– taking advantage of the excellent Danish fruit
Not too far away from the second biggest city of Denmark, Århus, is the peninsula of Djursland, where you find the absolutely stunning area of Mols Bjerge. As beautiful as the area is, this article is about alcoholic beverages.
The reason for this is Andersen. No, not Hans Christian Andersen, the world famous Danish writer, although the story of winemaker Mads Groom Andersen and Andersen Winery does indeed have a fairy tale feel to it.
Denmark is a wine country. Many people still don’t know about it, but Denmark has been a wine producing country under EU law since 2000 and even holds its own DOP, Dons, for sparkling wines from a very limited area near Kolding.
The climate this far north is marginal for ripening grapes, but the cool nights and the vast number of hours of sunshine is optimal for growing super flavourful fruit – and from fruit beautiful ‘fruit wine’ is produced.
A well known Danish speciality is kirsebærvin, wine made from cherries. On the island of Lolland Frederiksdal is an internationally esteemed producer within this category. Rightly so. They produce a number of very personal wines in different styles including ‘Sur lie’, ‘Rancio’, sparkling and liqueur.
Considering again the marginal climate in Denmark, I do believe, that the fact, that the first Danish DOP was dedicated to sparkling wines, was no coincidence, and now we return to Mols Bjerge and Andersen Winery.
Back in 2009 Mads Groom Andersen started to experiment with producing wines from apples grown in his own garden and a few years later he planted a vineyard to experiment with the production of sparkling wines from grapes – just like in Champagne. By 2015 the quality was high enough for the company to increase their production and to begin the production of sparkling wines from a wider array of fruit – today sparkling wines are made from red currants, black currants, rhubarb, cherries as well as different sorts of apples.
Andersen Winery is on a mission. A mission to show what can be done with the very best of Danish fruit when transformed into sparkling wines. Their aim was always to produce wines with the potential of being served as an aperitif, just like a glass of champagne, but the wines should also be worthy of accompanying high end gastronomy.
And it was exactly in the context, I thought about Andersen Winery, when I came across a range of Andersen’s sparkling wines back in August 2020.
To this day their ‘Elmsfeuer’ made from rhubarb remains their most sought after wine and with its moderate sweetness it is so easy to pair with e.g. shrimps or chicken (the pairing of chicken with rhubarb and/or strawberry is a well-known secret to Danes), or it makes for a lovely aperitif.
‘Ben A’, made from blackcurrants has this immediate earthy note to it, not too far off from red beets, but with a noticeable sweetness to it. Chocolate cakes have a brilliant match here.
‘Stevns’ is produced from of a very specific cherry, called ‘Stevnsbær’. These cherries are highly regarded for making e.g. kirsebærvin and Andersen Winery has crafted a lovely sparkling wine from those. The wine is noticeably sweet, but the more bitter nature of the cherries shines through in the wine and this is indeed a wine for the sweet cuisine, but my suggestion would be to make use of e.g. chocolate with a very high cocoa content, say 80%, if you were to make a, say, chocolate mousse.