Sylvaner is a white wine variety is grown in Germany, France (Alsace), Italy and Switzerland and several places in Eastern Europe. The name is spelt Silvaner in Germany. In Switzerland the variety is also known as Johannisberg.
This variety is used to make both sweet and dry white wine styles. As an early ripening variety it can be used in cooler areas. Its characteristic high acidity is an asset in crisp young white wines.
Sylvaner is one of those unfashionable varieties that can be well worth seeking out. It is not highly regarded, if even acknowledged at all, by mainstream of wine writers and critics. Therefore if someone is growing it and making wine you know they have invested a little passion into the wine. My advice is to try it with an open mind, you could be in for a surprise. You might find it better drinking than the torrents of Sauvignon Blanc that are coming across the Tasman.
Lighter bodied Sylvaner wines are suitable to drinks an aperitif or as an accompaniment to cheese.
A crisp dry Sylvaner could be served with rollmops in sour cream as an appetiser, poached trout or other river fish or even wiener schnitzel as a main course.
Richer styles pair well with heartier foods. Choucroute garnie is a dish composed of sauerkraut and smoked meat and sausages. It is popular in Alsace and similar dishes can be found in Central and Eastern Europe where Sylvaner is found.
Sweet Sylvaner wines can be served with desserts, perhaps an apple strudel, or with soft cheese and dried fruits.
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