Tag Archive for: Riesling

When someone recently mentioned that we were nearing the end of yet another decade, it made me think back to the weather variations of recent years – and of course how that has impacted on grape harvests across the planet.

As I write, we’ve just witnessed horrendous wild fires in Australia and the USA, both within frightening proximity of vineyards.  In Europe, we are experiencing extraordinary rainfall – let’s hope that most wineries managed to pick their grape crops ahead of the floods.

The thought of older vintages gone by got me thinking about the virtues of allowing wines to age substantially before drinking.  It goes without saying that 99% of wine is sold almost as soon as it is bottled – such is the need for wineries to get paid.  But those lucky enough to experience older wines will know that holding off drinking your wine and cellaring it for a number of years really does pay off.

Consider our 2002 Riesling from Pierre Frick in Alsace – it’s a wine that’s nearly 20 years old, but you wouldn’t know it, such is it’s freshness.

Yes, the colour has turned deep golden and the primary fresh apply character has mellowed into a honeyed characteristic.  But this style of mature wine has globules of honeyed character, making it potentially perfect with next month’s turkey!  The great thing about well made Riesling is the acidity – a good acidity gives wine half a chance to age for years and years.  The result is we get to enjoy an altogether different but heavenly wine experience.

Visit Hannibal’s Grotto for plenty of wine gift ideas this Christmas.

Today is Pancake Day!  And on the drive into the office this morning, Jack (our student intern) and I discussed our preferred pancake fillings.  It was no surprise to hear this 19 year old’s response, “Nutella!” he declared.  Indeed, he’d already checked the shelves to see if there was any – sadly not.

My own favourite savoury option is asparagus tips, ham and grated Cheddar, along with a glass of zesty Riesling – it’s a proper feast.  (Jack, needless to say, doesn’t like asparagus, “too green”, he claims.)  

But when it came to the ultimate Pancake combo, there was no discussion – we both agreed that the ‘go to’ option was the classic lemon juice and castor sugar.  Isn’t it curious how some classics are timeless?  As for wine accompaniments, I’m not sure I want to drink anything other than a fresh, light glass of bubbly.  And so it is that today we run a quick competition through our social media – share a video with us of your best pancake ‘flip’, tag us @hannibalbrown on any of our social media feeds – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and make sure to use #pancakesandprosecco.  Post your entry BEFORE 23.59 tonight!  We’ll choose the best entry and the winner will be announced tomorrow and receive a bottle of Prosecco, compliments of Hannibal Brown.

KeisersbergIf you’ve never visited Alsace, put it on your list of places to visit before you die.  The region is, without question, a ‘must see’.  What’s more, we’ll put you in touch with our good friend Christophe Scherer, son of Andre, who will delight in showing you around his impressive (albeit tiny) cellar.

Known to most for their Rieslings, there are in fact several more grape varieties to choose from.  The most notable are Sylvaner, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir.   Then there’s the Cremant d’Alsace – made in exactly the same way as Champagne, but a fraction of the price (more on Cremant to follow shortly).

Unlike other French regions, local Alsatian wine regulations state that the grape variety must appear on the front label.   You might argue that this could be to do with the Germanic influence in the region (remember Alsace has passed from German to French rule fairly regularly and as such has its own very unique way of going about things).

We visited Christophe Scherer last year who, with his wife, now runs the family business of Andre Scherer Wines.   Welcoming us to his property in nothing more than shorts, T-shirt and wellies, we knew we had a friend and Scherer Signsupporter of Hannibal Brown forever!

JK and Christoph Scherer

Jude and Christoph Scherer in his cellar

Christophe prefers to pick his Riesling relatively early, focussing on freshness with good, racy acidity.  His Riesling Reserve Particuliere is a great example of the style that he favours.  His Pinot Gris Reserve is a new addition to our range – full-flavoured and ripe, it makes for a wonderful contrast to the zippy Riesling.

The beauty of Alsace is extraordinary, the wines are delightful and the romance is well and truly alive.

And when you’ve had enough of the Route du Vin d’Alsace, step onto the Route du Fromage – this is Munster land afterall!

The good folk of FULWELL GOLF CLUB have invited us to present our wares to their members this evening.   Taste of Xmas SamplesWe’ll be trotting along there later today with a dozen or so of our wines.  Indeed, it’s a struggle to go anywhere these days without a few of our favourites under our arms.

At which point, I have to mention three specials : Gewurztraminer from Bon Courage, Riesling from Andre Scherer and Carmenere from Casas del Bosque….  it’s genuinely astonishing… the incredible reaction these wines receive each time they are presented in public.   At all of our summer festivals to date, the public have literally gone bonkers over all of them.  Most intriguing are the reactions from those who state ‘ooh, I don’t like Riesling’, then try the Scherer and are instant converts!   It makes my heart jump when I see the public really appreciate great and unusual wines.  And it just goes to show, the world needn’t rotate purely around branded Kiwi Sauvignon and Aussie Shiraz.

SO HERE’S AN IDEA for all you club managers out there….  FULWELL GOLF CLUB  run what is known as a SNOWBALL competition.  I’d never heard of it before (maybe you have?), but in any case it inv0lves a raffle prize of a continually increasing pot of cash.  Only catch is, you have to be in the club bar to claim it.  The pot increases weekly until it’s claimed – and of course so does the bar activity!  A great way of encouraging a bit of extra bar revenue on a weekday evening.