A Riesling to Live
All the behind the scenes goss on this aromatic, steely and lean grape
This grape is one very cool customer...literally. Riesling is an early budding and early ripening grape which means it is suited to cool climates where the acid is allowed to remain in the grape whilst the flavours develop slowly. The lower heat for a longer time produces a richer wine with riper flavours but still keeps the acid approachable and balanced.
Riesling can be found all over the world where there are cool climates. This includes Australia (Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Tasmania), France (Alsace), Austria (Neiderosterrich) and South Africa (Cape South Coast) amongst others.
But undoubtedly the home of this grape belongs to those efficient Germans. So efficient they will produce this wine just about anywhere in Germany, at just about any sweetness and in just about any coloured bottles. Seriously, the bottle colours tells you alot about the wine. Just like the gold their national football regularly experiences, the gold cap of a Mosel Riesling is a bit of a "Hello Sailor" moment.
- The German wines are classified by the sugar concentration of the pressed grape juice in the Pradikastwein system or are dry as according to the Qualitatswein system. Why should we care about this? Well, it is the difference between have a Riesling that is suited to a spicy asian fish dish or to a key lime pie. Check the hyperlinks to find out more.
A good start for anyone moving through the German wine scene is to try Kabinett Riesling. This little treasure is off-dry with a small sweetness to accompany the acidic flavours. The wines are super drinkable, instantly more-ish and become a bit of a cult go-to amongst your friends. Think elderflower and lime. If you don't have a fetish for the frizzy haired Ernest Loosen after drinking his wines, then you are A-sexual good sir!
For the rest of the world, Riesling is that refreshing summer escape. The wine is a punchy mix of zesty lime, lemon, crisp peach and stone fruit characters. The best expressions rep the soil they are made on and have a stony and steely minerality. The acidity is high and combines with the light body and medium alcohol to make one lean mean tonic. It ain't no snickers but this will make you feel better.