Category Archives: Riesling

The Perfect Summer Drink? Riesling from Germany & Austria

Looking for the ideal summer drink? Do you feel like something juicy, light to medium in body, refreshing and low in alcohol? A drink you can enjoy before dinner, as an aperitif, but can also continue with through a meal, with tangy acidity that makes it a perfect accompaniment for all kinds of food? Look no further than Riesling from Germany or Austria. Continue reading

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Southern German Food and Wine Delights

Contrary to the traditional picture of German food and wine in America as revolving around heavy, meat and starch laden dishes accompanied by off-dry and sweet wines, what we experienced on my recent visit to southern Germany was truly gourmet food with a light touch, featuring seasonal and locally grown meats, vegetables and fruits. When it came to wine, most of what we tasted were exactly the kinds of wines that best compliment this kind of food–dry and minerally, both whites and reds. Continue reading

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Australian Wine: Rebooting a Brand

This was an exciting sampling that included many characterful and intensely flavored but balanced wines. Wines like those from BK Wines, First Drop, Ochota Barrels and Sami-Odi had singular and distinct “voices” that made me want to hear a lot more from those producers. Judging not only from my reaction but the general buzz in the room and discussions with colleagues afterwards, I think this event went a long way toward initiating the process of rebranding Aussie wines in this country. Continue reading

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Germany’s Top Dry Rieslings: Großes Gewächs

Even though I enjoy and appreciate virtually all types of fine wine, I have to admit there’s one type in particular that I don’t just enjoy and love — I revere. That wine is German Riesling. Continue reading

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2011 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: Highs and Lows

This is an event I look forward to every year, even if I’ve ragged a bit on the opacity of the selection criteria in the past. There’s always an eclectic group of producers ranging from the very well known and perpetually excellent to the less well known and only occasionally excellent, or at least aspiring to excellence. There’s enough of each to keep it interesting. There’s also always great food on hand. This year’s venue, the Metreon, had its pluses and minuses. The view from the Metreon balcony is one of the best in San Francisco, so the outdoor, balcony part of the event, especially given the beautiful weather conditions, proved to be a scenic and inspiring place to taste wine. The indoor part, on the other hand, especially after dark, tended to be gloomy, cavernous and more than a little depressing. Continue reading

Posted in Australian Wine, Awards, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Champagne, Chateauneuf du Pape, Greek Wine, Italian Wine, Loire, Napa, Northern Rhone, Port, Rhône, Riesling, Winemakers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2011 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: Highs and Lows

Great 1950s Cabernet from California’s Big Four: Beaulieu, Charles Krug, Inglenook & Louis Martini

I’ve written here a number of times about the delights of California Cabernets from the “good old days,” i.e., before the mid-’80s or so, when ripeness, alcohol levels and concentration started to rise significantly. Those reports, however, were on great Cabernets from the late sixties and early seventies–wines that had already established a reputation, from producers who had been at the making of serious Cabernet for a decade or two already. What made this tasting so special and astonishing was that these were great Cabs, that were appealing and well structured, from a time when a handful of pioneers in California were just starting to make serious Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals. Continue reading

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Long Shadows Vintners and the phenomenon of big name, long-distance joint venturing

In general, these are well made and tasty wines, if not particularly exciting or characterful. I appreciate that Shoup has also not priced them at ridiculous levels, in an attempt to make them seem like “instant cult” wines, unlike Heidi Barrett partner John Schwartz, whose ridiculously over priced Coup de Foudre, Amuse Bouche and Au Sommet I’ve railed about here. The retail prices run from $20 for the Riesling, which I think is the least of the lineup, to $45 for the Saggi, $50 for the Chester Kidder, $55 each for the Pirouette, Sequel and Pedestal, and $60 for the Feather. (Artisan is selling them for significantly less than that.) I particularly like the Sequel, the Chester Kidder, the Pedestal and the ’07 edition of the Feather. I do wonder, though, about the continuing value of importing distant big name winemaker/partners to bring more attention to an up and coming region like Washington State. Continue reading

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