2008 Now & Zen Alsace White

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Underdog Wine

What They Said:

2008 Now & Zen Alsace WhitePer the bottle “Every Now & Zen you’ll find your tastebuds capsizing from the spicy surge of Asian cuisine. Now & Zen’s bright tropical fruit of pineapple, mango and lemon twist awaken the delicious flavors of spicy food and bring peace to the palate.

Now & Zen is a blend of Alsatian varietals that will help you relax, chill and enjoy plates like spicy Szechuan shrimp, chicken or pork stir fry. Bring peace to your dinner.”

What I Think:

This wine, one of my favorites, has been a bit of a chameleon. The 2007 started off as the “Wasabi White” before becoming the “Alsace White” that we know it by today. For the 2008 vintage they decided to add the “Helfrich” name prominently to the label. Guess the ’07 was a bigger success then hoped and they decided they would like some recognition. In fairness it seems it should be shared with the importer, Underdog Wine Merchants, who collaborated with them on this project. Either way label changes make me nervous and I was really hoping this effort would be a worthy successor to the ’07 I so much enjoyed.

In a word it was. This vintage was a blend of 29% Pinot Blanc, 25% Sylvaner, 16% Riesling, 15% Muscat, 15% Gewurztraminer and is classically referred to as Edelzwicker. The Muscat was an addition but the remainder of the blend percentage was fairly consistent from the previous year. This wine starts with citrus and floral notes on the nose which translate nicely to the palate where a bit of mango adds a pleasant sweetness to the texture. The tart, crisp finish delivers lemon and mineral flavors that leave you refreshed and ready for your next sip. An easy drinker that is nicely balanced throughout. As you’ll see above they are strong proponents of pairing this one with spicy Asian cuisine and I wholeheartedly agree this is ideal. Factor in my Alsace bias (see the ’07 post) as you see fit but this is a wine I will be buying again.

Rating: Buy It

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8 thoughts on “2008 Now & Zen Alsace White

  1. Glad to hear you liked it.
    Now I’ll have to pick up a bottle and do a side-by-side with my last bottle of the ’07.

    BTW, the ’07 has 40% Sylvaner, 30% Pinot Blanc, 15% Riesling & 15% Gewurztraminer.
    I hope the Muscat won’t throw the blend off too much.

    Got to go to Pinot Days yesterday.
    Loved Clos Pepe. Wes (the winemaker) is doing great things and was super nice.

  2. @Angela Would have loved to make it to Pinot Days and I’ve long here great things about Clos Pepe and Wes but still yet to try. I’ll have to fix that soon! Let me know how the side by side goes and keep reading below re. blend percentage. To spoil the surprise guesing the ’07 is superior.

    @joshiemac I didn’t have the two side by side but dipping back into the tasting time machine I would say that this is slightly sweeter and a bit heavier on the palate. Thinking the Muscat added a bit of weight there which unfortunately cut into some of the acidity and zing I remember on the finish. If I recall correctly I could drink the ’07 on its own. Think this one is likely better paired with food.

  3. So glad this is back! When local TJs ran out of the Alsace, my hubby managed to find some VERY dusty bottles at a random TJs many miles away. I have been hoarding them! BTW, Fresh and Easy was selling the old version for $8.99/bottle.

  4. I haven’t looked recently, but perhaps the BevMo? It certainly won’t be the same price, more like $10.50 or so last time I saw it.

  5. I linked to your review on the Honey Moon post and it looks like I might do the same with this one once I try it.. funny that both the bottles I picked up were on your list!

    Erin Kaye

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