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It was my dad’s birthday last week and we decided to keep it simple, paying little attention to the elevated numerical count he was reaching and instead of dining out—our custom in years past—we stayed in and made a real simple and homey meal for him. The dinner was anything but fancy and truth be told it was just a dinner, comprised of blue potatoes, fresh asparagus and some thin cut pork chops sautéed in butter. However it was an ideal time to have a wine pairing and I was inclined to serve a Riesling, firstly because it was HOT outside and secondly because we were going to be eating pork. Lets revisit bin number 274.

The conditions could not have been more perfect for serving a blithe wine with a medium body that could be quaffed carefree, and a qualitätswein fit the billing. A Riesling from the Mosel was called in, specifically, a 2009 Willi Schaefer (one of many properties represented in the portfolio of acclaimed importer Terry Theise).

I chose the Mosel wine because it captured our nonchalance; it was unpretentious. One of the most exalted growing regions in Germany is the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The area is well documented for producing some of the finest versions of Rieslings (among other wines) known to oenophiles. The Schaefer was not of such esteem but rose to the occasion from humble beginnings. The term Mosel—on a wine label—refers to the major river that takes form in the Vosges Mountains and spans across French and German wine making territories. Mosel is found on the labels in part as a stratification system, breaking down the wines into subsets for quality assurance designations. The term Mosel has endured on the labels as a classification because of the ease in which it is pronounced—the same cannot be said for other common German verbiage found pasted on a bottle.

Back to number 274, it was picked because pork and Riesling are a beautiful couple; not only is the fattiness of the pork abated on the palate after a sip of the bright Riesling but also the vibrancy of fruit and structure of these wines prepares your mouth for the following bites. It was with this foreknowledge I was more than happy to unscrew the top of the Willi Schaefer.

My mother prepared a perfectly executed meal with purple potatoes sharing the jus from the buttered pork drippings and some lightly steamed asparagus. The potatoes were remarkable, the creamiest texture I have encountered in a long time and the pork chops had been seasoned well and were crispy on their outsides. The mixed textures enhanced the meal. Everything was light and easy and wine complimented the grub, deleting the grease and replacing it with effulgent pippin apples and citrus sprits of the Schaeffer. Even the asparagus—an enemy of wine—respectfully bowed down.

The day was a success; my dad had celebrated another year, downplaying the proximity to 60, as I stepped ever closer to my 500 mark with my family—in the best company. Van harte gefeliciteerd, Pap.

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