Archive | 5:03 pm

Learning to Budget: or, Finding a Nice $8.99 Bottle of Wine

18 Oct

One of the perks of having a German (ahem, Bavarian) roommate is that he’s quite knowledgeable about beer.  I’m more of a wino myself, so I’m only too happy to defer to his judgment, always excellent, on German beers.  (Then again, I can’t not defer, lest I want stormtroopers to take over my living room.)

That being said, Alex the Roommate decided we should have an Oktoberfeast™ where we would feature delicious German foods, beers, and spirits.  Our Berkeley friend Waiching was gracious enough to provide her apartment (and her large dinner table and large number of chairs) for the feast.  Alex invited two friends from his work and I invited one of my Berkeley friends, Mia, and her boyfriend.  That made for a small but wonderful dinner party of seven.

This isn’t an entry about Oktoberfeast™, however; I did want to mention that Alex outdid himself by making from scratch traditional German fare such as Blaukraut (“blue cabbage”, which is made from red cabbage, red onion, raisins, and apple and seasoned with things like nutmeg and bay leaves) and putting together a three-course beer menu, the highlight of which were incredibly potent “smoke beers” from Schlenkerla.  The first variety was their Märzen, a “dark, bottom fermented smokebeer, brewed with . . . Smokemalt”; the second, which I had, was an even more intense Urbock, “[s]imilar to, but much bigger than the classic [Märzen] style.”  The Märzen smelled of smoked gouda, declared Waiching, but my Urbock smelled of a richly-smoked cut of bacon.  They were very unusual but very delicious and well-crafted.  We followed up the beers with some William Christ Pear Brandy, an intoxicating spirit straight from Germany.  Utterly redolent of pear on the nose, it had a hint of sweetness and coated the mouth wonderfully.  It had a slow, steady burn deep in the stomach and helped me digest my huge, huge meal.

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