Nik Weis of St. Urbans-Hof traveled all the way from Germany to show off his Rieslings, and after a few sips, it was evident why he would make the effort to share this refreshingly light and sweet wine with Houstonians. The first of The Tasting Room's Winemaker Dinner Series events began beautifully with an evening of skillfully prepared seafood and equally skillfully crafted Riesling.
A lovely amuse bouche of crispy cornmeal crusted fried oyster and a glass of bubbly started the meal . This was followed by Gulf Blue Crab served with mango, fresh horseradish, micro greens, and citrus. The first Riesling of the evening was an elegant Urban Riesling ($18.99), which started off lovingly sweet and finished astonishingly clean. It was like a magic trick in your mouth.
Next, came golden-seared sea scallops accompanied by celery root puree, grapefruit, and chive oil paired with an Estate Riesling ($19.99). This was a delicious course, as the sweetness of the tender scallops matched with the wine and somehow altered its flavor completely.
A pillowy filet of black grouper on top of little neck clams, potato, and tarragon followed. This creamy, perfectly prepared dish was amazing with an Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett ($24.99), which proved to be a powerful vintage that had lovely notes of nutmeg and black truffle.
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Things ended on a high note, with a vanilla bean panna cotta topped with sea salted almonds that saved everything from being overly sugared. The pairing of a Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese ($36.99), with its brilliant minerality, truly elevated the dessert. Matching each bite of decadent panna cotta with the fruity, almost herbaceous, wine was a scrumptious experience.
Winemaker dinners run throughout the year at The Tasting Room, and St. Urbans-Hof can be purchased at many locations around town.