Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WBW #64: The Other Holidays

Today is a new Wine Blogging Wednesday, #64 and the theme is The Other Holidays. Jeff Stai, owner of Twisted Oak Winery, blogger at El Bloggo Torcido and rubber chicken lover is this month's host and he chosen a holiday theme, though with his trademark twist.

Jeff stated: "Pick any winter holiday or observance EXCEPT Hanukkah, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, or New Years Day or Eve, and choose a wine to celebrate it! For purposes of this WBW, the holiday date chosen must be between December 7, 2009 and January 7, 2010." It might take a little research to find one of these other holidays or observances, but I think it was a fun theme, with plenty of options.

As I was pondering which holiday to choose, I was also reviewing all of my blog posts for the past year. I have been working on compiling my 2009 Favorite Lists. One of my posts from last January caught my eye, about an intriguing observance that is very appropriate for this WBW theme.

January 5 is National Whipped Cream Day! Though I was unable to confirm the exact origin of this observance, it seems likely related to Aaron Lapin, the creator of whipped cream in a can. January 5 is Lapin's birthday. He was originally a clothes salesman but got into the food industry in the 1940s. He started selling Sta-Whip, a wartime substitute for whipping cream, and eventually put whipped cream into a new type of aerosol canister and called his product, Reddi-wip. Reddi-wip was first sold through local milkmen but it went national in 1954 and is still available today.

Who doesn't love whipped cream? Though home-made whipped cream is the best, canned whipped cream is very convenient. With the holiday season, whipped cream is ubiquitous, on hot chocolate, pies, waffles and much more. Which wine should you pair with whipped cream? It depends on the food that accompanies the whipped cream though dessert wine is probably a good, general recommendation. So that is what I chose.

The 2007 Alois Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvee (about $35/375ml) is an Austrian dessert wine. Beerenauslese is an official term for a late harvest dessert wine, usually produced from botrytized grapes. This Cuvee is a blend of 70 % Welschriesling and 30 % Chardonnay. Welschriesling is a white grape and its name literally means "Romanic Riesling" though it is unrelated to the common Riesling. It grows throughout Central Europe, often known by other names including Riesling Italico, Laski Rizling and Grasevina. It is a versatile grape and can make fine still wines or rich dessert wines. This wine was 80% fermented and aged in stainless steel, the other 20% spent in big casks for about 16 months. It also has an alcohol content of 12%.

I dip my spoon into a bowl of diced fruit, a melange of apricots, pineapple, peaches, and lemons. There is a light glaze of honey atop the fruit, enough to add some sweetness without being cloying like the juice you find in canned fruit cocktails. There seems to be a crispness to the fruit, a nice balance to the sweetness of the dish. I take my time eating, as after each spoonful, the flavors linger in my mouth and I just sit and savor them. What a wonderful fruit cocktail, and a very pleasant finish to my evening.

That sums up my feelings for the 2007 Alois Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvee.


The Wine Whore said...

You get double points: one for choosing a cool holiday that I NEVER would have thought existed, and another for choosing an Austrian wine!

Cheers! :)

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks Randy. It is a great occasion for a holiday as who doesn't love whipped cream?

Constance C said...

Austrian dessert wine is absolutely delicious (especially the Kracher!) and it sounds like your dessert was just as wonderful!

I think I may have to try this myself soon!

el jefe said...

Not only does the wine sound delicious, but now I know even more about whipped cream! Thanks for participating, here's the link to the summary: