The Furst Pinot Gris and Remembering a Life of Grace

As a young girl, I looked upon my aunt with a sense of wonder.  She was elegant, a beauty, and full of class. 
Her southern drawl rolled off her tongue like sweet honey and was often punctuated with a wink and a smile wide as the sea.

I received the call early Saturday morning.  My aunt had passed, her dazzling smile gone from this earth.

I had been looking for a wine for my blog and found one from the Alsace, a region steeped in German and French history, which fit nicely with my Aunt’s German lineage.  Her maiden name was Schultheiss, after all.

The Furst is the producer of this Pinot Gris from the Alsace, a narrow strip of land in Northeastern France, tucked in between the Vosges Mountains and the German border. Most of this region’s wine is white and is produced with ripe fruit, fermented to a dry style.  The Alsatian Pinot Gris wines typically show a rich, almost honeyed character with full ripe fruit.

The straw-colored wine emits luscious aromas of honeyed pear and lemon zest.

On the palate, apricot fruit dripping with honey is found in a soft, lush texture.  Apple and citrus notes emerge mid-palate with hints of tropical fruit.  A nice zing of spice and citrus show up on the finish with everything wrapping up clean and bright.

We drank the Pinot Gris, served in the traditional, Germanic green-stemmed wine glasses, along with a plate of prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus.  Even though this wine was not highly acidic, it was bright enough to complement the saltiness of the prosciutto.

Our second glass (may have been our third, actually…) was paired with our salmon marinated in a soy-ginger sauce and grilled. The rich character of the wine was a fine complement to the richness of the salmon, while the sweet honeyed notes mingled nicely with the spicy ginger.

Perhaps my aunt peeked through the break in the clouds just in time to see us raising our glasses to her.  I prefer to imagine she was too busy, chatting with my mother, catching her up on everything from the last years, to even see us.

Here is to my beautiful aunt, to her love and her grace.  Auf weidersehen Auntie; Until I see you again.


About the author: Sue Navratil

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