Budget Wine: 2009 Graf V. Schönborn Silvaner Kabinett Trocken
Region: Franken, Germany
Average Price: $16
This deliciously crisp and refreshing, dry (Trocken), unoaked white wine from Germany is made from the Silvaner grape, and it's juicy and packed with lots of lively fruit.
Zippy acidity, the vibrant flavors pop with a slight spritz. Quite light-bodied but it has ample aromas and flavors of stone fruit, citrus, yellow plum, with hints of fresh cut flowers and a subtle earthy minerality. While not a very complex wine, the length is moderately long and the finish bright.
At The Table
This is a great go-to spring and summer wine. Its crisp acidity and light-body are the key things to remember when pairing with food, so try to avoid very strongly flavored dishes. At the same time, the fruitiness can compliment a certain amount of spice. My recommendations include grilled freshwater trout, white asparagus with a citrus 'beurre blanc', ramps and eggs (any way you please - and why not throw in some crispy bacon), Bratwurst or other sweetish sausage, as well as steamed clams.
SIlvaner is a white grape that is planted in Germany, particularly in the Franken wine region, as well as Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, Austria and various other central and Eastern European countries. It is a crossing between the varieties Traminer and Österreichisch Weiss. It has often been considered a bit of a workhorse grape, as it is fairly easy to grow and quite productive. However, planted in the right sites, particularly in Franken, and in the right hands it can produce some quite delightful wines which are lively, crisp, light-bodied and generally for early consumption.
Franken (or Franconia) is one of the 13 official designated German wine regions (or Anbaugebeit). It is located in Bavaria and produces mainly dry wines, drier than is typical in other German wine regions such as the Rheingau or Mosel. Silvaner and Müller Thurgau are the two most planted varieties.
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Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.