Vineyards cover more than 6 million hectares of the planet’s surface, and there are thousands of grape varieties used for winemaking alone. What are the chances that you’ll find one wine that’s perfect for you?
If you’ve been enjoying wines for quite some time now, chances are you’re a fan (a devotee even) of at least one of the handful noble and international varieties. But from time to time, there comes an itch to try something new; something different from what everyone else is drinking, or something new to tickle your palate.
Care to geek over an almost forgotten grape? Do you like underdogs?
If you love Pinot Gris/Grigio or Riesling, then you’re in for a surprise.
Sylvaner is a historic grape variety that originated from Central Europe. It’s the offspring of two less well-known white grapes: Traminer (Germanic) and Österreichisch Weiss (Austrian). Sylvaner was once a grape of great repute, but it lost its shine after becoming popular in Germany for making table wines at the turn of the 20th century. The wild child eventually found its way to Alsace, France—its second life and home—where it took on a different character. Since neutral tasting in nature, Sylvaner has the capacity to reflect the distinct character of its terroir. In Germany, Silvaner (the German spelling) boasts of body and structure that it inherits from limestone-clay soils and cool weather. However, the Alsatian version is crisper and lighter because of the dry, sunny climate and adjacent mountain shelter—reasons why the Silvaners of Alsace are often described as elegant and summery.
Taste & Pairing
French Sylvaner white wines are generally gentle, balanced, fruity, and dry in style. Simplicity is the soul of its charm. Its fresh and thirst-quenching character brings in the party to the palate. It’s a good alternative to rosé for a backyard picnic or outdoor lunch, and it will mingle nicely with your asparagus, vegetable salads, light meats, sausages, seared seafood, sushi, carbonara, bread, or fresh cheese. If you want to experience a good first impression, try this biodynamically farmed and naturally fermented Sylvaner from Domaine Mittnacht Freres. Dry but rich, with a refreshing finish of fruity, flowery, and herby notes.
Its color is pale yellow with green reflections. Fresh with typical vegetal aromas. More complex than "classic" Sylvaner, it is powerful, almost supple with notes of fruit and fine butter. A still young wine with a light bitter finish. Great with salads, raw vegetables, soft water fishe (raw, nature, marinated) and fresh cheese.