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