RECIPE: Rhubarb cheesecake & riesling
PUBLISHED: 17:30 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:03 20 February 2013
Nick Page, manager of Berry Bros. & Rudd's wine clearance shop in Basingstoke looks at the riesling grape and Susie Carter creates a delicious dessert to match
Riesling is the wine professionals white grape it is considered the noblest of grapes because of its ability to age so gracefully. Its odd that so few people buy it but thats probably because riesling is often associated with cheap, low-quality whites from Germany, like Liebfraumilch, which is a shame as Germany also produces some of the worlds greatest wines all made with riesling.
This is a fussy grape. It needs a cool climate but not one as cold as Englands. It prefers a long sunny season, but it doesnt like it too hot. It likes slate soils nothing else will do! With these conditions the wines will be elegant and possess a wonderfully pure lime fruit personality in youth, while developing a strange but extremely pleasant petrol aroma with age. Riesling is often made in a sweet style and these late-harvest wines are excellent with puddings, especially fruit-based desserts, which have good amounts of acidity. Rhubarb and riesling is a bit of a revelation.
The finest wines come from Europe. Germanys rieslings are delicate and light in body perfect for simply-prepared flat fish, sushi or an avocado salad. Alsace is another excellent source. Here the wines are mostly dry in style, fuller-bodied than their German brethren and show classic lime and petrol characteristics. These are terrific with rich, savoury recipes roast goose, rich pts, fatty pork and crackling.
New Zealand is now having good success with this grape, but because of its warmer climate the wines dont have the same longevity and the fruit is more tropical guava and lime blossom. Surprisingly Australia has regions cool enough for the grape, so look out for wines from Eden Valley, Western Australia and Clare Valley. Having a warmer climate than its Kiwi cousin, Australias rieslings show more pronounced exotic fruit with notes of rubber bands. These new world wines are fantastic with Asian curries and sun-dried or roasted vegetable dishes.
Nick's two recommendations
All about Nick
During a high-flying City career Nick caught the wine bug and left the world of finance to join the world of wine in 1995. For eight years he was a senior lecturer at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, educators to the wine trade.
He has lived in Hampshire for 13 years and during this time has indulged his passion for good food. The excellence of Hampshires produce combined with Nicks expansive wine knowledge enables him to live the life of his dreams as a bon viveur!
2004 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese, Selbach-Ostler
Was 19.95 now 14.65
2004 Rudesheimer Kirchenpfad Auslese, Weingut Leitz
Was 18.95 now 13.90
BUY THE WINE
All wines featured can be bought from:
Berry Bros & Rudd Wine Clearance Shop
Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6YT
Tel. 01256 323566
All about Susie
Local food addict and freelance food writer Susie is a proud resident of Winchester and has been writing for Hampshire Life since 2006. She is also the Membership and Marketing Officer for Hampshire Fare, a Community Interest Company that supports small food producers and farmers in the county. In October 2008 Susie won ITVs Britains Best Dish with her Smoked Trout & Watercress Tart, made entirely from Hampshire ingredients.
Rhubarb cheesecake ice cream
400g rhubarb, roughly chopped
50g caster sugar
4 tbsp Berrys Ginger
Liqueur or whisky
75g ginger biscuits, crushed
300ml double cream
4 large egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 tsp custard powder
200g cream cheese
Preheat oven to 160c / GM3. Put the rhubarb in a roasting tin and sprinkle over the sugar. Shake the tin until the rhubarb is well coated, then bake for 15 20 minutes or until tender. Pour over the ginger liqueur and mash into a thick sauce. The alcohol should stop the rhubarb ripple from freezing too hard.
Melt the butter and stir in the crushed biscuits. Press onto a plate in a thick layer and leave to set in the fridge, then break up into small pieces.
Mix together the milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar and custard powder until smooth, then put over a low heat. Stir constantly in a figure of 8 until the mixture thickens this should take about 5 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese until soft, then gradually incorporate the custard. Chill well before churning in an ice cream maker.
When it is the texture of Italian gelato, spoon the ice cream into a large tupperware container interspersed with spoonfuls of rhubarb compote and biscuit pieces.
Carefully swirl together to create a ripple effect, then freeze until firm.
From your Hampshire producers
Jacobs Gutter Lane, Totton, Southampton, SO40 9FX. 02380 861266
Sunnyfields offers a great range of produce in their farm shop and cafe, including their own organically grown vegetables and meat. Visit the Producers Market outside their farm shop every Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm.
Blackburn & Haynes milk and cream
Meadow Cottage Farm, Churt Road, Headley, Bordon, GU35 8SS. 01428 712155
Blackburn & Haynes produce delicious unpasteurised whole milk and double cream from their herd of Jersey cows. Look out for them at Winchester Farmers Market under the name of Meadow Cottage.