As the rough winds and rain of autumn batter us up and down the coast we tend to choose heavy and fat meats like lamb for dinner. And why wouldn’t we, the season lamb is fantastic right now. But we sometimes we need a break from the meat and we Norwegians have really come to love sushi. As we should. Right on our doorsteps we have the best fish imaginable and all over the country new and exiting sushi restaurants are starting up. This weeks wine is the perfect compliment to a great sushi meal.
Good sushi is elegant and pure in it’s flavours. You get the sea from the fish, salt from the soy sauce and a full richness from the rice. And then there is all the extra spices and condiments that a good sushi chef will colour the meal with. When pairing with wine you need good acidity to deal with the spice and minerality to go with the freshness of sushi. And if you can get good fruit from the wine as well, well then you have the perfect match.
One of my first visits to a vineyard was to Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken in Saarburg, Germany. Ruth Zilliken invited us inn and let us taste a wide range of bottles she brough up from the cellar. A truly amazing day. To this day I hold the wines from Zilliken as some of my favourites. Always with a perfect balance between acidity and sweetness, these are wines that can be enjoyed alone or with food and especially with fish dishes like sushi.
This week’s wine is the Saarburg Riesling Feinherb 2018. Feinherb would in English mean off-dry in Norwegian we say “halvtørr”. It has 20,4 grams pr liter of sugar so it is sweeter than a dry wine but it has such an exceptional acidity that it does not fell dry at all. This in combination with the great minerality makes it perfect to combine with food.
Zilliken Saarburger Riesling Feinherb 2018 - 239,90 kr
It is a bit closed upon opening but after half an hour it blossoms, and we get citrus fruits, green apples and fresh herbs. IN the mouth the acidity dominates at first and it has a feeling of lemon and lime. After a bite of sushi though the flavour of the wine completely changes, and you get grapefruit and blood orange. This is truly an example of the food making the wine better and the wine making the food better. So, so, good.
Enjoy with sushi of course, but it will also handle other sea foods like shrimp and crab without any problems. If you want to enjoy it by it self decanter the wine and leave it for an hour and it will soften up and become great.