I had an extra Juice Import’s Harvest Tasting ($25) ticket because Beep Beep had to cancel her trip to Calgary. As Lululemon already bought two spots for herself and her fiancé Books, I invited Foodiegal as my plus one. For this post, let’s listen to “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” by Janet Jackson.
Foodiegal waited for me outside Bricks Wine Co. We signed in and partook in welcome bubbles from Brand Bros, Pet Nat ($38.95) when we walked inside. Foodiegal enjoyed the clean, soft bubbles so much that she put this bottle on her wish list.
The theme of this tasting was a comparative analysis between Brand Bros and Jochen Beurer, two wineries in Germany where Erik helped to harvest the grapes. He started us off with a “serious” rosé, Brands Bros 2020 Wildrosé ($34.95), a wine with incredible intensity. The grapes are from 50-year-old Portugieser vines, and the harvest for this vintage was excruciatingly hot and dry. As this rosé is unfiltered, the owner, Daniel, instructs customers to shake and wait ten minutes for the particles to settle. We admired the colour and how the light reflected off the sediment floating in the wine.
If Wildrosé is considered serious, Jochen Beurer Rosé ($29.95) is carefree with its soft, gentle flavour. Erik described the wine as “bright and juicy, with a ton of freshness.” Foodiegal and I enjoyed this rosé. Erik noted this vintage is the product of all the grape varieties, and “then the juice is bled off and spontaneously fermented to full dryness in stainless steel before élevage and bottling.”
Erik took a sip of Brand Bros Monastery Riesling ($46.95) and sighed at its haunting complexity and proclaimed that this was everything he loved about wine. Cloudy in colour, I appreciated how the Riesling sparkled against my tongue. Erik informed us that the fifty-year-old vines are planted in limestone-dominant soil, which helps preserve acidity, even in scorching weather. Lululemon and I bought a bottle because it was that good. Foodiegal wasn’t a fan, so I drank her glass. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask Erik what to pair with this Riesling.
Erik asked us which we enjoyed more, the Monastery Riesling or Jochen Beurer Jungrs Scwaben Riesling ($59.95). About half the group preferred the Jungrs Scwaben. I favoured the yum factor of the Monastery, but I still appreciated the richer, smoother, sweeter Riesling from Beurer. I asked Erik why does Germany have the best Rieslings? Erik reckoned it was a combination of factors. Perfect climate, soil, and having a thousand years of experience create generational knowledge that gets passed on.
I was pleasantly surprised by Brand Bros Red ($31.95). Quaffable, with a pretty scent and soft carbonation. Erik mentioned this red was easy to pair with lots of food. Lululemon, Foodiegal and I bought a bottle.
The Jochen Beurer Red ($29.95) was heavier and richer in taste than Brand Bros. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the red wines because Germany’s famous for Riesling. I was particularly impressed with the sparkling red. I wondered why these two German wineries offer such high-quality, reasonably priced wines compared to some other wineries. Erik explained the land is cheaper in Germany, and their harvest produces high-yield crops, unlike pinot noir or more difficult grape varieties. As well, the government offers subsidies.
I learned that Erik also hosts private parties. I may enlist Erik’s service when my sister Me Shell visits me this summer. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening. Supping on steaks and sipping on fine wines while listening to Bard Erik recite his journeys tasting the most natural wines in the most unlikely places.