Pinot Noir with Chocolate? Prezels with Pork, and not a Riesling to be found! These are what greeted guests at the Celebration of Germany Wine & Dine Series hosted by Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa and Traubenhaus Fine Wines.
Guests came from far and wide to share in delectable pairings and convivial yet fine dining atmosphere at one of Texas' premier luxury resorts. The intimate group included not only guests from the Austin metropolitan area, but from Dallas, Houston and even as far as Washington, DC, who came together to enjoy creations from Chef Alice Gonzalez paired with exclusive wines imported by Traubenhaus.
Traubenhaus founder Justin Bryan treated guests to an informative discussion about regions and grapes represented, as well as teaching the non-German speakers among us the proper way to raise a glass to one's dinner companions (always make eye contact!) Austin founder Chris Comfort and Bufalina Sommelier Abigail Perry were also on hand to answer guests' questions about the hand selected German wines.
Upon entry, guests were greeted with a 2014 Nauerth-Gnägy Spätburgunder Rosé Trocken (Pinot Noir Dry Rosé) to pair with a selection of German Sausages, Wurst, mustards and breads.
After a brief introduction to German wines, toast and a discussion of the Pfalz wines region, we moved to the First Course: Skate Schnitzel - a crisp piece of fish with homemade tartar and pickled cucumber and dill, paired with 2012 Weegmüller Pinot Blanc. Skates are in the same family as the sting ray and shark, with no bones, but rather a skeleton of cartilage. Chefs typically prepare the skate wings for cooking. The wine for this pairing was from Weingut Weegmüller, a family winery that is now run by its twelfth generation and one of the few German women-owned wineries run by two sisters Gabriele and Stefanie Weegmüller. Stefanie has over 30 years experience as the cellar master and so is also the first female winemaker in Germany. I loved the lemony citrus character of this wine, and its crisp acidity provided a nice backbone which paired quite well with the saltiness in the schnitzel.
Our next course was Smoked Braised Pork, Cabbage, Marble Potatoes, Onion Stew Paired with a 2012 Nauerth-Gnägy Grauer Burgunder Trocken (Dry Pinot Gris). Weingut Nauerth-Gnägy is in the most southern area of the Pflaz region just before entering France. In fact, from their wine cellar in the picturesque village of Schweigen-Rechtenbach, one can see France just a short way in the distance.
For our main course, Chef Gonzalez prepared pretzel-crested Veal Loin with Mustard Brussels Sprouts. The pretzel provided a delightful texture and delicate crunch and the mustard in the Brussels sprouts really married well with the Pinot Noir. This was an exclusive selection from Traubenhaus -- only 60 bottles left in their collection and the United States: 2012 Mayschoss-Altenahr XII Trauben Spätburgunder. The XII Trauben (12 grapes) used to make this Pinot Noir come from the Ahr Valley Winzergenossenschaft (cooperative) established in 1868, making it the oldest cooperative in the world.
Our final course was the biggest surprise of all in terms of the imaginative, yet on point, pairings. Black Forest Torte with Kirsch Ganache and Luxardo Gourmet Cherries arrived paired with 2012 Mönchberg Spätburgunder Süss also from Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr. Typically, I scoff at chocolate and wine pairings, but this medium sweet Pinot Noir is full of ripe fruit. Plenty of "Ooohs" and "ahhhs" came from guests as they enjoyed it with the decadent dessert. The wine earned a Gold Medal from Landwirtschaftskammer Rheinland-Pfalz.
Traubenhaus Fine Wines
This was my second time tasting wines imported by Traubenhaus Fine Wines, and I was again impressed. Justin and his group choose handmade wines from very special, small growers and producers, not as their primary business (Justin is a Dallas attorney, Chris is a Web Developer with Trademark Media). Their self-stated mission is to educate Americans about good Germany wines. I've been so impressed with their wines that I have chosen them as wine selections for Delicious Alchemy: The Art of Food on May 20th.
If you just cannot wait to taste them then, please consider joining us at Raise Your Glass to CIS on Monday, April 18th at Bay Oaks Country Club, to help raise funds for Communities in Schools - Bay Area. Communities in Schools hosts programs targeting at-risk children in the Clear Creek ISD to help keep them in school. For more information or to buy a ticket, please visit: Communities in Schools - Bay Area. Hurry though, as space is limited to 100 guests.
Buying from Traubenhaus Fine Wines
Traubenhaus Fine Wines currently ships to Texas, California, Oregon, Louisiana, Florida and Virginia. To learn more about Traubenhaus Fine Wines for your restaurant or wine cellar, please visit their website at https://traubenhaus.com/.
Wine & Dine Series continues at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa on April 28th
The popular Wine & Dine series continues this month at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28th, with Sparkling Wines and the Languages of the Romans: The three most widely spoken “Romance languages” -- so named because they originate from the Roman Empire -- French, Spanish and Italian. Guests will enjoy lovely effervescents from Italy, Spain and France, paired with more of Chef Gonzalez' culinary creations:
Sparkling Wines - Languages of the Romans - French, Spanish and Italian Menu
Caviar/ trout roe blinis – Western European Influence
Wine Pairing: Aneri Prosecco, Veneto, Italy
Inspired from the French-Bay of Biscay-Lobster Bisque en croute
Wine Pairing: Langlois Chateau Brut, Loire Valley, France
Italian Branzino con Finocchio- Sea bass with Fennel and Lemon
Wine Pairing: Ferrari Brut, Trentino, Italy
Braised Osobuco de ternera (Spanish Veal Osso Bucco - Yukon Potatoes, Arugula
Wine Pairing: Juve y Camps Pinot Noir Rose Cava, Penedes, Spain
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Wine Pairing: Luc Belaire Rare Rose, Provence, France
Cost for the dinner is $99.00 plus tax and gratuity per person. Don’t want to drive home afterwards? Make a getaway out of it and enjoy 25% off your stay when you attend the wine & dine series. The Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is located at 8212 Barton Club Drive in Austin. For more information or to reserve your seat, please call (512) 329-7906. For more information about the Wine & Dine Monthly Culinary Series, please visit Wine and Dine at Omni Barton Creek.