Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

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Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:07 pm

WTN: RCP:

Pichler FX Riesling Loibner Steinertal Wachau Austria 2001. 12.5% alcohol. Wine Ventures, $45.00. Imported by Vin Divino Ltd., Chicago Illinois. Vin Divino.

Clear white color, clear hue, excellent fruit aroma with hints of spice and minerals; very good fruit tastes with lovely mineral notes, hints of spice, bright acidity, very dry, light mouth feel, quite a long and interesting finish. Lovely wine. 4*.

This wine certainly has the stuffings to last a long time, and I'd love to cellar it, but this bottle had two higher callings: 3/4 went into a balsamic reduction and 1/4 into the cook to encourage him as he made a birthday dinner. It fulfilled both duties brilliantly.

Regards, Bob

Notes: We use a great deal of balsamic vinegar in our house, most of it aged, but our real favorite, the following balsamic reduction. I know I can be accused of extravegance for using such an expensive Riesling, especially since I use the basic Kirkland balsamic from Costco -- 12 bucks for a liter. Nonetheless, better Riesling definitely improves the reduction. And, I'm sure the cook achieves culinary brilliance with the help of the wine.

This "recipe" comes from John Ash; I found it first on a newspaper website, then bought his cookbook and rewrote the recipe from Ash's book. We like this sauce so much that I usually have a bottle in the fridge -- we warm up a little creamer full for dinner. We eat an enormous amount of vegetables, either steamed or roasted. This sauce works well with any steamed vegetable (except broccoli) and with many roasted vegetables.

Ash suggests boiling a mid-grade commercial grade balsamic vinegar down to 40% of its original volume. "As it cools, it will thicken into a syrup that can be drizzled over all manner of things. Its advantage over straight-out-of-bottle balsamic is that it "stays put". It can be stored at room temperature almost indefinitely."

[To be clear, there are two basic types of balsamic vinegar. The first is Artisan-Made, aged for 12 or 25 years, or even a 100 years, and is more a liqueur and sauce than a vinegar. A few drops at a time for this pricey, delicious stuff. Excellent Commercial balsamic is a blend of young artisan-made balsamic or boiled grape must and good wine vinegar. I've tried Malpighi, Cavalli, Mamma Balducci, Giusti, La Casa del Balsamico and Manicardi, but settled on Kirklands. There's a third type, Noe by Carandini, carried by Balducci in New York which is thicker than commercial, and approaches good 12 year old balsamic.]


The basic recipe for Ash's balsamic reduction can be as simple as just the commercial balsamic, or more complex as in our favorite:

1/2 cup very good commercial balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crisp, light bodied white wine
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
Pepper to taste

Simmer for an hour or longer until its the consistency of Grade C maple syrup. It works well in this form as accompanying steamed vegetables adding less than 20 calories a serving and no fat.

Even better is to continue simmering until it becomes as thick as honey, a balsamic glaze. As Ash writes in his book:

“This one is going to knock your socks off. Once you make the glaze -- it can be made weeks ahead and it is fool proof -- you can eat it on everything: salmon, grilled portabellas, tofu, pork tenderloin -- you can't miss.

Conclusion: Lovely balsamic reduction, lovely wine.

Regards, Bob
Last edited by Bob Ross on Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:51 am

Bob Ross wrote:... 3/4 went into a balsamic reduction...


Bob, You used 3/4 of $45 bottle of Riesling to cook with??? I still tuck my high end (>$30) Rieslings in at night, and give them a little kiss on the cheek. :) That should be some kick-ass balsamic vinegar.
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:11 pm

It is, Sam.

And the cook was in a wonderful kick ass mood too! :-)

[Of course, you don't need to use such expensive wine, but a pint of this stuff makes about 200 servings. It's cheaper than aged balsamic on a serving basis by a long shot.]
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Paul B. » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:01 pm

A most enjoyable post, Bob.

I'm currently getting interested in balsamic reductions myself - especially for things I like to make at home such as lamb and occasionally venison.

