Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

European Wines: Gruener Veltliner

Hey Peeps!

Today, I’m going to tell you about an Austrian wine I tasted. As part of one of my classes, “European Wines”, our homework this week is to find a German or Austrian wine label, and explain it.

I went to my local coop and choose an Austrian Gruener Veltliner for about $15. I was excited to find they actually had a selection there! I had never heard of this grape before my class, but it seems like it is one of the main white wines coming from Austria.

 

This particular wine is made by Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg. This winery was established in 1171 by Zwettl monks.

 

On this map, you can see the wine regions of Austria. Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg is located in the Kamptal Region, which on this map is the small dark brown region. The Kamptal is the valley of the river Kamp, and produces mostly Riesling and Gruener Veltliner.

My bottle of wine came specifically from the “Gobelsburger” vineyard of the Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Winery. The vintage is 2011; this is the year the grapes were harvested and made into wine. Here is a detailed explanation of the label:

 

On the side, there is a small emblem that says “Traditionswein Oesterreich“.

 

 

This label means that the winery belongs to an association of vintners that follow certain (traditional) wine growing and wine making procedures.

 

The bottle is sealed with a screw-top, and it has the Austrian flag on it (red-white-red), with the national emblem. There is a “W”, and a set of numbers. Unfortunately, I can’t find any information about what these numbers mean, but I assume it has something to do with the batch number. (That way, if there is something wrong with the wine, you can trace it back.)

 

DAC

On the back of the bottle, there is more information about the U.S. importer (Michael Skurnik Wines). There is a also the important “DAC” designation. DAC is an acronym for “Districtus Austriae Controllatus”. This is the official Austrian labeling of what is called “Qualitaetswein” (quality wines). You may only be granted this designation if you follow certain wine-growing and wine-making laws. These promise to keep up the quality of the wines of Austria; and for my wine specifically, the Kamptal.

 

 

 

TASTING

The varietal, Gruener Veltliner, is Austria’s most-produced wine.

 

This grape is an offspring of Traminer and St. Georgen, and is native to Austria. It produces a white wine that often has a yellow-green color.

 

My tasting notes.

Color: yellow, with slight green.

Body: light-medium body

Tastes, Flavors, Aromas: At first it is quite acidic, with green fruit aromas. Later notes are slightly more balanced in terms of acid/sweet.

I am still a beginning taster, so I don’t smell any other significant aromas. But it tastes (to me) similar to a German white wine, and definitely made in the old world style.

 

That concludes my evaluation of this wine, and an Austrian wine label. I hope you enjoyed it!

~ Carolynn

 

 

 

Plated Desserts: Two Peas in a Pod

 

And here he is, the amazing Chef Adrian, Master of All Things Pastry and Sweet. Thank you, Chef Adrian, for a great class.

Plated Dessert: Project Cannoli

Hey Peeps!

In this episode, I make cannoli. From scratch. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride!

 

First, Chef Adrian helped me make ricotta. This is process where you boil milk and cream with some salt, and then add acid (lemon juice) to help the milk protein coagulate.

 

Here I’m draining the ricotta curds through a cheese cloth and strainer. Ricotta can be made into a soft or firm cheese. We are aiming for a softer version, so we don’t squeeze it too much.

 

Close up of the ricotta.

 

This one is kind of dark, but it’s the ricotta hanging and draining in one of the walk-ins. We ended up squeezing it a little bit since there was too much liquid in it.

 

After one night, this is what the ricotta looks like. It tastes very fresh and creamy, and slightly sweet.

 

Next, it’s time to make the cannoli shells. I roll out the dough in batches, and then cut out circles with a ring cutter.

 

I wrap the circles around these cylinders, which are made specifically for cannoli shells. This way, once I put them in the fryer, they won’t lose their shape.

Here’s my first batch. As you can see, some of them came undone and opened up during the frying process. More snacks for me! The others came out all right.

 

I gather the shells in a plastic container, and start making the filling for the cannoli.

 

I’ve assembled all the ingredients. There’s ricotta, orange zest, lemon zest, powdered sugar, shaved chocolate, and crushed pistachios.

 

Filling my first cannoli. I feel so Italian-American right now.

 

I dip them in pistachios and some others in the chocolate shavings.

 

 

And this is what they look like on a plate. Some creme anglaise and pistachio sprinkle.

This is my favorite project of the class – except working with chocolate. It was so much fun to make everything from scratch. I had never made ricotta and cannoli before, so it was a great experience.

~ Carolynn

 

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