I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often times tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful virtual bridges called Facebook and Twitter.
Riesling: Diverse, Versatile, and Food-Friendly!
Riesling is a white wine grape variety that prefers a relatively cool climate. It’s well known for its wonderful, tell-tale aromatic charm, diversity, and ability to improve with age; which is somewhat of a rarity for a white wine. Its naturally high acidity makes it easy to pair with a wide variety of foods year-round. And to debunk a myth; all Riesling wines are not sweet – they span the sweetness scale from bone-dry, to slightly-sweet, to “dessert” in the glass. Below are three recent Riesling sips, brief tasting notes, and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery 2011 Riesling
1) Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery 2011 Columbia Valley Riesling (SRP $10): This is Washington State’s oldest winery and the area’s largest Riesling producer (I believe). The 2011 Columbia Valley Riesling is a pleasant yet uncomplicated wine with vibrant pear and stone fruit flavors, refreshing food-partnering [citrus] acidity and a faint hint of sweetness that lingers through to the crisp, clean finish. Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Columbia Valley Riesling is nationally available and for under $10 is a reliable entry-level Riesling to match with a wide variety of foods and also drinks nicely on its own. I enjoyed a few glasses with a [big] plate of Panda Express orange chicken, Beijing beef, and fried rice. The portions were so generous it was enough food for two people. Both the bottle of wine and a two entrée meal were just under $20, so try this out if you’re seeking a tasty combo for a cheap date night. Click here to find this wine.
Weingut Fred Loimer 2011 Riesling Kamptal
2) Weingut Fred Loimer 2011 Riesling Kamptal (SRP $25): This is a selection I had an opportunity to taste for a “Summer of Riesling” Twitter tasting that was put on by the good folks over at @AustrianwineUSA. A friend, who sampled the wines with me, was so pleased with this selection that he found several more bottles and I recently enjoyed another glass with dinner. Riesling is Austria’s second most important white wine grape variety behind its native Grüner Veltliner. The region’s gift to consumers like me are dry (as well as sweet), food-friendly wines that can accompany a wide range of foods. The moderately complex and refreshing 2011 Riesling Kamptal offers lemon-lime, tangerine, and green apple scents and flavors with a nice, but delicate, mineral presence that’s complemented by brisk, palate-cleansing acidity with a clean medium-length finish. Two glasses paired nicely with Thai cuisine – tempering the heat and prepping me for another bite! Click here to find this wine.
Peter Lehmann 2009 Eden Valley Riesling
3) Peter Lehmann 2009 Eden Valley [South Australia] Riesling (SRP $15): Australia is a region that’s generally seen as warm-to-hot in climate and is largely looked to for inexpensive, riper-styled Shiraz. They also produce much pricier and complex examples that flirt with elegance and finesses. A region’s broad-scale climate doesn’t define the climate of the entire region – there are many other factors at play. The higher altitude of the Eden Valley provides a cooler macroclimate where varieties like Riesling can thrive. The Peter Lehmann 2009 Eden Valley Riesling offers appealing citrus, petrol (very pronounced), diesel, and mineral notes on a lean frame with good food partnering acidity. Besides being a good entry-level Aussie Riesling, doesn’t the artwork on the label remind you of the lead singer for the Go-Go’s? I believe I had a poster of Belinda Carlisle on my wall back in the day! Click here to find this wine. #WeGotTheBeat
My backyard feathered friend: Black-capped Chickadee
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