Tom Who? The Dave Frederics is a refreshing blend of Riesling, ruby grapefruit juice and ginger ale.
Although there were many well-known personalities at last week’s 2012 InterVin International Wine Awards, the star of the show proved to be Dave Frederics, a Riesling-based cocktail.
Like its namesake, the origins of the Dave Frederics cocktail are cloaked in mystery. At first, many were leery to try the fresh, fruity concoction — the spectre of poorly made white wine spritzers had left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. But tasting is believing. By the end of the night, winemakers, wine writers and sommeliers alike could be heard at the bar saying things like “Hit me with another Dave!”
Colourful, delicious and very refreshing, the Dave Frederics was embraced as the official cocktail of InterVin and was quickly added to the cocktail menu at Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine in Port Dalhousie.
You can see what all of the fuss is about by making your own. Mix 2 parts Riesling (preferably from the Niagara Peninsula), 1 part ruby Ruby Grapefruit Juice and 1 part diet ginger ale (regular ginger ale also works) in a wine glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange or grapefruit slice and enjoy!
First Impression: The taste of a fresh and fruity Riesling is less intimidating for many consumers.
Working at a tasting bar, you learn the tricks of the trade: What makes peoples mouth water. What heightens their experience. And, what makes them buy wine. I quickly discovered that the average customer is looking for wines that are easy to appreciate and understandable. They are not necessarily looking for complexity, but rather for characteristics they can identify.
Ontario Riesling is easy to enjoy because it is fresh, fruity and less intimidating than oaked Chardonnays or complex Pinot Noirs. Whenever someone told me they liked Riesling, I was delighted because it made my job easier. I didn’t have to worry about convincing customers that they liked the wine or confusing them with wine-speak. The wine always sold itself.
Having something people can relate to makes it more approachable — that’s a big part of Riesling’s charm. Not only is it honest and truthful, it’s relatable and easy to love. I mean, who can resist the refreshing characteristics of apples and peaches? Certainly not me. ANDREA FUJARCZUK
Thirty Deeds: Thirty Bench Wine Makers produces four Rieslings, including three vineyard specific wines from the Beamsville estate
Riesling is the signature variety at Thirty Bench Wine Makers and it’s obvious why after tasting the quality and unique varietal distinctions that emerge from each of their small lot wines.
The Beamsville estate has been carved into three vineyards: Wood Post, Steel Post and Triangle. The Wood Post’s vines are among the oldest in the Niagara region, planted in 1980, and, for me, capture everything a Riesling ought to be.
Some might complain that Riesling tastes too sweet, but no one can say that about the 2010 Small Lot Wood Post Vineyard Riesling. The nose offers delicate citrus notes, including pink grapefruit and tangerine, and the palate displays the same, along with a kick of lingering minerality on the finish.
It’s a medium-bodied, off-dry Riesling, with great balance — an ideal foil for those in the “It’s too sweet” camp.
But take heed: you won’t find these small lot goodies at the liquor store. Your only access to these rare bottles is to visit the winery or have it shipped. Yet have faith – it’s a Riesling that’s well worth the wait. KELLY SCHWEITZER