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Food, Wine & Friends Page 293  March 2017

We arrived in Frankfurt early one day in March and Claus Bonifer met us at the airport to begin a busy day of winery visits.

After visiting three cellars in the Franken region, we arrived at our "home base" in Rodgau (a short drive from Frankfurt) and the home of Gaby and Norbert Auth.


Norbert was ready with a chilled bottle of Champagne.


Gaby is a big fan of bubbles.


Veuve Fourny et Fils...Blanc de Blancs...Brut Nature (no dosage)...mildly toasty and elegant.

After a few nibbles, we sat down at the dinner table...


Gaby prepared a wonderful consommé to start dinner.


Then we enjoyed a bottle of Cantina Tramin's Pinot Grigio called "Unterebner," a wood-aged dry white.  You can't really sense the use of oak in this wine, though.
It was a great accompaniment to the Feldsalat with lightly smoked fish and pomegranate seeds...a visual delight, to be sure, but tasting even better!

Back in the kitchen, Gaby took care of pan-roasting some potatoes.


As they have a little vacation house in Italy's Alto Adige, their cellar is nicely stocked with various selections from wineries in and around Bolzano.

With this lovely ham we enjoyed two reds from the Nals Margreid winery from the town of Nalles, a short drive northwest of Bolzano.

The St. Magdalener is apparently made entirely of the Schiava (or Vernatsch) grape.  Some are blended with Lagrein, but the winery web site doesn't mention this being a blended red.  It's nicely light and shows some red fruit notes and no oak.

The Lagrein is a slightly bigger wine, but still a nicely youthful red intended for drinking as a young wine.

Both paired nicely with the ham.

Dessert was also exceptional!

 

And then we had a good snooze in preparation for another busy day, followed by the amazing wine fair called ProWein.

A few days later we returned to Rodgau for an evening with the Bauer Family.


Josef had selected some bottles to accompany the kitchen artistry of his wife Uli.


Some pâté as a little starter...

And then to the table.

Claus and Anette Bonifer.

Josef offered a Schneider Sekt from Germany...

...and a Comte de Brismand Champagne which is a label produced for the German grocery store chain called Lidl.


It's a mildly fruity and fairly dry Champagne which partners nicely with Uli's pâté.

Claus Bonifer with the CB Champagne.

And the kellermeister was busy refilling all the empty glasses.

And then the Kitchen Magician was back with another delectable plate...


This was a wonderful seafood and feldsalat plate.




We then presented Uli with a couple of little hostess gifts...




Uli is a knife aficionado and so she's known as The Knife Wife.



It's a wooden handled serrated knife which is especially useful as cutlery in a picnic venue.  They even have a corkscrew as part of this folding blade.

Josef's white wine marathon continued as he brought out a few more bottles.

Uli, meanwhile, took the opportunity to slice some bread with her new "toy."



A 2012 Verrazzano Chianti Riserva was a medium-bodied Sangiovese.

And we had a 2012 Brunello di Montalcino from Piccini.

Yum!

These were followed by a 2007 Barolo from the Marchesi di Barolo winery.

And then dessert...

And of course some eaux-de-vie were put on the table...

Vielen dank to the Bauers, Bonifers and Auths for some memorable vittles and vino!

 

The following morning it was off to Italy for some meals with special friends and visits in the Veneto, Lombardia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Piemonte and back to Verona for the annual circus-of-a-wine-fiera called VinItaly.

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