Christmas: it’s my favourite wine season! So instead of focusing on one particular bottle or singling out an individual winery this month, we’ve decided to focus on a grape variety that we think goes well with the festivities of Yuletide.
Ladies and gentlemen, please meet our newest friend, the Right Honourable Riesling!
In the past, Mrs Romance and I haven’t really delved too deeply into the white wine realm. We’ve dabbled with un-oaked chardonnays and romanced pinot grigios, but white wine has tended to take a back seat.
Just recently though, we’ve noticed Riesling becoming much more popular amongst our wine-educated friends. They love the fresh, acid dryness combined with the mineral slate finish you get with a dry Riesling. They shy away from the sweeter types though, so the low residual Rieslings are the the way to go.
An interesting fact is that Riesling – a German grape – is grown more in Australia than Germany’s next door neighbour, France.
Yet oddly, Riesling from the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills is probably the best value good quality white wine on the market.
But with so many other things to drink, our vino bianco knowledge is limited. Therefore, we have harnessed the resources of our friends we refer to as the three saints of wine: Peter, Paul and Andrew.
Here are their recommendations:
The Wine Saints’ view on Riesling
A long-serving Riesling lover, it was Paul who first alerted us to the virtues of this diamond-in-the-rough variety. I was dubious at first, thinking a well-versed wine man such as Paul would be more into his reds than his whites. He does like a red, but he’s always very happy with a good Riesling.
A knowledgeable chap with two six-foot wine fridges (both full), we like Peter’s insight into good flavours – it was he who helped us with the beer-tasting post.
Peter’s living in Orange, New South Wales for the moment, and the cold climate hills of the area are producing some very good wines indeed. Peter said he moved there for work… I’m still not entirely convinced!
Peter found us this explanation of what makes Riesling such an interesting wine. It also suggests some Rieslings to try and gives some recommendations for food matching too.
This fellow has an astonishing memory for wine. It was with some consternation he told me that he never forgets a wine label – especially if it’s a good drop. It’s a long list he has in his head!
When I asked him for his favourite Riesling, Andrew shouted out the following almost before I’d finished asking the question!
Jim Barry Watervale Riesling from the Clare Valley
So why not try one of these little humdingers while you’re getting stuck into your turkey this year. You won’t be disappointed with the complexity of flavours you don’t usually get with other white wines.
Also the iconic conical shaped bottle Riesling comes in is a nice visual point of difference if you’re bringing a bottle to a party!
Do you have a favourite Riesling? Time to name-drop!