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相思十八月 Longing 18 Months

 

相思十八月

香港是一個十分成熟的餐飲業市場。真正的老饕只會選廚師而不會選餐廳。天香樓是例外。我年少時是蔡瀾先生的鐵粉,由蔡君在東方日報專欄「緣」追捧至今。我長大了出來工作,第一間讓我死慳死抵要去的餐館就是天香樓。這間餐廳從迎賓的一杯龍井、餐前敬菜的一小盤醬蘿蔔,頭盤、涼菜、熱葷、大盤、湯羹、甜品……沒有一道菜可以扣分。堪稱世運金牌傑作。1987年吃一頓晚飯$800跑不掉,對我這個乳臭未乾的娃娃來說是有點太奢侈。但每隔幾個月,天生吃貨總要跑去吃時令菜式。怪不得蔡君讚不絕口。唯一要投訴的是他們歧視粵人,只要聽到你說廣東話,就會叫鍾無艷叔叔來招呼你,好像在暗忖你們廣東幫懂個屁吃淮揚菜。不過江湖地位是用錢堆砌出來的。只要去得頻密,懂得點菜。侍應生的面孔就不一樣了。 

好酒一樣,我是挑釀酒師。一個好的酒莊應該是每一款酒都精益求精,這完全依賴釀酒師的熱枕和功力。有很多名酒莊總會有一款旗艦標籤,但旗艦標籤以外的勾兌,很多時都會是乏善足陳。當然在商言商,有時也需要滿足喝酒給人看的顧客。光有熱忱和功力能不能讓你在酒壇脫穎而出?我是一個離經叛道的人,總喜歡那些帶點神經質丶反叛丶勇於創新的釀酒師。 

就像是咕嚕肉,原創者是用山楂及肥豬肉作材料。慢慢的演進成半肥瘦及菠蘿,接著用草莓、接着又復古用山楂和豬腩尾肥肉帶一薄層瘦肉。這是佛山102的招牌菜。在傳統的基礎上加上創意和功力才是最讓食家驚喜的傑作。 

大家都知道瓊瑤漿(Gewurztraminer) 這個葡萄品種;德國奧地利瑞士盧森堡法國都有他的足跡。也許是德國人做事一板一眼,十分嚴謹,及其進取的行銷,使其他產地的瓊瑤漿都被他的鋒芒掩蓋。尤其是法國阿爾薩斯瓊瑤張;始終覺得法國酒的風土、技術,細膩婉約,嫵媚可愛。大家都習慣了追甜丶追罕有丶追貴腐霉,往往聚焦在瓊瑤漿的冰酒。冰酒的濃稠丶醇厚丶高香可謂盡顯瓊瑤漿的雍容華貴。然而瓊瑤漿落在史提芬班威夫的手上猶如梅艷芳與劉培基,讓你目不遐給! 

史提芬一向鬼馬,作品往往給人驚喜,自然系列是入門版,他的瓊瑤漿自然版,聞香既花且果,濃郁的果子香還以為是甜酒;口感卻極乾辛!彪史托高系列,顧名思義就是彰顯當地風土特質的傳統造法;札實的功底不失活潑生動。陶瓶系列是採用格魯吉亞古董陶缸埋在地底浸釀,沒有加諸以橡木,質樸古雅。晚採系列,不用多說都知道是在瓊瑤漿葡萄在熟透時收成釀製,不言而喻是甜酒。粒採不消說了;是相當於德國TBA的甜度。除了冰酒,瓊瑤漿把玩了這些種種的樣本也差不多了吧!柳暗花明,史提芬將瓊瑤漿釀了《紅粉人生》,既是桃紅又是橙酒,千嬌百媚使飲家耳目一新! 