Cheers,

Paul
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:12 pm

Great recipe, Bob, although I do question the sanity of using 3/4 of a bottle of that particular Riesling.

Incidentally, I've found that among the rare wine pairings with salad dressing, the best for my palate is Auslese style Riesling with balsamic vinegar, so you don't have to pour that good stuff in to make a reduction...
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:59 pm

Bob, was this FX Pichler or Rudi? FX gets the press, but both are good.

I think you posted this recipe on old FLDG? Seems like something Betsy made.
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:15 pm

FX, Dale. Thanks for asking the question. As I've mentioned, I know very little about white wines -- almost all reds for the past eleven years. But this past January I made a resolution to learn about white wine, and I'm taking a course with Andrea Robinson to get a good grounding. For the past several months I've tried a wide variety of whites, so I have some background knowledge.

I've taken the liberty of adding the "FX" to my original note -- I never noticed that on the label -- too big I suppose.

BTW, thanks for the insight on the Verget Mâcon-Charnay -- I tasted it on Saturday and noticed the oakiness you mentioned. Probably would have bought a bottle but for your note.

I've posted the balsamic reduction before, but have changed it primarily by using a very dry Riesling which adds a minerally note to the sweetness and acidity of the other ingredients -- it's much more complex with a good dry Riesling.

If I'm reading Vin Divino correctly, they now handle only Rudi's version -- I don't know if his father is still making wine, but I suppose I should learn since we like this wine so much.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:28 pm

"Great recipe, Bob, although I do question the sanity of using 3/4 of a bottle of that particular Riesling."

Ah, Thomas, one lesson I've learned from you (and others on WLDG) is that the sanest thing to do with wine you own is to enjoy it to the fullest. I've never really understood those recipes that call for inexpensive or even spoiled wines -- it seems to me that if I'm using the best ingredients I can find, I should use the best wine for the purpose. A very dry Riesling adds the mineral notes to the reduction -- I suppose I could experiment with cheaper versions of dry Riesling -- certainly I'm very happy with Costco's industrial balsamic for this recipe.

As I mentioned to Dale, I'm just learning about white wines ... so maybe I'll find a cheaper ingredient in due course -- but it better taste good while I'm cooking.

"Incidentally, I've found that among the rare wine pairings with salad dressing, the best for my palate is Auslese style Riesling with balsamic vinegar, so you don't have to pour that good stuff in to make a reduction..."

We aren't too high on adding the balsamic reduction to salads -- usually we use it just on fish, pork, vegetables -- although from time to time we do use it on salad.

Mostly Janet likes just pepper on her salads. If we have guests, I make up a small batch of something that will fit the salad for that meal. I like your idea, though -- I could offer that combo at table.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:31 pm

Paul, the complex aromas created while simmering are one of the best parts of the entire experience. I love making the reductions while I'm doing food prep for things like pizza, where there aren't any cooking aromas playing around the kitchen.

We often have a small soup starter for the same reason -- unless whatever else is cooking is making the joint smell good. :-)

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:43 pm

Bob,

I agree that if you won't drink the wine then you shouldn't cook with it either. It's the 3/4 of a bottle of that wine that got to me. I like to look at it the other way round: 3/4 for me, 1/4 for the food--actually, probably more like 7/8 for me, but that would be quibbling.

About ten years ago I was hosting a wine dinner in an Albany, NY restaurant. The owner/chef refused to serve wine with the salad course. I argued and lost (I was at the time merely a sales rep to him; how could I possibly know anything about wine?).

When the salad course arrived, and even though it had been listed with no matching wine, I simply opened a semi-dry Finger Lakes Riesling and poured for the table. It was a perfect foil for the balsamic/pepper dressing that the chef created. Not only did the guy like the pairing, he put the wine on his wine list by the glass with a note to customers that it would make a fine pairing for his particular balsamic salad dressing.

In the end, I was just a sales rep. I was working for the winery whose Riesling I poured...
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bill Hooper » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:59 pm

Bob Ross wrote:
If I'm reading Vin Divino correctly, they now handle only Rudi's version -- I don't know if his father is still making wine, but I suppose I should learn since we like this wine so much.


