Not much is known about the muller-thurgau grape, which is planted mostly in Europe. The inestimable Winegrape Glossary says it might be a one thing or it might be another, and the experts contend this and contend that. It’s amazing how little attention the wine world pays to white grapes that aren’t chardonnay, isn’t it?
Fortunately, all we need to know is that muller-thurgau can make amazing wine, especially in this version from Oregon’s Anne Amie Vineyards (about $14, purchased, available at Central Market). In style, it’s somewhere between an off-dry German riesling and an old-style gewurtztraminer — sweetish but also spicy. You’ll also find fresh acid and green apple in addition to the spice. Sweetish and spicy used to be a quite common combination, producing some peppery, clove-like flavors in the finish. But you don’t see it much any more, even in European wines, as producers opt for more straight-forward styles.
Serve this chilled with shellfish, oysters and anything remotely similar. I wouldn’t be surprised if it would pair with sausages, white beans and braised cabbage as well.