Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Half Full Glass - April 25th, 2013

White Birch Ol' Catty Flemish Sour

Hanging out at the Cask & Vine bar can be dangerous. Four beer flights help you experience what's been newly tapped and then a full glass of something that catches your fancy can make for a dangerous night!
Last weekend the Ol' Catty Sour from White Birch (a soured version of their Ol' Cattywhompus Barleywine) was on tap. I will say that I am developing a taste for sour beers and with the experience I do have I know what I like and don't in this style. Beers that are sour for sour's sake and don't have a lot of character in their own right just don't do it for me.

The White Birch Ol' Catty Sour is NOT one of those beers. It's actually sweet, and sour! Brown in color with a wonderfully rich & malty full body and earthy hops you'd be good enough there. The sour, but not too sour, tangent adds depth to this drink. Because it is also sweet the sour profile doesn't taste forced or out of balance. My Facebook message on this beer finished with "damn, I love this beer!" I guess I was having a good time.

Meinklang Burgenland White 2012

Last night (April 24, 2013) the topics of bio-dynamics and Austrian wine were showcased on #winechat. I received the sample kit and popped the bottles open earlier in the day to do my tasting and note taking. The first wine I tasted was the Meinklang Burgenland White 2012 a blend of Welschriesling, Gruener Veltliner and Muskat Ottonel. I'm a sucker for fresh & fruity white blends and this one definitely drew me in. Bottled with some of its own carbonation the wine is a bit prickly which adds a surprising but very workable dimension all of its own. This wine makes a perfect summer sipper. It does need to be chilled to be best.

Aromas of white flowers, crushed herbs and tart, white fleshed fruits (tart apples, pears) blend together nicely in the nose and mouth. The finish is crisp and prickly but does have just a little sweetness left before it exits. There was plenty of conversation about this wine during #winechat and having enjoyed it on the first really warm Spring day we've had in New Hampshire made it easy to consider how this wine might pair well with the inevitable backyard parties of Summer.

Thank you to Austrian Wine USA for hosting #winechat and for the producers who participated. Not having a lot of Gruner experience I was taking in a lot of the feedback from others to help put these wines in context. I purposely decided to make an Asian-inspired salad for dinner tonight so that I can return to the Sepp Moser and Nikolaihof Gruners to experience more of what they offer!



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