F.X. Pichler is now being imported by Weygandt-Metzler. I had the pleasure of visiting them in the Wachau last month. They had sold out of their entire production of 2005 GV's, but the Rieslings are really what I'm after anyway. I'll post some tasting notes when I get around to drinking them.

Prost!
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:00 pm

Great story, Thomas, thanks.

I'm going to have to figure out how to do that at home. I can see the pleasures of salad with a 12 to 20 year balsamic and a glass of a dry Riesling. Great combination.

But it's not really practical in our day to day eating and drinking -- I've restricted myself to two glasses of wine a day -- preferably red -- and Janet only occasionally drinks wine.

I'm afraid the blasamic is going to have to carry the Riesling with it for the foreseeable future.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:46 pm

Bob, here's a simple formula for you to get it done: have a large dinner party and invite those of us who would be glad to relieve you of excess Riesling.

If you are exploring white wine, you should be aware that Riesling is the Queen of 'em.

Oh, did you know that Andrea Immer-Robinson will be presenting a class in the fall at the NY Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua?
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:17 pm

Paul B. wrote:A most enjoyable post, Bob.

I'm currently getting interested in balsamic reductions myself - especially for things I like to make at home such as lamb and occasionally venison.

Cheers,

Paul


Maybe a few recipes are on the way there Paul B??
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:13 am

Eleven years of only red wine? That's almost amazing, perhaps you exaggerate? Because I picture you having to go out of your way to avoid white wine. why did you undertake such a severe policy.
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Thomas » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:20 am

Rahsaan,

I know two people who have been drinking wine for decades and have never touched a white wine; one of them is my brother, and since he's family at least I can yell at him.

Some people simply can't get past a prejudice, not that I think Bob is one of them--in fact, by trying whites he shows that he is not one of them, not anymore...
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:02 am

Thomas wrote:Oh, did you know that Andrea Immer-Robinson will be presenting a class in the fall at the NY Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua?

It took a bit of surfing but I found the following link:
http://www.nywcc.com/learn/program_schedule6.php

Hmmm... Halloween with Andrea - tempting. Trick or Treat! 8)
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Paul B. » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:52 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Maybe a few recipes are on the way there Paul B??

Bob, as it stands now, I don't have any strictly original recipes for these things - I read what I can online and then, based on my preferences, modify those recipes slightly for my own purposes. In fact I'm just starting to explore the world of reduction sauces.

Had a gorgeous loin of lamb at Marcel's in downtown Toronto last Thursday. The loin was grilled crispy on the outside but it was medium-rare on the inside; it was cut into thin slices, each laid against the others, and a lovely juniper-rosemary reduction sauce had been poured over them. I enjoyed that flavour combination greatly and started reading up on how to make such sauces. Yesterday I made an approximation, but the sauce hadn't reduced sufficiently - and I plan to do things a bit differently next time with regard to addition of spices.
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:55 am

"have a large dinner party and invite those of us who would be glad to relieve you of excess Riesling."

At large -- and even small -- dinner parties, I always serve white wine, usually Riesling. With four or more people, not much goes to waste, and it's easy to save any excess and make something with it the next day.

"Andrea Immer Robinson".

Janet gave me this wine course led by Robinson at the French Culinary Institute. It will be fun to scope out the Institute -- I think it may have just changed its name -- as well as seeing Robinson in action again. She was a wonderful teacher in person when I took a short seminar on Aussie wine from her.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:15 pm

Bob Ross wrote:If I'm reading Vin Divino correctly, they now handle only Rudi's version -- I don't know if his father is still making wine, but I suppose I should learn since we like this wine so much.


Is FX Rudi's father? I thought more distant (calling Michael Pronay, we need expertize!)

As someone who only drank red, coming up with '73 Clos Ste Hune, FX Pichlers, and CFE is pretty good way to jump into whites!
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:22 pm

"Eleven years of only red wine? That's almost amazing, perhaps you exaggerate? Because I picture you having to go out of your way to avoid white wine. why did you undertake such a severe policy."

