Riesling: the Most Noble Grape?
28 Jul 2011
Ask any sommelier what their favorite wines are and, almost always, Riesling will be thrown in the mix. Here at The Wine Club, we love ‘em – all of them – with a special fondness for the ones from Germany. Greatly misunderstood, it does not have to be the simple and sweet wine that some might think. They can be completely dry too! But even when they’re in their tart, fruity version, don’t let a touch of sugar make you think that they are not serious wines. At their best, they’re the most honest wines showing nothing but their charming character and sense of place. In my opinion, Riesling is the most complex, versatile and food-friendly of all the noble grapes. It translates exquisitely in all incarnations – from bone-dry sparkling, all the way to motor oil rich, sticky sweet (but still with cutting acid, mind you). What other grape can do that?! Not many, that’s for sure. And they can age – some (almost) forever.
Since the beginning of July, The Wine Club, together with many of the nation’s top restaurants and retailers, has been celebrating this noble grape. What started in a wine bar in Manhattan in 2008 has now snowballed to over 150 participants in both the Summer of Riesling and the 31 Days of German Riesling events with even some international locations pledging to participate next year. All have been pouring Riesling by the glass and selling bottles for the month (but many for all of summer). At the Wine Club, we’ve been hosting tastings and are keeping some of our favorite bottles at our tasting bars this month until the end of Summer.
My friend, Riesling lover and expert, always ended his emails with the saying…”Not every Riesling is for everyone, but there is a Riesling for every one…If you haven’t liked Rieslings you’ve tried, you haven’t tried enough Rieslings.” If you haven’t been by yet, come on by! I’d love to get you acquainted with some stellar examples and get you hooked.
-Posted by Anselmo Valte, San Francisco