It should be obvious by this point that we have a major thang for Riesling. Don’t get us wrong, we love other selections too — Riesling just happens to be the wine of summer! To prove our appreciation, we want to share this fantastic white blend, which just so happens to have Riesling in it.
Bodegas Amalaya 2011 Torontes-Riesling (Calchaqui Valley, Argentina $10.95, 270470) is a well-priced Argentinian wine which offers a bouquet of floral, apricot and juicy apple notes with a hint of cinnamon. On the palate, the racy wine showcases mineral, lime and melon. Its lingering pear finish will make you crave strong cheeses or white fish.
So to sum up? We love our Rieslings sparkling, sweet, dry, with food or, even, in a blend. We just can’t get enough.
“Riesling is rowing back. After years of repetition (especially by Jancis and me) that Riesling is the best white wine grape of all – or at least equal first with Chardonnay – it’s getting a grudging acceptance in a market super-saturated with Sauvignon Blanc.
What Rieslings are we buying, though? Not the crystal-pure, infinitely varied interpretations from its natural home, but strangely typecast versions from Australia, a slightly bizarre blend (or so it seems) of lime juice and kerosene.
Does the reason lie, perhaps, in the infinitely varied interpretations? ‘I thought it would be sweet’ is what I hear nine times out of 10 when I trick a friend (yes, it’s that bad) into tasting one of my favourites from the Mosel or Rhine.”
Hugh Johnson (Decanter Magazine, August 2010)
Semi Tough: Vineland Estates 1998 Semi Dry Riesling is a great example of an affordable Riesling that has the capacity to age
When it comes to collecting, there’s always the age old question: “How long should I hold onto this wine?” Wine lovers are typically concerned about aging red wines. Most feel that white wines, on the other hand, should be purchased and consumed as needed.
We love fresh and fruity whites so much that we forget that they, too, have aging potential. Our patience will be rewarded, especially when it comes to Riesling.
Riesling is ideal for aging because it is a high acid grape varietal and acid is a preservative. This generally allows Rieslings to develop in bottle better than any low acid grapes such as Merlot.
Our favourite grape has another secret weapon. It’s been widely discussed in recent We Heart Riesling posts that Riesling can be made in many different styles, including sweet. Since sugar also acts as a preservative, sweet Rieslings can generally age longer than dry ones, although some high quality, dry examples have been known to age gracefully for more than a century.
Now that you know why Riesling is a great candidate for aging, the next time you shop, grab a couple of bottles, hide them in your cellar and somehow manage to convince yourself to forget that they exist. Odds are good, your future self will thank you.
‘Cue Applause: Riesling and roast chicken is only one of many magical matches for the versatile wine
Certain grape varieties go hand in hand with specific foods, but when you think of Riesling there isn’t one single dish that stands out. The possibilities are seemingly infinite.
By no means does this imply the versatile grape is your proverbial jack of all trades, master of none. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Riesling is capable of so many different wine styles, including but not limited to dry, semi-dry, sweet, sparkling, late harvest and Icewine, that it’s ideal for a countless pairings.
The choices are endless: fish, spicy foods, legumes, white meats, salads, pies, tarts and the list goes on. This former pigeonholed grape is breaking free of any pairing stereotypes, so go ahead and mix and match different styles of Riesling with your favourite meals. We’re sure one of them will match perfectly.