One thing doesn't have anything to do with another, except that both happened this weekend. I had to say goodbye to my loyal car of more than 10 years, the car that has gotten me to many a place and has been my office for the last 2 plus years while I have been doing outside sales. But even before that, it got me to jobs, runs, some near-by vacation spots, and much, much more. Here it is being towed away by the charity it has been donated to. Sigh. Goodbye, beloved car.
Okay, onto Christmas. Yes, it's Halloween today, and that means - last day of October. Meaning, tomorrow is November, one more full month before December madness. This weekend, to numb the pain of giving away my car, I stocked up on wines for Christmas at The Wine Country.
I have now 4 special wines planned for sharing with family at Christmas - this year, they will be all European in origin. Sometimes I do a few California wines, but most often, it is special wines from Germany, Austria, Champagne and other parts of France and Italy that tend to be shared.
This year, I'll have 2 wines from Germany, and 2 wines from France.
They will be:
Both German wines were given to me by hand, in person, from the winemaker who made them. How sweet is that? The memory of receiving these gifts is still strong. Both were given to me this year by German winemakers who had travelled here to the U.S. to promote their wines. The first was Gunter Kunstler, winemaker and owner of Franz Kunstler in the Rheingau - he gave me a bottle of his top notch dry wine 2007 Kunstler Kirchenstuck Riesling trocken. If this is not a GG (Grosses Gewachs, or Grand Cru) wine, then it is damned close! Gunter had specific instructions for a food pairing for this wine - he said make a roasted veal chop and top it with a cream sauce and shaved black truffles. Yum yum! I'll see if I can do the wine justice this Christmas season. I think a nice white meat like veal would be perfect with this rich yet elegant Rheingau dry Riesling.
The second hand-given wine was from Bert Selbach of Dr. F. Weins-Prum. He is one of my favorite Mosel people. The first few times I met him, I found him to be quiet and withdrawn. Later, when he got to know me better, I found him to be one of the warmest people ever. Bert Selbach is the sole owner and winemaker at the wine estate and his wines are always so focused and pure and classically Mosel, in my opinion. Not too fat, not too rich, not too anything - just clean, crisp, bright acid with crystalline fruit. Very delicious wines, and so well priced. He was here in June for Rudipalooza and gave me a bottle of his very unique 1998 Dr. F. Weins-Prum Bernkasteler Johannisbrunnchen Riesling Eiswein. This is a 750 ml bottle of Eiswein. I am very excited to share this with others. I did taste it when Bert opened a couple of bottles at an event in June and of course it is unbelieveable - Mosel Eiswein from 12 years ago in a perfect Eiswein vintage...... it cannot be less than perfect.
Okay, then there are 2 French wines, and I picked these up at The Wine Country today. I'll first talk about 2007 Domaine de Montille Beaune Premier Cru "Les Sizies" which was featured yesterday in a tasting with the winemaker and owner Etienne de Montille and importer Michael Sullivan, owner of Beaune Imports out of Berkeley, California. I didn't make the tasting, but I have had these wines before and they are consistently lovely to the point of out of this world. Admittedly, I have not had much Burgundy lately........ haven't bought any and have been out of the loop of tasting them. Today, Sunday, I went in to The Wine Country and there were the leftovers of yesterday's tasting. There was not only the 2007 Les Sizies, but also de Montille's Nuits St. Georges...... I got a taste but more importantly the aromas of both wines...... out of this world! There's just something about great Burgundy! Spring for these premier cru wines, they are worth it. I was actually shocked that the Les Sizies was under $50 a bottle as I could swear that a few years ago, the wine was elected wine of the year by the staff and the wine was at that time at least $65. Perhaps that was at the height of the Euro vs the American dollar. At any rate, the wine is gorgeous and a steal and I'm happy to have picked up a bottle for the Christmas stash.
Finally, there is a bottle of 2001 Calon Segur which is a Bordeaux wine that I special ordered. The reason I chose Calon Segur, while I don't personally have any history with the wine..... my in-laws drank this wine when they got married more than 50 years ago. Can you believe it? Now that's history! A wine well regarded over 50 years ago is still fetching the dollars today. Now that's a classic. I hope to surprise them with this wine this Christmas season, though if they are following this blog, they will not be too surprised, but that's okay...
So there's 4 wines. If I don't get into them earlier... for example, that Sizies is calling my name..... if I can hold on to them till the holidays, then this is my set for the Christmas season. Not too shabby eh?
The lovely thing I adore about wine is that it is for sharing. I love that I have the memory of winemakers sharing their craft with me, and I love that I in turn can share these wines with others. And at the end of the day, I like to see what I do for a living as sharing great wines with many people. And why not. It's a little bit of peace and happiness to all, even in times of loss and letting go.
Okay, I know, it's just a car! I'll get over it!