Over at the local farmers market, people are stocking up on Federweisser like it’s going out of style. Then you will see the same people heading to the bakery stall immediately after for large slices of freshly baked onion cake.
If you don’t know what I am speaking about, you don’t need to worry. It’s something you are only familiar with living or spending a lot of time in Central European wine regions during grape harvest.
That’s the sort time when Federweisser is in season. It’s a type of new wine but by nothing comparable to Beaujolais nouveau, which is sold as a very young wine after a short fermentation. Federweisser by contrast is a wine that is still in the fermentation process and sold as soon as the fermentation has reached about 4% of alcohol content.
Over here, Federweisser is hugely popular during the short two-months season it is on sale. And it will be on sale everywhere, from farmers markets to pop-up road stalls, supermarkets and of course directly at many wineries.
Read my post Federweißer season in Germany for some additional background on Federweisser.
By the way, if you wonder about the different way of writing, both versions are still used but Federweißer dates back to the time before Germany introduced a new spelling restructuring and I am switching to the more commonly used form of writing over here.
Onion cake or in many cases onion Flammkuchen are the foods mostly enjoyed along a glass of Federweisser. It’s hearty, slightly spicy taste perfectly tempers the sweetness of the wine.
Flammkuchen originates in the Alsace region in France and is traditionally served with a bacon and onion topping.
If like me, you are not a huge fan of onions, don’t worry. What makes Flammkuchen the perfect food, it’s can be topped with nearly everything from hearty to vegetables and fruits. And you do not have to pair it with Federweisser. Other wines will work just fine, and which one to pick will mostly be driven by the main ingredients of the chosen topping.
Currently, I am in love with this smoked salmon Flammkuchen. It is simple to make but at the same time packed with flavour.
Wine pairing: Which wine goes with smoked salmon Flammkuchen?
Smoked salmon will typically call for a dry, mineral white wine. Ideally, it should have a light and tangy structure and an aromatic bouquet to counter the slightly oily texture of the salmon.
A Blanc de Blanc Champagne or sparkling wine would work well, as would a rosé Champagne or sparkling wine too.
Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc or even a Riesling from the Alsace region in France would also work well with the flavours of the smoked salmon.
If you are looking for something really unusual, you might even reach for a whisky. No, not joking. It is a pairing you would encounter quite often when travelling to Scotland for example. I have actually written about pairing whisky with food before, so read my post Pairing Whisky with food if you want to learn more.
For this smoked salmon Flammkuchen, I have picked a fresh Sauvignon Blanc. With its crisp dry herbal flavours and racy acidity, it is one of the best wines to go with salmon.
Recipe: Smoked Salmon Flammkuchen
For the dough
200 g all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
80-100 ml warm water
For the topping
150 g smoked salmon
1 bunch of dill
250 g sour cream
120 g crème fraiche
3 tablespoons horseradish
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red apple
Mix together the flour, olive oil, pinch of salt and water (adding small quantities only) until obtaining a smooth dough.
Roll into a ball, sprinkle with olive oil, then cover with cling film and set aside about 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 250°C.
Mix together sour cream, crème fraiche and horseradish. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the apple into thin slices.
Divide dough into two pieces and thinly roll out each of them separately.
Top up with the cream mixture and apple slices and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes.
In the meantime, mix dill with olive oil.
Chop the smoked salmon into pieces.
Take Flammkuchen out of the oven, top with the smoked salmon and sprinkle with the dill mixture.
Put back into the oven and bake for another 3-4 minutes.