Dear Jim, Brad, Becca, and Kokopuffs,
Wow! What a great thread. I never dreamed that it would divert into my other passion, namely wine! I have to admit that my husband Richard has been most responsible for my wine education. Granted, while at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, wine was an essential part of the instruction (and life!), but before I ramble on further, I am going to get my husband to answer and comment on this thread.
Hi. Pardon me if I am a bit awkward, I too am a newcomer to this forum. More at home in the cellar than in cyberspace.
Grateful for the love I have seen for the Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muscats. That is why I went to Geisenheim (the best University for winemaking in Germany) and why I first located to Oregon. I agree totally, there is hardly a more versatile grape than Riesling for cuisine. I am now in the Napa Valley with Leslie pursuing the great Bordeaux reds, but I still have a passion for those Northern grapes.
Down here in Napa, in addition to the reds, Leslie and I produced a fantastic Muscat entirely in the Alsatian style. Neutral cooperage aged, totally dry. More like a dry Vendange Tardive than what anyone has ever experienced otherwise. We have a few cases left and would love to share it with you. Our name for the wines of that vintage was Kiodote', a rare fruit bat which we grew to respect during our times in the South Pacific... but I digress.
We are releasing our first red this April, a Merlot from what we think is one of the finest vineyards in the best appellation in St. Helena, just down the road from our house. Leslie picked the leaves out of the picking bins and after fermentation we aged it in the best French Marchive F.O. barrels. Huge fruit, dry but amazing concentration. The acidity makes it more of a food wine than most of the plump wines one finds in the market. We went back to our own name for that vintage, so it will be labeled as "Mansfield". The label resembles that of an old book spine, which is the connection we both share.
If you are interested in this wine, send us an e-mail to our private box and we will arrange everything.
I thank you for the chance to join this forum and I wish you all inspiration in the kitchen, dining hall and in the cellar.