Wine Food Pairing Drinks Up a Storm .. er .. Sturm!
Wine food pairing just had the opportunity to visit Styria or Steiermark in Austria ... the first home of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was actually born in the hamlet of Thal bei Graz, about 10 km (6 mi) from Graz, the capital of Styria .....
It is located in the southeast portion of the country and shares its southern border with Slovenia. The geography is generally mountainous with alpine activities abounding. Wineries and great regional cuisine are all to be found in the Styria Region.
Other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, this region is famous for its Apple Balsamic Vinegar which, when pressed down, has a lot less acidity than regular vinegar and more of a "spice" to it ... in addition to the vinegar, it also boasts pumpkin seed oil. Now if you have read any of my other posts you know that this stuff is so good we bring back several bottles each time we return to the US.
In the farmer's market picture, this "liquid gold" is in the bottle carrier close to the front of the table. Thick and dark green, it kind of looks like motor oil and the real connoisseurs taste it from a shot glass like a fine wine to test its quality! We like to use it to dress our salads, drizzle over steamed veggies and it is also is a terrific garnish on creamy soups like, guess what ... pumpkin soup!
If you ever get a chance you MUST taste it for yourself ... it has such a wonderful nutty flavor that you will be hooked.
No farmer's market in Autumn would be complete without a wine farmer offering a yummy bottle of Sturm. This tasty Austrian "juice" can pack a real wallop if you don't watch out. Sturm is actually semi-fermented grape juice from the first grape harvest of the season. It's lower in alcohol than regular wine and marks the official start of autumn for many locals. It comes in red or white ... my fave is the white! Sturm, with its slight carbonation can tend to sneak up on you so be careful when you drink up a storm ... er ... sturm ... wine food pairing ... many times silly. CHEERS!