史提芬的創意還未止步!2013推出了小儍漿!用橙酒方式造了瓊瑤漿汽酒!還抵死地用荷蘭水蓋封瓶,服未?這個小傻漿是以最低的人為干預,釀萄葡自然發酵而製成;還不過濾,不隔渣,泡沫也是自然而成。可謂有汽的橙酒。泡末的好處是可以抵消甜度,輕化濃烈的茘枝甜味丶同時突顯瓊瑤漿的香料和香薰氣息。瓊瑤漿英文Gewürztraminer 中的Gewürz德文的含義就是香料丶香薰的意思。品嘗這酒時,你會發現經常被屏蔽了的薑母丶蘿勒,豆寇香。

 

別看史提芬鬼靈精怪,他對品質的要求卻是秉承傳統,擇善固執。新釀好的酒, 還未陳夠火候,絕對不會出窖。2013年的收成,到了2016才可以出售。從收成到釀製好還要再等18個月才可以一親芳澤。他們從來也不硬銷也不促銷。酒在自家的窖中狀態最好。不過每年還是要加價的。對自己這麼要求高的生產商,十來個巴仙的升幅還是可以接受的。尤其是他們產量很少,有一些標籤年產800到1200瓶,而且史提夫是視乎每年收成的狀況來決定遭哪款酒,每一個標籤的年份,不一定連續的。酒迷們癡癡的也得等待18至24個月。2013、2015、2017 三個年份的小傻漿,越釀越成熟、也越精彩。2017年份敢踏入高峰期,享受之餘,同時等待2019的新酒。史提芬從沒讓我失望。 

史提夫就像一個好廚師,每一個作品都叫人驚喜!忍不住為他寫了幾句順口溜: 

瓊瑤香
瓊瑤甜
瓊瑤辛辛
瓊瑤甘
 
瓊瑤典
瓊瑤酸
瓊瑤鬼馬
瓊瑤癲
 
瓊瑤橙
瓊瑤陳
瓊瑤泡泡
也銷魂
 
又氣又橙未所聞
古怪名字傻憨憨

  

Longing 18 Months 

Hong Kong is a very sophisticated market for wine and dine. Real connoisseur will only choose the chefs but not the restaurants. Tianxianglou is an exception. When I was a young, I was a big fan of Mr. Cai Lan. I started reading his works since his column “Serendipity “on the Oriental Daily. When I grew up and went to work, the first restaurant that made me spend all my savings to visit was the Tian Xiang Lou. From the welcome cup of Longjing tea, to the small plate of pickled radish, the appetisers, cold dishes, hot entries, main course, soups, desserts...not one dish you can find any flaws. $800 per person for a dinner in 1987 was a bit too extravagant for a green horn like me. But every few months, I always run off to eat seasonal dishes. No wonder Cai never stop praising. The only complaint is that they discriminate against Cantonese. As soon as they hear you speak Cantonese, they will call Cantonese speaking Uncle Zhong Wuyan to greet you, as if they are thinking that Cantonese knows nothing about Hangzhou cuisine. Well, your voice will always be heard as long as you are a regular guest and a big spender, of course. 

Like good wine, I choose winemaker before the brand. A good winery should strive for excellence in every label of wine, which depends entirely on the enthusiasm and skill of the winemaker. There are many famous wineries that always have a flagship label, but the cuvee outside the flagship label is often lackluster. Of course, in business, sometimes it is necessary to satisfy customers who drink for the purpose of being seen. Can enthusiasm and skill alone make you stand out in the wine world? I'm a non-conformist who always like winemakers who are a little neurotic, rebellious, and innovative. 

Like sweet and sour pork, the original creator used hawthorn and fatty pork as ingredients. As this recipe evolves, it becomes half fat and lean pork and pineapple, then strawberries, and then retro hawthorn and pork belly end fat with a thin layer of lean meat. This is the signature dish of Foshan 102. Adding creativity and skill on the basis of tradition is the masterpiece that surprises the gourmet the most. 

