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Gourmand: No todos los que lo desean lo son.

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La velada comenzó con un refrescante aperitivo de origen austriaco: vino espumoso, limón y licor de flor de sauco. De sabor extraño pero agradable. Fue la primera sorpresa de la cena. Habíamos acudido a cenar a un pequeño restaurante donde buscábamos “el placer de la mesa”. Es decir, encontrar en comunión no únicamente buena comida sino todo un entorno en armonía con los platos, la compañía, la ocasión y la cultura gastronómica.

La gastronomía está de moda, y con ello la confusión en cuanto a su verdadero significado. Término asociado a la comida, con demasiada frecuencia se le confunde con la coquinaria. En cuanto que un cocinero práctica la coquinaria y un gastrónomo degusta los alimentos preparados por aquel. Sin embargo…

En su concepto actual, un gastrónomo es una persona conocedora del arte de la gastronomía, idea que abarca el conocimiento profundo de las cualidades de las materias, los productos, las fórmulas, los procedimientos, el gusto y la estética en la presentación de los alimentos

Simplificando la idea podríamos afirmar que un cocinero trabaja frente al fogón mientras un gastrónomo lo hace en la mesa. Avanzando en la noción, la razón de ser del cocinero es la satisfacción del gastrónomo.

La cosa no es tan fácil, sin embargo, los gastrónomos son también gourmand, gourmet y sibaritas, amén de otras clasificaciones que tienden a los extremos. Todos estos términos nos llegan del francés o del latín, como es el caso de sibarita. Ni que decir del diletante que alcanza gustos más allá de lo gastronómico.

Para confundir aún más, dado que la gastronomía es materia de estudio puede ser una ciencia o un arte. Así pues a los estudiantes de gastronomía en nuestras escuelas  al graduarse se les pretende llamar gastrónomos, lo cual aunque técnicamente lo sean, fisiológicamente no lo son pues nadie garantiza que posean la cualidad del gusto, que sepan comer y que encuentren placer en la cultura de  la  buena mesa.

El pan es bueno: de superficie crocante y caliente como recién salido del horno. La mantequilla, de excelente calidad. Un poco de pan con mantequilla puede ser el mejor “amuse bouche” como dicen los franceses. Un tentempié para el apetito.

Existen individuos a quienes la naturaleza les ha negado la delicadeza en algunos órganos, o aquellos que por falta de interés miran pasar platos suculentos sin verlos. La fisiología ha reconocido a los primeros mediante la lengua de esos infortunados seres, inhabilitados de las papillas nerviosas destinadas a inhalar y apreciar los sabores; lo único que pueden discernir son sensaciones obtusas. Esas personas son en cuanto al gusto lo que lo ciegos a la luz.

La segunda categoría se compone de individuos distraídos, con la mente ocupada en los negocios y la ambición y que creen que nutrirse es suficiente. Pero existen los predestinados para disfrutar el placer del gusto. Aceptando que existen personas que han venido a este mundo para ver mal, caminar con dificultad y escuchar con esfuerzo ya que han nacido con miopía, con capacidades diferentes o medio sordos, ¿por qué no habría otros con la predisposición de sentir más, en especial ciertas sensaciones de placer?

 

Ordenamos un Spatzle casero con Pato confitado y queso y una Sopa de Vino para comenzar. El restaurante celebraba con discreción el Oktoberfest de los alemanes con ciertos platos austriacos, una buena selección de cervezas y vinos del mismo origen. La pasta, delicada, bien mezclada con la carne deshebrada del pato y sus jugos con el queso fundido. En cuanto a la sopa, inaudita como suena, servida en plato hondo, de densidad cremosa, salpicada con crotones de canela y  napeada con sabayón. Su sabor dulzón aromado a la canela combinaba bien con el fino vino que sirvió de base para su preparación.

La ocasión demandaba un vino tinto fino, ligero pero con fuerte carácter: un clarete como les gustaba a los ingleses llamar a este tipo de vinos de Burdeos. Los mejores tintos de esa región de Francia están hechos con uva Merlot. Nos hicimos servir este vino noble para acompañar una cena esplendida.

