Thursday, February 9, 2012

Riesling, Riesling, Riesling

There were more Riesling tastings in Sydney in the last fortnight than you could poke a stick at. It was really silly, as most wines were the same, as the importers were doing the rounds.

The position of Riesling in Australia (and the US, for that matter) is a curious one. Wine writers and wine connoisseurs apparently love it. The wine drinking public ignores Riesling. Having been to one of the tastings and tasting 30 or so wines, I now have a theory why this is. We are basically used to drink dry white wines. They go well with seafood, salads, white meat. The dominant Riesling style here is also dry. But it hardly ever works. The Riesling grape is essentially quite fruity, and dry/fruity does not grab me, nor most people.

To be fair, the rage in the US has been sweet Spaetlese and Auslese style wines, mainly from the Moselle. And sweet or more modestly called off-dry Rieslings are gaining ground here as well. It suits the grape and is a more harmonious expression of it. But do I like it? - No. If I want to drink an aperitif, I prefer Moscato, also as a desert wine. And with Thai food, I prefer Gewuerztraminer or Gruener Veltiner. And I don't really need to consume extra sugar.

In conclusion, there are good reasons why Riesling is having a tough time. As a result, the herd is not following the latest fashion trend in white wine drinking.    

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