One of the greatest benefits that I have acquired since I started writing these articles, is the fellow writers that I have corresponded with, became cyber friends with and I have even met one fellow Blogger and I have really enjoyed his friendship. Oliver of The Wingetter fame and his charming wife have met up with me and my Bride. We were recently messaging back and forth to see if we could come up with another night to have dinner, as my Bride had offered to prepare a meal for them. Nina has some dietary allergies and requirements that had to be addressed for the dinner, which is becoming a more common condition in these days; my main concern was coming up with some wines that could make Oliver smile and hopefully enjoy.
While my Bride was busy researching recipes and scanning food labels for the dinner, one of the tasks I assigned myself was to go and reorganize the cellar and perchance find a couple of interesting wines to share for the evening. We both had our challenges and I am glad to say that I think we both accomplish our set goals.
My Bride had arranged a menu, starting off with some simple appetizers of assorted cheese and crackers to accommodate everybody’s tastes. She made her Caesar Salad that I always like to brag about, but for Nina we made a more traditional salad with a dressing that would work for her. For the dinner there was a special version of Armenian Pilaf, baked sweet potatoes, a dairy-less creamed cauliflower with garlic and Bourbon Glazed Salmon (and my Bride pulled out all the stops as she called me to find the location of my favorite sipping Booker’s Bourbon Tenth Anniversary bottling). For a dessert she planned Bananas Foster.
As I was searching in the cellar for a wine or two to make Oliver smile, I discovered a couple of wines that I had forgotten about; now I am not bragging, as I do not have the largest or the showiest cellar, but there is about 1200 bottles resting. With this many bottles there are some wines that one can be pardoned for being forgetful. Suffice it to say that I knew that Oliver has a predilection for aged German Riesling wines, especially those that are Auslese or better. I found two German wines that I hoped would make the grade as well as a red wine, which I thought he would enjoy, as Clarets are not his favorite. So I took the two whites that I rediscovered and placed them in the refrigerator in preparation for the dinner.
When they arrived, I did have to bore them a bit and take them down to see my cellar, which I have written about, and I do show a portion of one wall in my masthead. Afterwards when we went to the living room to enjoy some cheese and crackers, I let Oliver select from the two white wines that I had chilled. He, much to my enjoyment, made remarks about both of the wines, but he was excited to try the one wine, as he was surprised to even find the wine in the States, let alone in Michigan. I told him that I had bought the wine back in my student days at a department store, but it was not just a department store, it was J.L. Hudson’s which back in the day, prior to their demise was one of the most famed stores in the United States. The Hudson’s Thanksgiving Parade was on a par with the other famed parades of the era and would even get national coverage on television.
The wine that piqued Oliver’s attention was a bottle of Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese 1971 from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer district of Germany. The label states erzeugerabfullung (estate bottled) and is produced by Bischoffliches Priesterseminar – Trier (the Bishop’s Priest Seminary in Trier and has one of the largest portfolios of premier vineyards in the district). Erden is an Erste Lager, a “first class site” recognized for exceptional terroir for wines with the QMP designation. Erdener Treppchen means “Little Staircase of Erden” and refers to the stone steps that were long ago dug into the vineyard’s steep hillside to facilitate the workers access to the wines. I was a little concerned when the cork was too soft for the corkscrew and of course when I used a two-steel remover the cork immediately went into the bottle, which necessitated the need for decanting, which the wine rightfully deserved. The wine was a wonderful amber color, and regular readers know that I normally do not use descriptors when describing wine, but I saw a notice that Oliver has already posted and it read “Had held up very nicely, still alive and kicking, with remarkable acidity and a good layer of wet tobacco, apricot, and caramel.” More wines and notes about this evening to follow.