03 November, 2011

Holiday Survival Kit - Riesling and Take-out

 With Halloween over, the holiday season officially begins.  I thought I would share two of my secret weapons for holiday entertaining: Riesling and take-out.  Riesling comes in super sweet all the way along the spectrum to dry and so is a great way to accommodate the tastes of diverse guests and the holiday treats they bring with them.  And what better solution, whether you are surprising your guests or being surprised by them,  than Asian take-out?  The folks at P.F. Chang's have put their offerings at your fingertips with their cool online ordering system.  You can schedule your pickup in advance, the super easy interface makes it a breeze to select your favorites, and arriving with your order already paid for speeds your way through the process.  Plus, they frequently offer 20% or 15%  off your order when you place your requests online.  So, who can resist an affordable way to put sparkle in your guests's eyes with ease?  Not me.  So I thought I would test it out at the same time as I road tested some charming Riesling samples.  Worked like a dream.  I set up my order in the a.m. for afternoon pickup.  When it was time to leave, I timed myself curb to curb and was out the door and back with perfectly executed order in less than 17 minutes.  Which was good because knowing the yummy Riesling was waiting at home made me impatient.  So on to the wine:
'09 J&H Selbach Weinkellerei "Red Fish" Riesling, QbA, Mosel, Germany: With its fun label, convenient screw cap and pale citrine color, this wine felt easy, breezy.  It has fresh, lively aromas of citrus with a hint of morning bun.  It was delightful with the Sichuan Beef, as the heat in that dish picked up savory notes in wine.  Also, lovely with the lime splashed Singapore Noodles.  But got overpowered by the garlicky lobster sauce shrimp.  Still, with its easy character, pleasant acidity and lovely flavors, I liked this very much. It was also super good four days later with butternut squash ravioli.
'04 Weingut Pfeffigen Ungsteiner Herrenberg Reisling, Beernauslese, Pfalz, Germany ($40): I love, love sweet Rieslings so seeing the "Beerenauslese"  on the label denoting sweet wine made me happy. It had a lovely golden color and an unctuousness that I could detect when I poured it.  A hint of petrolly-ness gave it a bit of savory in the sweetness.  It was a rock star with the food.  I doused the Sichuan Beef liberally with specially requested chili paste to achieve center of the sun heat to test the theory that sweet goes with heat, and it was good.  It was also good with the Lobster Sauce shrimp and the citrusy Singapore Noodles. A delightful repast.
Many thanks to Andrea and the team at Wines of Germany who sent these two bottles as samples.  Contrasting dry and fruity was a super fun exercise!

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