Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fast Four Days Continued: May 30th More Adventures In Wine, Food and History

Castle Tastings, Cooking School, Danube Wines, 1000 year Abbey and Toni Moerwald's Und Dinner!!!!
Sclosshof or Hof Palace is an unusually beautiful piece of history. Located near the border of Austria and Slovenia, it was built by PrinceEugene of Savoy in 1726 and much later purchased by Empress Maria Theresa. The Schloss is an amazing combination of Baroque architecture and fine gardens kept up daily by a large staff. The visitor is welcomed by a tranquility of water falls and ponds and the mind is alerted by many colours of flowers on display.
This is what greeted the group of writers and journalists when they came to a wine seminar that was delivered by Darrel Joseph of Decanter Magazine, Wine Spectator and many more publications gave a seminar concerning the wines of Styria where he spoke of Sauvignon Blanc, Muskateller, Traminer, Blauer Wildbacher, Morrillon (Chardonnay) and Zweigelt.
The whole experience was quite professional and well co-ordinated. I found that I had a problem with my identification of the Muskateller grape and wanted to identify it as a Sauvignon Blanc. I posed the question and was answered to the fact that only tasting more of this grape would help in identification as the wine truly had major Muskateller characteristics.
Cooking Class
Viennese "Schnitzel" was the menu of the Schloss and we were the cooks. It was surprisingly easy to make and a bigger surprise was that Austrian State Television was on hand to interview our own Sandie Kraft. She hammed it up as she does on Two In A Vineyard but she had good delivery and any publicity for our show was good publicity. Great Work Shadow!!!!!
Weinviertel DAC Tasting With Schnitzel-----4 Wines
During the cooking a number of wines were made available to taste as part of the wine and food match. Four wines, all Gruner Veltliner were tasted and were an excellent match for the food displayed.
Open Tasting Wein DAC and The Diversity Of Wines From Weinviertel Area--21 Wines.
14 Gruner Veltliners, 1 Riesling, 1 Sauvignon Blanc, 1 Traminer, 1 BlauerZweigelt, 1 Zweigelt and 2 Pinot Noirs were tasted and they all had special characteristics. The Pinots were especially well made as were the Blauer Zweigelt and Zweigelt.
Gottweig Abbey--Gotweig, Kremstal
Gotweig Abbey is a massive monastery atop a very high mountainous hill. In 1083, Bishop Altmann of Pausau founded this monastery in the Benedictine vein. It still stands in perfect shape after almost 1000 years. Danube Terroirs or "Danube Wine Making Philosophy" were investigated here with 12 wines: 6 Gruner Veltliners and 6 Rieslings tasted from different origin of soils. Their was an obvious difference in the taste and consistency of the different wines from different soil areas.
Niederosterreich Gourmet Dinner At Kloster UND Restaurant
At 8 PM we gathered at one of the most famous of restaurants not only in Austria but in the Globe. This former church has a history was formerly the abode of Prince Eugene and the private chamber of Empress Maria Theresa. The layout of the historic building includes a Ballroom that once entertained kings and queens and a chapel that anointed the marriages of many of the Hapsburg family. The gardens are a sight to behold as they stretch from terrace to terrace.
This building is now part of the Moerwald Restaurant empire run by Toni Moerwald, an exciting and adventurous chef that is among the best in the world. Toni has entertained many celebrities which include Queen Elizabeth, Frank Stronach, Arnold Schwarzenegger among them. Toni's team produced a great Gourmet meal that none of the group will ever forget.
Here is the description.
Wine Aperitif
Brut Rose: Burgunder Sorten
Homegraved Trout From The Wagram With Beetroot & Buttermilk Mousse
Gruner Veltliner from Wachau
Gruner Veltliner from Wagram
Wild Char From Mariazell
Chinese burn Ravioli & Fond Of Wild Herbs
Riesling from Kemptal
Riesling from Kremstal
Fillet Of Austrian Organic Veal With Asparagus & Steamed Morrel
St. Laurent from Thermenregion
Zweigelt, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend from Carnuntum
Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake With Almond Crocant & Basil Ice Cream
Gruner Veltliner Eiswein from Wagram
Riesling Beerenauslese from Wachau
This was a true treat in the best way possible but the fun was not yet over since I made arrangements with Toni Moerwald to come back and interview him plus get some cooking tips.
Thanks to Peter Schieimer Chief Editor of Vinaria Magazine and Willi Klinger Managing Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.
To Be Continued.....