Shortly after arriving in Denmark I joined my friends at a wine tasting sponsored by the American Club in Copenhagen. Naturally it featured American wines (and some Chilean), which I refuse to discuss in detail, generally far too high alcohol scorching my mouth and burning off whatever undistinguished flavours the liquids may have possessed. But in the course of conversation I learned that there are in fact wines made in Denmark.
So, I visited Vinoteket, the wine shop here in Gentofte, and asked. As one man was talking to me about Danish wines, his colleague overheard us and a moment later set down a bottle on the counter – apparently it was left over from a tasting the previous night. We tried a glass then and there (I do like this shop!), and it was very pleasant, not an aggressive wine, very soft, round. The producer is Skaersøgaard, who were the first Danish wine makers authorised once the EU permitted Denmark to produce wine in 2000. Their wines have won many awards – including their sparkling (we can’t call it champagne) wine which actually won a Silver Medal at the Effervescents du Monde competition in Dijon in 2008.
I asked him to order some of the white wine for me – if possible the one we tasted, or another one he suggested – and he warned me quantities are minute and he may or may not be able to source it. In the event, they ordered a case, received six bottles only, and I bought two, at 149 DKR, which is about £18 each. (NB – their sparkling wine goes for 395 DKR, or about £50). The description from the Skaersøgaard website is as follows:
Regional Hvidvin fra Jylland
Let sommervin lavet af druen Orion. Behagelig næse af hyld, citrus med fyldig indfriende smag. *****5 af 5 stjerner, Vinavisen 2009. Commended, International Wine Challenge, London 2009
Tør. 11% vol 0,75 l
Vejl. udsalgspris: 145 kr.
I think the wine is made purely from the Orion grape – which is a german cross of Optima (itself a cross derived from Riesling, Silvaner and Muller-Thurgau) and Villard Blanc (no longer allowed by AOC regulation, it used to be planted in Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon). The Orion is bred for early maturity (both the grapes in the vinyard and the wines in the bottle) and disease resistance. I noticed it is also used a bit in English wines.
As best I can figure from on-line dictionaries, their tasting notes are elderflower (hyld), citrus and fullbodied (fyldig). I would agree with all of that. Pam made another lovely salmon dinner, this time with a sauce of chopped and reduced tomatoes and cream, and the wine was a nice companion.
So, if you have a chance… do try it, it was lovely.