A wine pairing challenge

wine with chestnuts, artichokes, "finocchiona" or Speck
"Everything goes together somehow. One only has to try, try and try again." Says Hugh Johnson, the English grand seigneur and most successful wine writer in the world.

The man has a sense of humour. When asked by a pertinacious interviewer why he used to be so adamantly against drinking Riesling with French blue cheese, he replied: "Is that right? Did I actually write that? Well it doesn't matter, now I am of quite a different opinion, Riesling goes wonderfully with Roquefort! You must absolutely try it sometime!

Do you always believe everything wine authors recommend without checking?" - Hugh Johnson would probably also try a "must" or a young wine with roasted chestnuts whilst visiting our latitudes in autumn. Why not? Because: At the very latest, after the fifth or sixth "dry" chestnut has been forced down, even an outsider like Hugh Johnson would realise that - from the technical point of view of a chestnut - humans are flawed: the flow of saliva ceases and the chewed chestnuts mercilessly densify in the mouth to form a "cardboard paste". The only help is a good gulp of "Siaßer" (grape must) or freshly fermented "Nujer" (young wine).

Let us now leap back in time to the Renaissance in Tuscany: to when the famous "finocchiona", a sausage seasoned with wild fennel seeds was created. In front of any major wine store, Tuscan wine merchants offered their customers ample portions of "finocchiona" before tasting their wine - the taste of wild fennel is much more intense than any wine flaw and lingers on and around the palate ... this made it easier to sell their merchandise as top quality wine.

In these latitudes, Speck was always beneficial at important wine cellar gatherings. Especially if it was "wíacher" - a decent white lardy speck could have protected the stomach linings of our great-grandparents or grandparents against all the brawny acids (especially the "volatile" ones) of the then often aggressive wines.
Yes, which wine goes best with which food?

Upon entering the great, wide, unknown world of wine, if we are wine novices then we are probably at the mercy of our wine waiters and wine waitresses. Good sommeliers and naughty sommeliers can practically do as they please with us.

We are so glad to receive professional recommendations from the wine waiters at Vinum Hotels South Tyrol:

light, dry white wines with starters -
sometimes even no wine with soups and salads! Wine does not combine well with the acidity of a salad dressing. Fish and seafood: light, dry, crisp white wines as with starters.

With saltwater fish and seafood more robust wines: late harvest Sylvaners, Pinot Grigios from the lowlands, barrel-aged Sauvignons like Terlaner "Quarz".

Artichoke dishes are a difficult topic in gastronomy – this beautiful plant is so delicious it makes you lick your fingers, but which white wine should compete against the powerful taste of an artichoke? An experienced wine waiter from Vinum Hotels South Tyrol would probably recommend a strongly barrel-aged Chardonnay - because the artichoke acts like "blotting paper" for the taste buds, it soaks up the powerful oak wood taste of the wine. After eating an artichoke, even the most “barrelled” of Chardonnays taste more like wine than like … wood.

Everything goes together somehow. One only has to try, try and try again. Says the great Hugh Johnson.
The Vinum Hotel October Wine Letter
"Vernatsch, Lagrein, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio" - an incredible variety within South Tyrol’s wine landscapes!

One particular record sometimes gives our wine economy a stomach ache: there are over 2 dozen grape varieties in South Tyrol. Measured against the small size of cultivated acreage, this is a world record. According to younger wine managers, these less common varieties are difficult to market. But according to renowned international wine journalists, it’s these very varieties that have always given South Tyrol that extra something.

The Vinum Hotels South Tyrol October Wine Letter is dedicated to the famously rich diversity of South Tyrolean grape varieties!