Another wine I fell in love with all over again last summer was the Schoffit Chasselas, this time the 2008 vintage. Chasselas is a little known varietal grown from New Zealand to France, Switzerland, Germany and even due West as far as Portugal. Truth be told, I’ve only ever tasted Schoffit’s attempt, an example from Alsace, France to be precise. Finally back in stock after nearly a year, I hurried to bring home the latest vintage at the tail end of last summer. I remembered the previous vintage offering a large helping of mouthfilling fruit – pears and melon and bananas, oh my! It also had a distinct minerality to it, which endowed a cleansing lift that seemed to cut through the seeming “fat” of the ripe fruit flavors.
The 2008 vintage was even more exciting – more ripe and nuanced – so much so that I’ve been saving our discussion about it until we were fully in throws of October. Why? First, the aromas of citrus blossoms, orange rind and even coriander lifted from the bowl of my glass as soon as I poured the Schoffit; rich, mouth-coating flavors of ripe banana and tangerine thrilled my tongue. These are smells and flavors I most often associate with the German wheat (weiss) beers I love so much. I find them enthralling for their texture and distinctness in the world. They give me a break from wine – but no less something to think about as I breathe in and then savor each sip. My second reason is that October brings more crisp fall days than hints of summer. The smell of leaves fills the air. I look forward to warming meals and fleshy, richer wines. The Schoffit Chasselas is precisely the kind of white I get super excited about.
So if you have a serious beer drinker in your life, or are one yourself, consider grabbing a bottle of this low-allocation, hard to find white, and dish up a plate of butternut or pumpkin squash risotto! You’ll be thanking your lucky stars you did.
Are you familiar with Chasselas? Which German wheat beer is your Oktoberfest pick?