La historia reciente de la gastronomía nos lleva por dos caminos al mismo fin: la creación de una cultura de la mesa. Si por un lado siempre han existido los grandes cocineros, por otro, han sido los gastrónomos quienes han fomentado su evolución. El gran gourmet Brillat-Savarin, hace ya más de doscientos  años, escribe en su “Fisiología del gusto”, lo siguiente: La gourmandise es una predilección apasionante, razonada y habitual por todo cuanto halaga al paladar. La gourmandise es enemiga de cualquier exceso: toda persona que coma o beba demasiado, corre el peligro de ser borrado de la lista de la cofradía. (Uno de los principios de la Chaine des Rotisseurs) La mayor virtud del verdadero “paladar fino” –gourmand- consiste en no comer nunca más de lo que pueda digerir con cordura y no beber más de lo que pueda soportar con plena conciencia.

La cocinas se desbordan, no reconocen lindes políticos y a veces se aferran a viejas naciones. Así, lo alemán se involucra con lo austriaco y con ello lo húngaro, teniendo en mente el Imperio Austro-Húngaro de la antigua Europa. Las cocinas son polinizadas por los ejércitos y los comerciantes y los productos adquieren carta de naturalización en tierras lejanas a su origen. Fue así como nuestros chiles mexicanos al aclimatarse en el país de los magiares se convirtió en paprika: la especia nacional de Hungría. Llegaron allá llevados por los comerciantes turcos cuando el Imperio turco dominaba el comercio en el mar tirreno.

 

Goulash de Ternera: ¿Algo más típicamente húngaro? Imposible. Los fértiles valles del país producen esta carne que sólo en esa parte de Europa se aprecia bien. Compartimos de común acuerdo un plato de Goulash de Ternera con papas hervidas. Somos adictos a la ternera, carne poco favorecida en nuestros restaurantes ya que no es fácil encontrarla de buena calidad. Los trozos de carne rosada, todavía con el terno  dorado de la sartén, debían bañarse con la excelsa salsa de paprika húngara para consolidar un sabor que dignifica el plato.

Los húngaros han hecho de este descendiente de nuestros chiles una variedad de sabores que van de lo dulce a lo picante. En este caso el sabor exquisito de la salsa provenía de una paprika dulzona pero con la apariencia y la densidad de alguno de nuestros adobos mexicanos.

El placer de comer lo compartimos con los animales, y presupone el hambre y lo que es necesario para satisfacerla. El placer de la mesa es peculiar del ser humano, pues supone el cuidado previo en la preparación de los platillos del menú, en la selección del lugar, los acompañantes y los complementos. El placer de comer requiere, si no hambre por lo menos apetito, mientras que el placer de la mesa es independiente de ambos.

 

En Kaiser Maximilian el ambiente es elegante y la atmosfera invitante. La música gravada instrumental permite la conversación y con ello la comunión. El escenario está puesto para una cena agradable. Compartimos la conversación con los propietarios hablando de comida. ¿De que más se puede hablar en un templo de Gasterea?

Un pequeño trozo de estrudel de requesón acompañado por buen helado de vainilla cerró el ágape que plenamente disfrutamos habiendo salido a buscar el placer de la mesa. Algo que está más allá de “salir a cenar”. Un café expreso para el caballero acompañado de una copa de grapa de buenas familias italianas fue el broche de oro para cerrar una velada placentera.A No todos   oro para cerrar un dias fue el broche de oro para cerrar undmesa. Algo que estla de la mejor calidad. Pan y mantequ

La cocina es, indiscutiblemente un arte. Pero también una técnica: Técnica y arte, articulados y presididos ambos conceptos por el gusto. Más el gusto no es sino la poética conjunción de una singular voluptuosidad de los sentidos, provocada por el aspecto, la presentación, la fragancia y el sabor que cada manjar despierta en la vista, en el olfato y las delicadas papilas de nuestro paladar.

El cocinero se hace, el gourmand nace.  Los aprendices del  oficio de cocinero deberían conocer sus habilidades gustativas pues quien no tiene gusto no sabrá bien comer y sin saber comer jamás se aprenderá a bien cocinar.

El autor es analista gastronómico

Sibarita01@gmail.com

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Celebrate Christmas Eve at Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant

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It is a special time of year to be shared with family and friends. Celebrate Christmas Eve and enjoy a sumptuous feast with your loved ones at Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. The European bistro atmosphere, attentive staff will only add to the festive experience.

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Owner Andreas Rupprechter and Executive Chef Juan Carlos Palomer have created wonderful selections for this occasion. It is a four course meal with choices for each course. The price is $590 pesos per person, which does not include the tip.

This is the Christmas Eve Dinner Menu for Thursday, December 24, 2015 and it is served from 6 to 11pm at Espresso Bar and in the Main Dining Room.

