The Grapevine

Zweigelt and Sausage

March 8th, 2013

I don’t know how the weather is where you are, but here in the Hudson Valley it’s almost a white out. We haven’t gotten a huge amount of snow, but enough. And it’s wet so it’s sticking to the trees, and the wind is swirling. In other words perfect weather for hearthside comfort food.

Inspired by this Serious Eats column on Zweigelt tasting article with the funny title, here’s a sausage recipe that[level-members] will pair nicely with any of the zweigelts from the article – and any others you have in your shop.

2011 Glatzer Riedencuvee Zweigelt (Carnuntum, Austria) ($18)
“I don’t know if my input is going to be worth your sausage.” Fierce! Vivid ruby. Bitter brambly red berries. Red apple skins, like you chewed on just the skin for a while. Tart. Nimble. Maple bacon. Umami shellfish?! High-toned. Sour. Spicy.

2010 Paul Achs Zweigelt (Burgenland, Austria) ($24)
Juicy. Candy. Alcohol. Candied red fruit. Easier. Better. Fruit roll-up stuck in your teeth. Pine cones! Cinnamon. Softer tannins and higher acid. Ripe, bright and light. Rich red raspberry—or, I don’t know, plum or something?

2008 Heinrich Zweigelt (Burgenland, Austria) ($20)
Whoa! Rich, rich. Much richer smelling, almost like Burgundy with a heady, earthy, rich texture and pepperiness. Black. Red and black. Very cherry candy. Less sour-brambly. Mouthfilling and succulent. “I want sausage.”

For the recipe, let’s hop on over to The Food Network for something a little different. Sausage & Sauerkraut. Don’t run away yet. Kraut is not exactly wine-friendly, but this recipe calls for soaking the kraut in water before cooking, which mellows it considerably.

Feel free to ignore me and run your links out to the grill instead. The Zweigelt will still work nicely. But I’m staying out of the swirling snow myself. [/level-members]