Monday, November 12, 2012

Weller-Lehnert Spatlese Riesling 1998 at Sausage Palooza


A Los Angeles restaurant named Cook's County has become a favorite place for Mr. and Mrs. Now And Zin to drop in for dinner.  Incredibly fresh, local food plus a lean but extremely interesting wine list keeps us coming back to see what new additions have come to the menu.

They did a series of Oktoberfest Monday dinners, and we managed to snag a reservation for the last one, Sausage Palooza.  You had me at sausage.

The menu - prix fixe at $24, including the glass of wine - featured spretzels with mustard dipping sauce, a sausage platter - veal, lamb mergez and bratwurst - with bacon stuffed dumplings,  brussels sprouts and roasted squash.  It was an autumnal feast.

Sausage and Riesling happens to be one of my favorite food and wine pairings.  Sausage and anything, actually.  Riesling and anything, for that matter.  It's like bacon - and that was on the plate, too.

The wine was a 15-year-old Weller-Lehnert Spätlese Riesling, 1998.  Like many wine lovers, I thoroughly enjoy the aromas and tastes of a Riesling that is showing its years.  Strange things happen in Riesling, I understand, because of acid hydrolysis.  A compound whose name has more letters than the alphabet - which I’ll just call TDN - is credited - or blamed - for those offbeat smells and flavors in aged Riesling.

The rich, golden-orange hue looks exactly like it belongs with a fall meal.  Tons of honey on the nose are joined by apricots and a touch of petrol.  The palate also features flavors of sweet apricot along with a sense of rubber.

The sweetness of the wine was a little distracting for the food pairing, but I just sat back and sipped.

The night's menu closed with a quote from Julia Child:  "Life itself is the proper binge."  Eat more sausage, drink more wine.

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