My Holiday Wine Picks
Restaurant 17 Sommelier
I am most excited about German and Austrian wines for this holiday season. Our farm to table focus at Restaurant 17 means that even during the chilly winter season the chefs are continuing to source only what is locally available. They are cooking with kale, sweet potatoes, daikon, delicata squash, hakurei turnips, persimmons and many other wonderful winter foods where German and Austrian Rieslings and other native Austrian varietals, Gruner Veltliner, Furmint and Blaufrankisch, couldn’t be more perfect. Forget that the labels are hard to read, the words long and often difficult to pronounce. Created by small family run estates, these wines are unique, superb with food, and young or old, posses a freshness and an elegance that will render you speechless.
2002 Künstler, ‘Hölle’ Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Rheingau, Germany
Riesling is one of the most magnificent and intriguing grapes to be made into wine. From a dry wine that is driven with minerality, all the way to a sweet wine tasting of perfectly ripe fruit, it can perform in every style. Bright, lively acidity and fresh aromas that are maturing spectacularly with age, Künstler’s, 2002 Riesling is a wine to be enjoyed as an aperitif or accompanying a dish such as our delicious sweet potato risotto.
2013 Heidi Schröck, Furmint Trocken, Burgenland, Austria
A native varietal to Austria, Furmint, encompasses only 9 hectares (a little over 22 acres) of all vine plantings in Austria. Female winemaker, Heidi Schröck’s, 2013 Furmint is beautiful. Dry with notes of quince, green apple, hints of ripe peach and white pepper, this wine sings with local rainbow trout.
2009 Höpler, Blaufränkisch, Burgenland, Austria
An exciting red wine for winter cuisine, Blaufränkisch is a native varietal to Austria with which you will have an abiding fascination. It produces wines with rich tannin and notes of red currants, black cherry, and blackberry. Its distinct spicy character will have you continually wanting to revisit the wine for another sip. Höpler’s 2009 Blaufränkisch could not find a better match than with our Artisan cured meats or grilled local grassfed beef.