What can’t Riesling do? (With recipe for Maine squash and cabbage)

February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Whatever it is, I don’t — or don’t need to — know. I’m still buzzing from my latest experience with the Leitz Dragonstone 2008, from the Rheingau. I wrote about it this week in my Portland Press Herald wine column (or see below). Cottony soft, yet with perfect electricity to cut through the fat of winter meals.

Last night was a simple one-pot prep of  sautéed onion and red cabbage with roasted kabocha squash, finished with smoked paprika and Bisson raw cream. On the side was buttermilkcornbread. All the bold-faced ingredients in the preceding paragraph are local Maine foods (not to mention the Kate’s butterMaine cornmealStraw’s eggs I used), proving that eating locally here, in mid-February, is easily done and joyful.

So, all the sweetness of the cooked cabbage, onions and squash was picked up by that Riesling, but then the circus act of the wine’s counterbalancing acidity sliced through the thickness of the squash and pure-fat of the cream. The Dragonstone has a cornmeal flavor element as well, which meshed with the cornbread and did a joyful tango with the smoke of the paprika. After the main course there was a small piece of blue cheese lying around, and darned if the Riesling didn’t match perfectly with that too!

Perhaps the best part was that I could drink as much of this wine as I wanted, given its thrillingly low alcohol level of 8%. I rose from the table invigorated rather than teetering and heading south, and had a perfect blend of calm and focus so I could write. I slept well, too.

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