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Riesling, the word itself stirs a thousand sensual imaginations. Fruity, flowery, acidic, fresh, and tenderly sweet. The adjectives to describe the wonder go on and on. A grape originally from the Rhine region of Germany, it is often considered to be the best grape varieties for white wine along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Personally, I love the fact that Riesling wines are rarely oaked, and have great personalities corresponding to their “terroir.”
On an exceptional summer evening, MGM MACAU organizes a Riesling wine dinner at Grand Imperial Court, featuring sumptuous dishes prepared by a team of dedicated chefs who are passionate about their work. One of the grand gastronomic works on the menu is langoustine tartar, rainbowmato with yuzu tomato sorbet, basil essence and sea urchin, by Elie Khalife, Chef de Cuisine at Aux Beaux Arts. As we are savoring the food, not far away from our dining table, Adolphus Foo, Director of Wines begins to pour the wine.
“It is a blind tasting, which means that I am not going to tell you about the wine first. Just taste,” he instructs.
I slowly move my fingertips towards the first glass. I have no idea which bottle I am drinking, but after the first sip, I feel as if I have been transported to apple and green pear wonderland. It turns out that it is the Dönnhoff, Kreuznacher Kröetenpufhl Riesling Kabinett 2012. Expressive, yet pure, the wine is extremely unique, packed great minerality and character. Indeed, without coincidence, the Mittleren Nahe region in Germany is known for its steep and rural valley with rich volcanic soil, and the wine reflects such elements without reservations. This wine goes extremely well with Elie’s creation, especially due to the fact that the heirloom tomatoes he uses for the dish also has a certain level of minerality to it. A match made in heaven.
Out of the fives glasses of Riesling offered on the table, there is actually another glass that really rocks my world. After enjoying several sips, I am completely hooked and seduced by the vanilla and orange cream aroma oozing from the rich, golden liquid. The Weingut St. Urbans-Hof, Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spätlese, 2007 combines vanilla with citrus notes, bittersweet and floral, all opulently expressed on the palate. Personally, I prefer to pair this glass of wine with the dessert, lime flower sabayon with cucumber ice cream, cashew nut macaroon, white chocolate, jasmine and finger lime.
“This dessert is my interpretation of summer. Nothing is heavy, loud, or too sweet. You should take your time to savor the nuances. It should provide a variety of taste because of its sophistication,” Günther Wolfsgruber, Executive Pastry Chef explains.
Sophistication is an understatement. Günther’s masterpiece is stunning, a colorful reflection of all the joyful aspirations that human beings have during this lovely season. The flowery note on the palate is once again further enhanced with a sip of the Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spätlese, 2007. Minerality from the cucumber, flowery perfume from the lime flower, and the nutty flavors are all combined deliciously at the end. Just like the beautiful Riesling wine, the sensation is almost too good to be true.


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