First Course (select one)
*Brussels Sprouts Salad with Caramelized Pears
*Classic Caesar Salad
*Spinach Strudel
*Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Second Course (select one)
Calamari Stuffed with Quinoa & Romesco and served with Hearts of Palm
Duck Confit Salad
Lobster Bisque
Ravioli with Fennel Filling

Third Course (select one)
*Roasted Turkey Stuffed with Bread, Nuts and Dried Fruit, a Pumpkin Purée and Cranberry Sauce
*Sea Scallops with Sweet Potato Purée and Chimichurri Sauce
*Red Snapper with Lobster Sauce
*Braised Short Rib with Celery Purée and Black Gold Bark
*Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola, Vegetables and Au Gratin Potatoes

Fourth Course (select one)
*Sour Cream Cheesecake
*Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Tart
*Chocolate Pot de Crème
*Chocolate Panna Cotta with Hazelnut Biscotti
*Linzer Tart

This is the set menu for this meal. Spaces will quickly fill up, make sure to make your reservation today for a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner at Kaiser Maximilian, 223 0769 or 222 5058.

Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnacht, Joyeaux Noél!

Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant is featuring Executive Chef Daniel Eardley

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It is a long way to go from a small upstate New York family farm to one of New York City’s better known restaurants, but one guest chef visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has done just that.

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Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant is featuring Executive Chef Daniel Eardley during the 21st International Festival Gourmet that runs November 16 to 22, 2015. Awesome chefs from all over the world descend on PV at the event’s participating restaurants and hotels. Andreas Rupprechter, owner of Kaiser Maximilian, will also be hosting Executive Pastry Chef Tara Glick both work at American Cut in New York City.

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“I was a picky eater growing up,” says Daniel, “I was not all that fond of my mother’s cooking so I started experimenting in the kitchen when I was really young.” His first job gave him valuable lessons.

He started as a dishwasher at a restaurant in his hometown, which he says still does not have a traffic light, and worked his way up for five years. The owner was a classically, German trained chef and he gave Daniel what amounted to as an apprenticeship. “He showed me everything about cooking, developing recipes and running a kitchen,” says Daniel, “he believed in me. I had a good work ethic, which he helped develop and he created a dossier for me and was like a father figure, but I moved on to other things.”

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He started college as a business major but soon decided that accounting and other similar classes were just not for him and he moved to Lake Tahoe and chased the pipe dream of becoming a professional snowboarder. “I just wanted to keep going downhill faster,” laughs Daniel, “I started out snow skiing and switched to snowboarding because if was easier on my knees.” He was taking time while he was young to find himself and explore his options.

Daniel realized he liked working with food and remembered that his German mentor said that it was possible to make a career in the kitchen. This was the early 1990s a bit before the Food Network launched all its super star chefs. The idea was a bit of uncharted territory to him but he took to it like a black diamond ski run.

He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and graduated with honors in 1996 and his food journey continues to this day. His first job was in Napa Valley, California at Michael Chiarello’s Tra Vigne. From there, he traveled throughout the valley and San Francisco working for free to learn as much as he could about the industry. He also realized that his short time in business classes would help him greatly in the future.

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Daniel returned to New York and worked for Larry Forgione at American Place for several years. Then he left to open Washington Park also in New York under mentor Jonathan Waxman. After its closing, Daniel traveled around Mexico and Europe before returning to New York for consulting work and finally opened his farm to table restaurant in Brooklyn called Chestnut. After a decade Daniel closed his restaurant and reunited with the Forgione family at American Cut. He has had a chance to redefine the traditional, classic steakhouse to a more modern, seasonal version. He will now share some of his expertise in Puerto Vallarta.

“A former Kaiser Maximilian guest chef is an acquaintance of mine and he sells a restaurant app called Shoebox and that’s how we met,” says Daniel, “we hang out every now and then and he’s a really cool guy and he called out of the blue one day to ask me what I was doing in November.” From there the spot was secured for his trip south of the border.

“This is going to give me a good chance to communicate in Spanish,” says Daniel, “I also think it will be very cool because we can create a synergy in the kitchen and it will give me the chance to do something completely different and work with people that I do not know.” He has never been to Puerto Vallarta but looks forward to a culinary giant of a week.

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He will delight the clients with his wide variety of cooking styles and some of his dishes will include: Oysters with wasabi cucumber mignonette and caviar, sweet potato agnolotti with sage and pumpkin seed vinaigrette, cowboy pork chop, potato mille feuille and bone marrow gremolata, plus many other surprises.

