Volume 3: The Bestes Christmas Edition

Illustration by Anna Vu (@goodwinecrapdrawing)
Domaine Rietsch
Cremant d’Alsace
Chardonnay, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris
Alsace, France

This Cremant is an absolute lively and unique sparkling wine comparable to many of the best Champagnes out there. The base wine from the 2014 harvest sits for 12 months in barrels is then added with the 2015 juice to the bottle to start the secondary fermentation and make it into sparkling wine which means no sugar, yeast or sulfites are added. It's easy to pair these apple and citrus aromas with many appetizers, but this should also be great with a lighter Japanese dinner.

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Würzer, Faber, Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Riesling
Rheinhessen, Germany

The white wine cuvée is made with which are mostly planted together in the vineyard. With 2017 being a difficult year for wine in Germany this one still shows all the potential. For those of you that haven't had much orange wine, this is a very light example, because two-thirds of the grapes are left with their skins for two weeks to ferment which adds some good structure and tannins (the bitter stuff) to the wine. The Riesling and Silvaner juices are added after the initial skin fermentation and then all are left for 10 months in barrels. This also makes it an amazingly flexible food wine which you can have with spicy Chinese food, but also with a simple roast chicken.

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Claus Preisinger
Blaufränkisch Kalkstein
Burgenland, Austria

This red wine is made with Blaufränkisch, the second most popular grape variety in Austria. Some people say it's very similar to Pinot Noir, just better. And for this wine, I couldn't agree more. It’s very straightforward to drink and will make you want more of those slightly unripe blackberries and raspberries mixed with a very harmonious spiciness. I mean, have it with whatever you feel like, but this might also be good with some proper meat heavy Christmas dish.

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