Last week, I attended the Terry Theise (and Mark de Grazia) Spring Tasting, presented by Michael Skurnik Wines at City Winery. It was a Tuesday afternoon, cold and wet, and I was coming from the South Bronx, so of course I got there late. But what a event…the house was packed with bodies and wine…I wish I’d had more time, for Terry Theise is a seeker whose wines you can trust. Like I’d written earlier about Jenny & François–if you’re ever unsure of what wine(s) you should buy, make your selections based on the importer and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Importing wines from Germany, Austria, and Champagne, Theise is a passionate supporter of artisanal wines. Named the James Beard Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional in 2008, he has a hawk’s eye for finding families who work close with the ground and vine. As the author of Reading between the Wines (it’s on my list), Theise has been scribing away at his three annual catalogues, from atop Terry’s Squawk Box, and for a handful of other publications, such as Zester Daily, for years. He’s a brilliantly sensual writer who’s full of zest, offering notes such as, “If truffles had orgasms they might emit this fragrance in flagrante.” Pour me some of that please…and make it quick.
And so…what was notable at Tuesday’s event? For one thing, I’m excited about the Austrian and German vintage 2010, though I admit that I haven’t much to base this on yet. Just at the tables were closing down, I found myself standing at Nigl, an Austrian producer whose wines I’ve always liked. And while their 2009 selections were just fine, it was the Grüner Veltliner Freiheit 2010 that snagged my line. 2010 was a difficult year in these parts of the world, with low yields due cool temps at the time of blossom, followed by rain in August and a cool and wet September. And while I wouldn’t wish such difficult times on any winemaker, I appreciate the high acidity, low fruit and austerity that’s expected to define these wines. Super fragrant with floral notes, stone fruit, and minerality, the GV Freiheit suggests that we have a lot to look forward to.
At the next few tables there were a couple of 2010 rosé wines, but by the time I’d realized, the event was shut down and the bottles were gone.