Reichsrat von Buhl Winery
MONDAY, JULY 8, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.
With the emergence of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement back in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s here in Hawaii, the local food scene greatly changed. Furthermore with specific chefs like Roy Yamaguchi & Alan Wong (just to name 2) their foods created a very exciting, “out of the box”, dynamic fusion of Asian inspired with more classical European techniques & preparations. As this was unfolding, Hawaii was truly the vanguard in pairing wines with more Asian influenced foods & German Riesling was a major component of the “revolution”.
It really was about understanding, appreciating & embracing that this style of cooking was VERY different from the richer, more savory recipes & approaches of classical fare. Far more frequently, now, one encounters more saltiness. (Hoisin, oyster sauce, sesame oil & soy sauce were overtly salty). Far more frequently Euro-Asian foods had a fair amount of sweetness (hoisin, oyster sauce, sesame oil are sweet). We also would encounter heat in dishes/recipes (from ginger, chili pepper, wasabi, curry & the like).
What these components clashed with in wines, was overt oakiness, high alcohol & bitterness (which were components that earlier had worked well with fat rich cream & butter sauces). This was therefore a BIG change. Would diners embrace such a big change?
Thirty or so years later, the sommelier community for the most part has swung in to better understanding & appreciating the needed change. The general public, however, is slowly adjusting, but most still have a hankering for oak laden, smooth Chardonnay & ultra-ripe, opulent, deeply flavored Cabernet Sauvignon. Furthermore, the popularity of these wines are fueled frequently & continuously by high ratings & accolades by the major media, so tasters think they must be good & collectible. Even when they are offered at such exorbitant prices, the demand is still high & the waiting lists long.
We should also mention that while we look to the German wine category when pairing wines with Euro-Asian foods, NOT all German wines are created equal. Each one should in fact be different based upon the vineyard of origin, the climate of that particular vintages & of course the skill of the winemaker.
Like so many other winegrowing/producing regions, there are vineyards in Germany which truly standout head & heels over others in terms of quality and/or having something truly special & unique. There also seems to one winemaker who emerges in an appellation who is also head over heels above his peers in terms of an “out of the box” vision, mastery of skills & the passion & drive to make it all happen.
Reichsrat von Buhl is one of those historic, iconic estates that have quite an impressive stable of iconic vineyard holdings, today all organically farmed. Located in the Pfalz region of Germany, Von Buhl is one of the serious minded wineries who helped usher Germany onto the world class wine stage…..AND has been doing so for over 150 years. “Reichsrat von Buhl has belonged to the circle of the most prestigious wineries in Germany. Since it was founded in 1849, Reichsrat von Buhl has made its wines in a terroir-dominated, timeless style that has never been oriented to fashion, but always to the grapes’ origins in the best soils of Deidesheimer and Forster“. We are honored that Von Buhl winemaker Richard Grosche is coming to Hawaii to share his wines & his insights into each wine.
This night is a culinary orchestration by Managing Partner Ivy Nagayama of top level talent–winemaker Richard Grosche & a selection of Reichsrat von Buhl wines paired with the foods of Albert Balbas (Executive Chef DK Steakhouse); Masa Hattori (Corporate Sushi Chef, DK Restaurants); Cherie Pascal (Corporate Pastry Chef, DK Restaurants).
Here is the menu & pairings.
NEW ZEALAND ORA KING SALMON CARPACCIO– with Upcountry Maui kale, sweet Maui Onions and harusame noodle salad, Asian mustard vinaigrette, ogo, pickled red cabbage, and Mari’s Garden micro greens
WINE: 2017 Von Buhl Riesling Medium-dry “Jazz”–German Riesling can come in many different styles. This particular wine is halbtrocken (medium dry)–rich enough to handle the King salmon…….lush & crisp enough to handle the salmon’s oiliness & ever so slight hint of sweetness, in fact just enough to counter the mustard vinaigrette & pickled red cabbage.
Second Course (by d.k Steak House Executive Chef Albert Balbas)
AIR CURED WAGYU BRESAOLA—with Mari’s Garden baby arugula pesto, toasted pine nuts, EVOO & chili pepper water
WINE: 2017 Von Buhl Dry Rosé–yes, a PINK wine–Pinot Noir–tasty, remarkably light, weightless that freshens the palate between bites of the salty, savory bresaola & the tangy accompanying refreshing salad.
EAST-ASIAN CREAMY SESAME CHAZUKE RISOTTO–Kaua‘i shrimp, edamame and shiitake shinjo fish cake, wasabi furikake crusted Hokkaido scallop, salmon roe, takikomi multigrain rice, shiso leaf, and cilantro
WINE: 2016 Von Buhl “Armand” Riesling Kabinett–ever so slightly sweet with a crisp refreshing acidity which works wonders with Sushi Chef Masa’s incredible subtle, yet complex creation.
KALAMATA BUTTER ROASTED FRESH ISLAND OPAKAPAKA–with saffron clam jus and vine ripened tomato concasse
WINE: 2016 Von Buhl Deidesheimer Dry Riesling–Deidesheim is historically the home turf to some of Germany’s brilliant Rieslings. This rendition is dry, minerally & palate cleansing which totally accents this dish accordingly. It will show why Rieslings are sommelier’s favorites across the country when pairing with contemporary fusion foods. Real magic.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE TART —with whipped cream, housemade Kona Coffee Ice cream, shortbread crust, almond praline, and dark rum Crème Anglaise