus Preisinger is one of our absolute favorite Austrian winemakers. We’ve long enjoyed his value friendly Puszta Libre! in its signature Coke bottle but his Puszta Blanca! in that same signature shape is equally as charming and clocks in at under $20.
It features 60% Grüner Veltliner, 35% Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and 5% Muscat Ottonel. This slightly hazy yellow hued wine has a fresh nose of herbal brine and lime oil. Fresh apples notes provide just a hint of roundness while notes of lemon candy make your mouth pucker for another sip. The finish is quite serene with a return of that just perceptible salty quality, like taking in the sea air on a calm day.
This is a wine that would pair incredibly well with fatty, fried Austrian classics like schnitzel, though we also imagine the acid could match any fried sandwich equally well.
On Election Night this past week, we returned to Liten Buffel, a natural winemaker from the Niagara region of upstate New York, to help comfort us through the trials and tribulations of incoming election results. Though they make more conventional wines like Riesling or Pinot Noir that you would expect, they also take risks in exciting, new directions for New York winemakers.
Mother Makes Glucose is a field blend of grapes featuring pears and honey, which is used as a base for secondary bottle fermentation. This honey-based fermentation is the basis of Col Fondo style sparkling wine, which is a common nattier version of Italian Prosecco. It’s hard to describe exactly what it’s like without popping a bottle but think of it like a fruity grape juice Lambrusco with some lonely tannins, tart fizz, and just a hint of sweetness from the added pear and honey.
It’s a no brainer that this would pair well with a tomato pizza or any saucy pasta. Though if you’re looking for something gluten free, it’d be easy to imagine this going well with a medium rare steak.
One of the best things about fairs like RAW Wine is that we are able to discover new winemakers. One such winemaker is Andi Weigand, a young German upstart who is now thankfully represented by Jenny & Francois. He hails from Franken, which is typically known for inexpensive table wines we don’t see much of in the US. At under $30, though, he’s proving that he can elevate wines from the wine without breaking the bank.
This wine blends Muller-Thurgau, Scheurebe, Riesling, and Silvaner in what we describe as frizzante, or lightly sparkling. If you’re expecting a ton of bubbles, this isn’t the pet nat for you. Otherwise there’s a wonderful mix of German acidity, green apple fruit, subtle tropical vibes, and a little bit of body to round things out. Just take care when emptying the bottle as there are some larger flakes that settle at the bottom if you pour too aggressively.
This is a perfect roast chicken wine or, as Thanksgiving approaches, a great companion to a turkey and stuffing spread. Though it seems a little funky before you open it, it is actually quite approachable, even for those who might be unfamiliar with less conventional winemaking.
Until next time, happy sipping!