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Wine and Food Pairing of the Week: 2011 Castello di Amorosa Late Harvest Gewurztraminer


"Much of what passes for wisdom in food-and-wine pairing has always struck me as fishy." ~ Beppi Crosariol

Another warm and sultry summer day here in sun-baked San Diego, even though there's abundant sunshine, my tomatoes are still taking their sweet-time getting ripe. But I do have some gems that I've pulled from this monster tomato plant which surprisingly grew from my recently integrated composted soil.

It's funny to see it growing amidst the desert plants which populate a small corner of the back-yard. I'd have to say this tomato plant is about as organic as organic gets; no fertilizers, no sprays, hell neither the birds nor the insects are hardly interested in the mammoth fruit growing among the elephant-ear and the yucca, a curious fact indeed.

Now leaving my so-called gardening aside for the moment, I've heard it said that some folks find it difficult to pair fruit covered tarts as in the one pictured above or even a fresh fruit strudel like the ones I get from my favorite bakery here in San Diego, Hans and Harry's that are topped with raspberry spread, Bavarian cream and assorted fresh summer fruit.

But when I'm faced with this challenge, I typically go with a late harvest style of wine, typically my go-to standard in this case is a Beerenauslese [literal meaning: "selected harvest of berries"]. But this time around, I went for the 2010 LH Anderson Valley Gewurtzraminer from the great folks at Castello di Amorosa, who sent me a few samples just last month. Seeing I don't have a dessert like the one described and pictured above everyday, I had to find the right occasion to pop the cork on this very tasty bottle of dessert wine. The bottle comes in the typical 375ml size and is perfect for four people to share or if just two folks you'll most likely have a bit left over, which is best consumed in 2 days even if you vacu-vin.

I'm always a bit hesitant about Gewurztraminer; I taste so many that seem to have a bit of "soapy" thing going on right about mid-palate. But that said, this bottle was nothing short of stellar and really amplified the experience. The wine itself, aside from the dessert had a plush palate pulsating swagger, with a refreshing blend of honey, wet-stone, and lychee juice, an effort which is harmoniously supported by [plumbed] its bright acidity, which really carries the sweetness of this wine. I'd would say further that this wine is in a word, "hedonistic" but in a really good way and I never found it cloying. My score for this wine 91 points.

As far as the dessert is concerned I really prefer the Hans and Harry's very light and flaky strudel over the heavier crust of the tart pictured above. That dessert pairing is just fantastic and trust me once you try it, you'll never be able to go back to the ordinary. This pairing just sings summer, the fresh inviting fruit, the bright colors, the light flaky crust, the Bavarian cream and this wine the perfect match, it compliments each and every bite.

As you can see from the photo montage above, Mrs. Cuvee and my son took a road trip to Castello di Amorosa earlier this summer. We took the tour, which I'd recommend doing, the castle really is a full-size and functioning castle, complete with a moat. It's hard to see from the road, but once you make it up the drive-way you are immediately greeted by its medieval charm and instantly transported back to the middle ages in Tuscany. We encountered many good wines that day, but the review of their other mainly Italian varietals will have to wait until next time. So until then folks remember sip long and prosper cheers!

Comments

Jim Sullivan said…
Hi Bill,

Glad you enjoyed the wine and your visit to the Castello. Please let me know when you're back in the Napa Valley.

Thank you for such a great blog post. This wine is one of my personal favorites!

Cheers,

Jim

Jim Sullivan
Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing
707-967-6278
Bill Eyer said…
Hi Jim,

Glad you enjoyed the post. The next time I'm up that way, I'll be sure to give ya a ring.

Cheers,

Bill

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