Saturday, April 3, 2010

Silvaner Season

Trout fishing season opened today in Southeastern PA. My buddy Pete was first in line at his favorite local water hole, and the last man standing at the end of the day with not a single flippy fish to his line's credit. His friend's shared their loot though, and, magnanimous guy that he is, he shared it in turn.

So... dinner tonight: fresh caught trout, cleaned and butterflied (by Pete's buddies, I might add — I didn't even have to do the dirty work), stuffed with a couple of slices of lemon, a few sprigs of thyme, sprinkled with salt and pepper, brushed with olive oil and cooked outside on the grill. A side of slivered, sautéed Brussels sprouts. And a bottle of wine.

My first thought had gone to a Kabinett trocken or halbtrocken Riesling from Weingut Ratzenberger, partly as a tip of the hat to my day's monger, who visited Ratzenberger during a trip to Germany for Oktoberfest last fall, and partly because the wines are simply ideal with the clean, delicate flavors of stream fish. But then my thought went to a bottle that had been standing in wait in my fridge for far too long, just waiting for the proper meal that would summon it to its final reckoning.

Rheinhessen Grüner Silvaner, Weingut Keller 2007
$16. 12% alcohol. DIAM. Importer: Petit Pois, Moorestown, NJ.
The yeastiness that often accompanies Keller's Silvaner in the months after release has shed its veil, revealing a wine still in the full stride of freshness, perfect for spring drinking. Crackling with acidity, dripping limey minerality and still sporting a light prickle of CO2. And yes, it tasted as good as it felt — full of white floral aromas, crisp green pear fruit and nuanced with a whiff of mace-like spiciness. Like Chablis on happy pills. Or for those of you that prefer a more concrete, pears-to-pears comparison, not nearly so fleshy and rich as Wittmann's Silvaner, but just as equally rewarding in its own right.

Thanks for sharing, Pete!


Unknown said...

My pleasure! There will be more chances to test your Ratzenberger pairing throughout the spring and next time they WILL come from the end of MY line!

David McDuff said...

Thanks, Pete! Already looking forward to the next catch.

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