Don’t forget to make your reservations for Wednesday, November 18, 2015, because it is the night of the chef’s table, New American Cuisine six-course dinner with wine pairings at the restaurant and the cost is $1400 pesos.

Pastry Chef Tara Glick at Kaiser Maximilian Festival Gourmet 2015

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 If you like to eat dessert first, there’s one woman coming to town that can make your wish come true.

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 Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant is preparing for the 21st International Festival Gourmet that runs November 16 to 22, 2015. Restaurants participating host chefs from all over the world and there will be two guest chefs at Kaiser Maximilian. Chef Daniel Eardley and Executive Pastry Chef Tara Glick both from American Cut in New York City.

“My mother was a terrible baker,” laughs Tara, “when I was in school and we had to bring homemade cupcakes, I was embarrassed because my mom’s were awful. As soon as I could handle operating the oven and mixer I began baking like crazy.” However, she did not start her professional pastry adventure until a little later in life.

Tara graduated from Boston University in 2007 with a degree in business and then put off her plans for law school to take a job at a New York City advertising firm. After 3 years she found herself spending more and more time in her small kitchen, experimenting with new baking recipes and taking those creations to work and having thankful coworkers taste test them. She expanded and started baking wedding cakes, too.

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“I was hitting my quarter life crises,” says Tara, “my advertising career was just not fulfilling and I wanted to make a drastic change.” Once the idea of culinary school became a thought she could not shake, Tara enrolled in the classic pastry arts program at The French Culinary Institute, which is one of the most highly respected culinary schools in the world.

Upon completion of the program, she took a series of positions at restaurants like Locanda Verde and Maialino in NYC and continued to hone her skills. Famous Food Network Chef Marc Forgione opened American Cut at the Revel Resorts in Atlantic City and hired Tara as the Pastry Sous Chef.

 

Within six months, she was promoted to Executive Pastry Chef and was able to share her whimsical, modern desserts with the diners of this high-end steakhouse. When the flagship location of American Cut opened in Tribeca, New York, Tara extended her role as the pastry chef for both locations. She is now expanding her horizons to well south of the border.

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She first heard about Festival Gourmet from other chefs who were hosted by Kaiser Maximilian and was intrigued. “I have never visited Puerto Vallarta, I’ve only been on vacation in Cancun and Cozumel” says Tara, “I’m very excited because there will be chefs from all over the world in town and it will be great to see what others are doing and what they are creating.”

 

Tara will be sharing her apple spice cake with maple cream, a sour cream cheese cake with strawberries and pineapple and a chocolate panna cotta with expresso biscotti and Kahlua cream. These items will be featured at Kaiser Maximilian during the festival and beyond.

During her tenure as Pastry Chef at American Cut, the restaurant was awarded Best Desserts New Jersey, named one of the Best Dessert Restaurants in 2014 by NY Magazine and selected as Best Biscuits NYC by NBC News.

New York City is home, she wants to remain there and someday open her own restaurant.

Don’t forget to make your reservations for Wednesday, November 18, 2015, because it is the night of the chef’s table, New American Cuisine six-course dinner with wine pairings at the restaurant and the cost is $1400 pesos.

Oktoberfest kaiser maximilian

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Many good parties are the result of a wedding and Oktoberfest is no different. It began with the Royal Wedding on 12 October 1810 of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The original Oktoberfest occurred in Munich on that date. To commemorate their marriage, the prince and princess organized a great horse race and other festivities were around that event.

Oktoberfest in Germany has taken place almost every year since then, unless they stopped because of war. People all over the world delight in this event and that includes Puerto Vallarta.

The staff at Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant delight in bringing you authentic German food during this famous fall event. Executive Chef Juan Carlos Palomer created wonderful selections for this occasion.

The festive menu includes:

Potato Cream Soup with Mushrooms, Fine Herbs & Dark Bread Croutons

Spätzle (homemade) with Duck Confit, Cheese and Austrian Onion rings

Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut and Sautéed Potatoes

Celery Salad with Mushrooms and Sautéed Veal Sweetbreads

Roasted Duck with Red Cabbage and Dumpling

Veal Gulash with Spätzle
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Cottage Cheese Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream

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In Germany special beers are brewed just for the festival and Kaiser Maximilian is offering Erdinger Weissbier, HB Oktoberfestbier, Benediktiner Weissbier, Bitburger along with Holandesa and Heineken, Dutch beers.

They also have a fine selection of German wines to accompany your meal, just ask your waiter.

