I have not yet done the 23andMe test to give insight into my genetic origins. That said, I do know that there will be Roman, Celt, Saxon and French in there. I know this not because I like pizza, singing while wearing a kilt, eating sausages and beer, or cooking coq au vin, but from the wonderful sleuthing my Aunty Jean did, uncovering our family ancestry back to when Julius Cesar popped over the channel with a few Roman friends for tea in 63BC and stuck around for a while (approximately 500 years). After 1,000 years of being invaded by various European tribes, it eventually got to the point where this was rather annoying. That's when the now mixed blooded inhabitants of the island finally banded together and told the next invaders to go take a running jump and leave our prize marrows alone.
Fast forward another thousand years, and here we are. Almost all of us -- even those of us who consider ourselves 110% Brit -- are actually living "field blends" (in wine speak) when it comes to our makeup. And, as with any great blend, the result really is greater than the sum of its parts. Which takes us to today's wine:
Zahel Wiener Gemischter Satz ($20) This "field blend" is a mix of up to 12 varietals from 3 small wine regions around Vienna. The result is a delightful, fresh white with a wonderful harmony that feels like all the different grapes are singing together. It has notes of mango, yellow cherries and apple with bright acids that wake up the tastebuds. This is a wonderful summer wine that echoes the ripe fruit of the season. I immediately started thinking about crispy grilled shrimp with fresh mango salsa. It would also compliment a blackened fish or any curry dish by cutting through rich, spicy flavours.
You may recognize the name as we have had quite a few of the Zahel family wines over the years. They don’t make much wine, but what they make is always fantastic. Serious biodynamic followers, they are Demeter certified (the international Biodynamic body) and pride themselves on never taking a shortcut when it comes to work in the vineyard. We are so grateful to have access to their small-batch wines. Be sure to grab some!
On the red side, I was drinking a bottle of the Chiara Condello's Tre Vigne 2018 ($26) which we talked about a while back and I was reminded just how flippin’ good it is and thought I would throw out a reminder in case you missed it. It is bright and fruity, and just a classic pasta wine made in small quantities by a talented young female winemaker. Try with a large helping of your homemade Bolognese sauce and settle in for a treat!