Wine pairing with picnic fare: the fizzy red wine trials part 1

wine pairing with picnic fare
Summertime outdoor cooking calls for low-alcohol and refreshing wines like this 2007 Weingut Michlits Frizzante Rosé of Pinot Noir.

Italy has a great tradition of drinking red wines that are semi-sparkling. There they are known as frizzante but this refreshing style goes by a number of different names, such as pétillant in France, spritzig in some parts of Germany, and aguja in Spain. These terms apply mainly to semi-sparkling whites but reds and rosés can occasionally be found and I’m always curious to try them when I see them.

Semi-sparkling wines in Austria are known as perlwein and are even specialty wines such as the obscure Schilcher wine produced in West Styria made from the Blauer Wildbacher grape. I came across the 2007 Weingut Michlits Frizzante Rosé of Pinot Noir while browsing K&L Wine Merchants online inventory and couldn’t help myself. This stuff was so refreshing on a recent hot summer afternoon that I regretted not buying more. It lasted only 15 minutes while we grilled chicken and snacked on some watermelon.

Burgenland Austria
The starkly beautiful Lake Neusiedlersee in Austria’s Burgenland region is home to many of Austria’s most unusual and delicious wines

Weingut Michlits-Stadlmann is a Demeter certified biodynamic producer located in St. Andrä am Zicksee, on the east side of Lake Neusiedlersee in a wine region known as Burgenland. This is a rural district with and small and traditional community, which might help explain why they happily produce their own unique wine styles that have gone unchanged for hundreds of years (the bottle was sealed with a cork held in place by string). The wine had flavors and aromas of strawberry and watermelon, and with an alcohol content of 11% and just a gentle effervescence, this wine actually seemed to make us feel more refreshed and alert as we drank it rather than making us feel lethargic as high-alcohol wines can do. Drink this now with grilled chicken, potato salad, and a wedge of watermelon!

posted on August 24 2009 by jesse

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