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This special menu is featured for the entire month and is served from noon to 11pm at Espresso Bar and The Main Dining Room from 5 to 11pm.

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Kaiser Maximilian 20th Anniversary 2015

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Thousands of satisfied clients and many more meals and drinks served make Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant a very important part of the foodie scene in Puerto Vallarta.

 

They are celebrating 20 years of serving delicious Austrian and European cuisine. There is a special four course meal, which features some of their classic recipes and new favorites.

 

Andreas Rupprechter, the restaurant’s founding chef and owner opened on Olas Altas in 1995. It remains the area’s only Austrian restaurant. “I would like to welcome all of our long time clients to the anniversary celebration,” says Andreas, “I hope this special menu encourages others to try our restaurant for the first time and hopefully become regulars.”

 

“I was part of the restaurant’s opening team, says Executive Chef Juan Carlos Palomera, “I’m proud to be part of the restaurant’s 20th anniversary, too. It is always a pleasure to cook great food.”

 

Andreas and Juan have created a wonderful four-course tasting menu which in only $395 pesos (around $29 USD) per person. The menu runs April 14 to May 14, 2015. This special menu is available starting at noon at Espresso Bar and is served there until 11pm. You can eat in the formal dining room from 5 to 11pm.

 

Here’s the four course anniversary menu:

 

First Course:

Marinated Salmon with Mixed Greens and Quinoa

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Tempura Shrimp with Curried Couscous and Cucumber Raita

 

Second Course:

Potato Cream Soup with Mushrooms, Fine Herbs and Dark Bread Croutons

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Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Spinach and Truffle Sauce

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Third Course:

Fish Filet with Fettuccine, Green Pea Sauce and Hibiscus Essence

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Beef Tenderloin, Red Flannel Hash with Peppercorn and Hollandaise Sauce

 

Fourth Course:

Cottage Cheese Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream

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Black Forest Dessert – Chocolate Cake with Cherries and Chocolate Ice Cream

 

Celebrate Kaiser Maximilian’s 20th Anniversary with innovative dishes that merge new and old world cuisine. The regular a la carte menu will also be available.

Austrian Wine, Kaiser Maximilian Puerto Vallarta

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It’s been called Austria’s liquid gold. Wine producers from this small country can boast being one of the top countries in the world with high production standards.

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Austria has a long tradition of winemaking and grapevines have been cultivated in the same viticultural regions for thousands of years. Vines are synonymous with the landscape, the culture and daily life.

There are 35 grape varieties, 22 white and 13 red. Some of the popular red grapes are Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Blauer Portugieser. The prevalent whites are Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling and Müller Thurgau. The Grüner Veltliner grape is only grown in Austria and is similar to a Sauvignon Blanc.

Austria’s wine success can be attributed to ideal geological and climatic elements. The vines enjoy the best conditions essential for making authentic, distinctive wines with character and personality.

Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta is proud to serve Austrian wines. These are a new addition to the already extensive wine list. Here are the wines being featured:

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Grüner Veltliner, Hugo 2012

According to the winemaker Markus Huber, this wine has delicate fresh green apple and fruity aromas. There are the flavors of lemon, lime and peaches with a solid fruit core. It’s rich in finesse with beautiful length and mineral tones. The ideal wine for seafood, white meat and light dishes like salads.

Grüner Veltliner, Gebling 2012 (winemaker Sepp Moser)

This white wine in the nose has a fine spiciness and on the palate it is expressive and voluminous with a fruity elegance and a long finish. It is a perfect palate cleanser for richly flavored foods, like Wiener Schnitzel.

Zweigelt, Grosse Reserve 2011(winemaker Sepp Moser)

Deep garnet-red in color with a perfume of sour cherry and walnut. On the palate it is subtle and shows touches of salty minerality, lightly toasty with long finish.

Banfalu 2012(winemaker Sepp Moser)

A Bordeaux style blend of Zweigelt, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are characteristics of

black currents, blackberries and a toasty touch in the nose. On the palate it is powerful, yet elegant with a lingering, roasty finish.

Pinot Noir, Markowitsch 2012

This fine wine is ruby-garnet in color, intense nose of raspberries, coffee and spices, very concentrated flavour with a long, strong finish. High longevity. Ideal with hearty meat dishes made with delicate spices, as well as mature cheeses.

You can now savor the flavors of Austrian wines at Kaiser Maximilian. Here’s what wine critics across the globe appreciate the most. They have written that Austrian wines are exceptionally appetizing and pair wonderfully with food, making these wines sheer drinking pleasure.