Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ice wine

If you are at all excited by food and wine, the approach of Christmas, the excitement of shopping for increasingly special food and drink as this month progresses, you need to read this article in today’s Observer Magazine, in which Nigel Slater is educated by Tim Atkin:

As I bring in the long, thin mincemeat tart straight from the oven, Mr Atkin produces a glass of Riesling from the most elegant bottle I have ever seen, long and slim like a Giacometti sculpture. The contents are the colour of purest acacia honey. This is Tim's ‘navel’ wine and I see precisely what he means, though he declines my suggestion of a hands-on demonstration. He passes me a glass of garnet-red Port.

We take a mouthful of hot mince pie, followed swiftly by another of the chilled Riesling ice wine. ‘Look at the legs on that,’ says Tim, pointing out the rather beautiful pattern of streaks and dribbles trickling slowly down the sides of the glass. ‘The Germans call them “Cathedral windows”, the French call them “legs”.’ Their presence is a big clue as to the viscosity and richness of the wine. I’m listening, but it is difficult when you are eating a mouthful of food and wine that is so utterly, gloriously sublime. Soft, honeyed, sweet, hot, icy, intensely fruity and buttery — a mouthful that tastes like all your Christmases have come at once.

The wine, by the way, is this and is buyable here. You will have to make your own mincemeat and apple tart. And it will be a pleasure. Trust me.

tags: [] [] [] [] []

No comments: