Blue Nun Wines Lift their Habits for Summertime Cocktail Fun
One might think that Germany and the strictness of nuns can have nothing in common with booze and fun. Well, that's not true. That's taking the opening literally and ignoring the proud brewing traditions of Deutschland and that one nun who was always kind albeit a little loopy. No, what we mean here are German wines which are delicious and oftentimes ignored due to the popularity of their European cousins and the rigidness of many a Franconian label. Established in 1857 by Hermann Sichel, Blue Nun Wines has redefined itself with the changing times and as such has proven a popular wine choice outside of Germany.
Photo by Andrea Schmidt
Currently undertaking another salvo of reinvention, Blue Nun joined recently with Miami-based Bar Culture consultant Chris Hudnall to apply the current line of wines (Riesling, Authentic White and Sweet Red) to summer-themed cocktails in a Think Magazine sponsored tasting at C&I Studios in Ft. Lauderdale. Now owned by the Langguth family, themselves involved in Germany's wine production since 1789, current International Managing Director Patrick Langguth was present to provide a little history on the company and to illustrate their new directions of "finding new ways of drinking wine" that are "fun and a little crazy."
AF Chris Hudnall and his ad hoc bartenders.
For this experiment in the reduction of perceived German austerity, Hudnall created four cocktails with varying degrees of ingredient difficulty and personal involvement that are easily adaptable to group sizing and can be mastered by anyone who can measure with some competence. To illustrate this, Hudnall gave a brief intro to the wines and his philosophy for creating great cocktails and then promptly handed the bar over to the guests assembled for the tasting. While the results differed greatly amongst the attendees, most nailed the recipes with a second try.
Before we share the cocktails, a quick word on the wines that were available for tasting unadulterated; the Authentic White is a crisp white with latent tones of fruit that diffuse into the back of the palate with a little bitterness that is not unpleasant. The Sweet Red will suffer with red wine drinkers because of its name. In reality it is more balanced in sweetness than the name would lead to believe -- with the sweetness occurring up front and disseminated by tail's end, which is not thick like most sweet reds. A nice red wine that benefits from chilling or from a couple of ice chips that goes well with heady cheeses and fatty meats.