A bit of an exaggeration there, Rahsaan -- I actually wrote "almost all reds for the past eleven years." But in essence you've understood my meaning correctly.

Briefly, two reasons: medicine and calories. I started drinking red wine to reduce cholesterol counts above 600, and currently take two glasses a day (same as our internist) of red wine. 12% alcohol reds run about 200 calories. I've learned lowering cholesterol requires careful attention to diet, exercise, weight control, as well as the wine. My "magic numbers" are 1200 calories a day, 35 miles a week -- that regimen keeps my weight in a good range.

Red wine takes up about 20% of my calories every day -- there isn't much room for a glass of white. And, there's another practical reason, I haven't found a good way to store partly opened whites over long periods of time.

Of course, over the years I tasted and drank white wine, but last December I was surprised that I didn't know whether Kerner was a white or a red wine, when someone mentioned it on WLDG. I looked at my tasting notes -- about 22,000 wines reviewed over 11 years, less than 3% white including sparklers. We have a big cellar, but less than 2% whites.

I clearly had an enormous gap in my wine knowledge -- so I went to a good retailer, and bought two mixed cases of the best whites he could supply. Bought examples of whites that have been highly recommended on WLDG. Been tasting white wines with folks whenever we have guests. I've been reading lots of tasting notes, a couple of books, and now this Immer/Robinson course to give me a useful and practical approach to whites.

It's not that I haven't enjoyed white wines, you understand. But so far I haven't seen any compelling evidence that they are good medicine -- or found an internist that will deliver that opinion. [Our current internist drinks two glasses of a young red wine every day. Puts a bottle in a carafe on his kitchen counter every other day to soften -- drinks his medicine with dinner every night. Doesn't even know the names of the wines when I ask him. :-)]

It's fun to splurge on white wine from a caloric perspective -- but would I rather splurge on 20 licorice jelly beans or a glass of Pichler? And then I have to walk another mile to pay for the splurge.

Some days I choose one, some day t'other. Most days neither. :-)

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Thomas » Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:24 pm

1,200 calories? A day? Really?

I must be a pig!
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Michael Pronay » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:34 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
Bob Ross wrote:If I'm reading Vin Divino correctly, they now handle only Rudi's version -- I don't know if his father is still making wine, but I suppose I should learn since we like this wine so much.


Is FX Rudi's father? I thought more distant (calling Michael Pronay, we need expertize!)

As someone who only drank red, coming up with '73 Clos Ste Hune, FX Pichlers, and CFE is pretty good way to jump into whites!


Caution, with Pichlers in the Wachau it's almost as difficult as with Achs in Gols.

There are three well-known Pichler estates.

1) Franz & Maria Pichler, Wösendorf.
Franz is the brother of Irmgard Hirtzberger, born Pichler, and married to Franz Hirtzberger of Spitz.

2) Rudi Pichler, Wösendorf.
I'm not sure about Rudi's father's first name, but something's ringing into the direction of Rudi (= Rudolf), too.

3) FX Pichler, Loiben.
The most famous of the three and primus inter pares in the Wachau. FX's (= Franz Xaver's) father is another Franz, the kids are Lucas and Elisabeth, the latter married to Erich Krutzler of Burgenland who today makes wine in Slovenia.

#1 has no homepage, #2 gives data, but is under construction, #3 is rather modernistic — not my pair of shoes — but available in English. Google brings them immediately.
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Re: Pichler Riesling 2001; recipe for balsamic reduction.

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:16 pm

"1,200 calories? A day? Really?"

Long time, sometimes sad, biological facts, now well known and well tested, Thomas. If I can average those numbers over six months or so my weight stabalizes around 150 or so -- a good weight for my frame.

Two sad facts: as I age, that 1,200 seems to be going down -- one thing that's more efficient these days. :-(

And, this Bob does not always achieve those numbers in reality.

Regards, Bob
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