"Fox, you stole the goose!"

Quaintly historical goose recipes for the Christmas season this month. Paired with a fitting South Tyrolean wine: Merlot!
Now is the perfect time for a roast goose! One distinguishes between an early-fattening goose, which can be up to five months old and weigh anywhere from three to four kilograms and young geese which are up to nine months old and weigh four to six kilograms. Geese over one year old and slaughtered after the laying period are rarely offered up.

Taken from the Roman cookbook of Apicius (born around 25 BC - approx. 42 AD) Liber VI Aeropetes / Book 6, Poultry: „Aves omnes ne liquescant: cum plumis elixare omnibus melius erit. Prius tamen exinterantur per guttur vel e navi assublatae” //
"Let all the birds not become too soft: boiling with plumage will be better for all. But before, they are gutted through the throat or once the rump has been removed, from behind."

Taken from the "buoch von guoter spîse", year 1345/'52, a medieval cookbook: Roast goose with liver and apple sauce: "This is a good meal. Put a goose on a spit and cook the giblets. Take four hard-boiled eggs to which add the crumbs of good white bread and caraway seeds, also a little pepper and saffron. And then take three boiled chicken livers, mix them with vinegar and chicken broth, making them not too sour. Peel onions, chop them finely, and then put them in a pot. Add water or lard and leave them to simmer so that they soften."

The December Wine Letter is studded with roast goose and excellent with a South Tyrolean Merlot!
With its lushly embellished composition, such a genuinely authentic South Tyrolean Merlot is evocative of the way Peter Paul Rubens captured his figures on huge canvasses. One mustn’t forget the pompous baroque pathos ("Oh jubilant lily of the valley ..."), that these ardent feelings were always cast in an austere style and which can therefore also be applied to the best South Tyrolean Merlots from over the last 15 years.

Baron Widmann, "Brenntal" (Kurtatsch Winery), Lageder, "Spitz" (Glögglhof), Andrian Winery, St. Michael-Eppan Winery, Schreckbichl Winery and Bozen Winery have created a strong tannic framework for this plump Merlot fruit.

Acclaimed are the tannic undertones, the much-heralded sweetness of the extract content, the deep colour, the firm Alpine style in the wine's youth and its wonderfully soft, silky texture in its more mature years.

Roast goose certainly calls for a really good wine. And in particular a red wine with a good structure, strength and acidity to stand up to the rather fatty goose meat. Accompanied by a glistening, ruby-red Merlot "Brenntal", our roast goose could even learn to walk: In the nose we can detect typical Merlot aromas with hints of red fruits, such as cherries and raspberries. Othmar Donà, the master cellarman at Kurtatsch Winery, goes into raptures when he describes his Merlot’s showcase location:

"Brenntal borders the northern foothills of the mighty limestone massif on which Kurtatsch is enthroned. Dense networks of water veins, emanating from three directions, guide mineral salts from the mountains to the clay-rich soils of the plain. Limestone and porphyry gravel soils ensure optimal, natural drainage. These salts, which the water has carried down from high elevations into the hot valley, provide "Brenntal" Merlot with its Alpine profile: the fresh minerality vibrates intensely on the palate whereas the fragrant herbal aromas allude to the vegetation above the tree line."
The Vinum Hotel January Wine Letter

"In the blink of an eye. Ingenious. Simple. Better!" - fabulous South Tyrolean doughnuts made by skilled hands ready for the winter season

The term “Kirchtag”, literally translated as "church day", is inextricably connected to doughnuts almost everywhere. It is said that people of the Puster Valley started frying the day before. It all began with "Ruspan" then the "Weizenen" and finally the "Türtln" and "Nigilan" were prepared in the evening.

There were also Aufheberkrapfen on this occasion and to "zi krapfl” was when young men went to ask a sought-after lady for a doughnut. It is often told that the doughnuts were pinned onto the hat like a trophy.

However, this is probably a folklore tale, because who would ruin their hat with a greasy doughnut?

Indeed, South Tyrol is traditionally a doughnut-obsessed land of mountains. The imaginative variety that has developed over time was succinctly encapsulated by a farmer's wife from the Eisack Valley: > a different doughnut is being fried behind every brook! <.

The January Wine Letter is dedicated to "Gluscht" - the lip-smacking & mouth-watering desire for original South Tyrolean doughnuts!