My liver is still recovering from Food & Wine weekend in Aspen. Today is all about lots of green tea and yoga. Life, like any great bottle of wine, should be all about balance. This weekend wasn’t, but I ate and drank well, so no complaints about that. One of the highlights was Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Federspiel Steinterrassen paired with buratta cheese and roasted artichokes. I am a huge fan of Riesling. If you are not, you should defiantly start drinking some. It is the all-time wine-geeks favorite grape variety. This weekend there was a party dedicated to Riesling, only Reisling. I’ve had a fake Riesling tattoo on my arm for few days now. You don’t have to do that, but you can definitely enjoy Riesling if you try the right ones.
Franz Hirtzberger is a winemaker from Austria. This particular Riesling is his entry-level wine, Federspiel, is from single vineyard called Steinterrassen. I know it is so hard to pronounce or even remember the name of this wine, but trust me, it’s worth it. His Smaragd wine, which is higher quality, costs probably at least $55 - 60. Federspiel is half the price, around $25, and taste so good. It has screaming acidity that makes your mouth so watery and hungry-you defiantly need to drink it with food. For my money, it is a real value wine; I was shocked by how good it was for the price. Austrian Rieslings are normally dry, and to fully enjoy this one you must like dry and acidic wines. I always compare Riesling to Jolly Rancher candy, the green flavor packed with tart apples, lime and grapefruit, but without the added sugar or artificial flavors, of course. I remember that after my trip to Austria I could not brush my teeth for quite some time, all that acid made my month so sensitive, but I am sure you are a moderate wine drinker so you would never have this problem. Don’t forget to drink this wine with food! The reason I so clearly remember Franz Hirtzerger is because I drank it in the company of old friends and it was paired with great food: buratta is a creamy, soft cheese very similar to mozzarella, but better, and it was accompanied by one of my favorite foods, artichokes.
Do you remember me planning to drink lots of green tea and do lots of yoga today? Well, I just got a phone call from really dear friends of mine, that I had a pleasure meeting in the restaurant where I worked in New York. They found me here in Aspen, and I am going to dinner with them tonight. I could not say no. Unfortunately I had to say no to yoga, and I won’t be drinking green tea tonight, either, because they love wine and they will make me choose all the wines for this dinner. We are going to a Japanese restaurant, so all I can think of is Riesling. Funny, sushi and Riesling is another match made in heaven. I guess yoga and green tea will have to wait till tomorrow.