2007 Jorge Ordonez Botani Moscatel Seco

May 26 2009 - 5:39 PM

Muscat, called Moscatel in Spain, is an amazingly versatile white grape taking many different forms, from being light to viscous.  From sweet sparkling Moscato d'Asti, made in the Piedmont region of Italy, to bone-dry Muscat in the Alsace region of France, it is not unlike Riesling in its flexibility.

I was in Binny's one day looking for Rene Mure Muscat from Alsace, and unfortunately they were sold out.  The man behind the wine counter did point me to a Spanish muscatel with what he said were similar characteristics.  

The Jorge Ordonez Botani, which he suggested, comes from the Malaga region, which is on the southern coast of Spain.   The area is primarily known for sweet wines, including those from the muscat grape as well as Pedro Ximinez, used also to make sweet sherry.  

Selling for $18.99 at Binny's East Lakeview location on Clark and Wellington, the wine exhibited characteristics of grass, melon, lime, and a hint of spice.  I used it to pair with crab cakes, asparagus, and roasted tomatoes.  It went well with the crab cakes and asparagus, but it really complemented the roasted tomatoes, playing off the acidity and enhancing the melon flavors in the wine.