Are you ready for summer wine selection number five? Here’s something to sip on during the afternoon, an off-dry Riesling.
Riesling has been out of the limelight ever since Blue Nun gave too many bad performances. And it didn’t help the cause that just about all the other Rieslings coming out of Germany at the time were no better. Shades of sugar and water.
You may have noticed that Riesling is having a revival, due in part, to our local wineries. It’s true that some of the best Rieslings in the world are being produced right here in our own backyard, but it’s the Aussies who are driving the Riesling movement simply because they have the troops and the following (as do other good producers of Riesling such as New Zealand and Washington State).
That aside, Riesling has needed one more thing to happen in order for the drinker to be convinced of its worth — the ancestral home of the grape had to pull up its socks. And thankfully, Germany has.
Riesling is the most confusing wine in the world because it gets crafted in many different styles. For now we’ll just focus on one — the summer patio sipper, what is often called the off-dry style. Off-dry tastes dry, but not tart — more of a gentle refresher. You get a lovely hit of Riesling’s fruity/spicy flavours — but most important, it creates a leisurely, lazy feeling. You’ll feel it telling you to relax.
Ch. Des Charmes wine has delicious citrus and peach flavours and is quite refreshing. It’s a hard glass to put down. Deinhard is one of the much improved old German wine houses. I think you’ll be delighted by the charm of its Green Label Riesling.
In a future article I’ll recommend a few classic, Dry Rieslings, but for now, enjoy these fun editions.
P.S. Free LCBO bucks! Check out the new contest in METRO for the French Cuvée des Nombres 7 and 3 white wines — every Tuesday and Thursday.
Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO, available in bookstores or through www.billysbestbottles.com. Sign up for his free wine e-letter at www.billysbestbottles.com.