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Offbeat, affordable German red Some call "German red wine" an oxymoron on the scale of "jumbo shrimp" or "military intelligence," but this Dornfelder breaks the pattern.
Offbeat, affordable German red
With the quick side note that I don't buy this - I've enjoyed a few great German Pinot Noirs - it's a fact that the lion's share of German wine is white, and the more modest reds tend to be unassuming at best.
But in this wine realm as in so many others, the times they are a'changing, and today's featured wine - made in the storied Mosel valley from the modern Dornfelder grape - is a surprisingly appealing quaff at a recession-busting price under $10.
Dornfelder was first bred as recently as 1956, making it a contemporary of Elvis and poodle skirts. It is cross of two other, little-known German red-wine grapes. Adds the Website of the importer of today's wine, "Among new varieties, Dornfelder shows great promise. A prolic, relatively early ripener, it produces wine far deeper in color than is typical of German reds."
The brand, "Bloom," is produced in an unusual partnership between an American producer, Precept Wine Brands of Seattle, and a giant Mosel wine cooperative, Moselland. Winemaker Mathias Krämer makes a series of six modest, simply labeled German wines apparently for U.S. export.
The price, the wine names ("Bloom" and "Red Petals") and the flowery label led me to explain a sweet and perhaps fizzy "pop" wine. But Bloom surprises, with a fresh, gently fruity and crisply acidic wine with just a touch of fresh-fruit sweetness. Lightweight at 10.5 percent alcohol and nicely balanced, it's a red that can be served with a light chill, and it goes very well with food.
Bloom 2005 "Red Petals" Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Dornfelder Qualitätswein ($8.99)
Clear garnet, not overly dark but full color. Pleasant red-berry aromas with a touch of spearmint lead into a juicy, tart berry flavor with a mouth-watering shot of fresh-fruit acidity. The finish reveals just a hint of sweetness, but the wine could certainly pass as dry. Refreshing, light in alcohol and quaffable at 10.5%, yet quite good with food. That's a lot to offer for a wine well under $10. U.S. importer: Precept Brands, Seattle. (Jan. 11, 2009)
FOOD MATCH: Fresh fruit and crisp acidity make it a good food match with a range of meat, poultry and cheese options. It was a fine match with a local natural pork chop braised with onions and garlic and orzo as a pasta variation on a pilaf.
VALUE: A more-than-decent quaff for a dollar under 10 bucks makes it a no-brainer in the current economy or any other.
WHEN TO DRINK: The sturdy screw cap will preserve the wine on the shelf and assure against cork "taint," but I'd still advise consuming a wine of this style while it's reasonably young and fresh.
The importer's Website features a short fact sheet about Bloom, with links to tasting notes and other information about the Bloom series of German wines:
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