Friday, April 25, 2008


Dessert wines are often likened to nectar because of their sweet, potent flavors and their silky, syrupy texture. I have an orange tree and some enormous lavender in my back yard and since the weather turned warm here in southern California, I've been watching the bees getting drunk on the nectar they are pulling out of all the blossoms. When I walked by the orange tree the other day, there were so many bees drinking from the orange blossoms that you could hear this loud, distinctive buzz.

You'll feel like a honeybee yourself if you stick your nose into a glass of the 2005 Weiss Gruner Veltliner Eiswein. I've never had an eiswein--where the grapes literally freeze on the vine before they are harvested--made from the trendy Gruner Veltliner grape, but it was a real treat. I got this bottle as an unexpected birthday gift recently, but you can get yourself a bottle where he picked it up: at domaine547, where it will cost you about $26.99 for a 375ml bottle.

This rich wine was dark gold in color, with a bit of peachiness around the edges when it's poured into the glass. The wine smelled of apricots drenched in honey, which was interesting given the peachy-gold color that the wine had. Flavors of jasmine flowers, peach, and apricot rolled around your tongue and made you feel as if you were drinking in jasmine through an apricot-flavored straw. My favorite part of the wine, however, may well have been its caramel aftertaste. This richer, brown-sugared note helped to keep the wine's sweetness in check, as did the core of acidity at the center. A very nice effort, at a very nice price for an eiswein. Very good QPR.

As with most dessert wines, I drank it with a simple cookie, in this case some tiny waffle cookies called stroopwaffels. These have the same combination of honey and caramelized flavors I found in the wine, and picked up those notes beautifully. You can usually find bags of them at Trader Joe's, and they're quite good with a cup of coffee, too. That's how they're served in the Netherlands. In general, though, this dessert wine would be fabulous with anything that has brown sugar or caramel, including creme brulee and tarte tatin.

Thank you, Patrick, for this great birthday present! Buy yourself a present (even if it's not your birthday) and try a dessert wine soon. It was one of my wine resolutions this year, and even if you're late getting started, make like a honeybee and explore some of these nectared wines soon.


Anonymous said...

How wonderful! I have never had a true "Icewine" as well, onyl the simulation of one..which is always good. I'm sure this was a wonderful treat and thanks for note about the QPR.

Dr. Debs said...

The "real" eisweins have a richness of taste and texture that really is different from any other wine I've had. Worth checking it out!