Everyone knows the grape variety Gewürztraminer; (hereinafter Ge) Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and France all have her footprints. Perhaps it is because the Germans are rigorous in their conduct and aggressive in marketing, Ge from other origins are overshadowed by German Ge. Especially the French Alsatian Ge; I think that the terroir of French wine is delicate and graceful, charming, and lovable. Most drinkers are accustomed to seeking after sweetness, rarity, and botrytis, often focusing on Ge ice wine. The thickness, richness and high aroma of ice wine fully reflect the grace and splendour of Ge. However, when Ge falls in the hands of Stephane Bannwarth, it is like Anita Mui under the image design of Eddie Lau. 

Stephane has always been mischievous, and his works often surprise people. The “Nature “series is an entry-level version. His Ge under the “Nature” series is both floral and fruity., easily understood with good complexity. The Bildstoeckle series, as the name suggests, is a traditional method of making that highlights the local terroir; it is rigorous yet lively and vivid. The Qvevri series is with the use of Georgian antique pottery amphora buried in the ground for brewing, no oak added, rustic and quaint. The Vendanges Tardives series is the late harvest that made sweet. And the Vignobles Selecion, needless to say, is harvested and made when the Ge grapes are fully ripe, and is equivalent to the sweetness of German TBA. It seems that Stephane has made every different forms of Ge. However, he still wants to surprise you with the” La Vie en Rose “, a rose version of Ge made with the Orange wine method. 

Stephen's creativity doesn't stop there! In 2013 he launched the Petite Folie! He made Ge sparkling the orange wine way! He even sealed the bottle with a soda cap, cool enough? This wine is made by natural fermentation of the grapes with minimal human intervention; it is not filtered, and the bubbles are naturally formed. I shall call it a Sparkling Orange wine. The advantage of the bubbles is that it can offset the sweetness, lighten the strong sweetness of lychee and at the same time highlight the spice and aroma of Ge. Gewürz in Gewürztraminer in German means spice and aroma. It offers ginger, basil, and nutmeg that are often very low key in conventional style of wine making. 

Don’t be misled by Stephane’s mischievous spirit, but his requirements for quality are adhering to tradition and persistence. Newly made wine will never come out of the cellar if it has not been aged enough. The 2013 Petite Folie will not be available for sale until 2016. It takes another 18 months from harvest to brewing before you can taste. They never hard sell or promote. Wine performs its best in its own cellar where it was born. However, there is still an annual increment on price. For such a demanding manufacturer, an increase of ten percent is still acceptable. In particular, their production is very small. Some labels produce 800 to 1200 bottles a year, and Stephane decides which style to make depending on the annual harvest. Each label vintage is not necessarily consecutive. Some of his fans have been waiting 18 to 24 months. The 2013, 2015, and 2017 vintages of the Petite Folie are getting more and more sophisticated, well made and exciting. 2017 Petite Folie has started its prime drinking window. It is now pretty enjoyable while waiting for the new wines of 2019. Stephane never let me down. 

Stephane is like a good chef and every creation is amazing! I couldn't help but write a few lines of jingles for him: 

He makes Ge Sweet
He makes Ge dry
He makes Ge gracious 
He makes Ge sly
He even makes Ge sparkling
He makes Ge Orange.
He makes Ge silly that
Makes you cry.
 
There’s a bottle called Petit Folie!
Is this Ge sparkling or is it Orange?
He makes it both Orange and sparkling
Now you know why !

 

Laurent Bannwarth Petite Folie 2017 0.75L  

羅蘭班威夫 小傻漿 2017 0.75L

HKD468/btl
供應量 24 瓶  
24 bottles available

 

想了解史提芬如何玩轉瓊瑤漿葡萄嗎? 歡迎參與訂於2022年7月16日舉辦的 《百變瓊瑤漿》悠長品酒午宴。

Do you want to discover how Stephan Bannwarth play with Gewurztraminer? Come and join our long lunch on 16 July 2022.

Please click here

https://www.tinacellar.com/blogs/events/wine-merchant-s-dilemma

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