The long-lost Riesling tasting post!

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2009 at 2:19 am

So, checking through my drafts and whatnot, I found this post, which I wrote last year and either didn’t finish (I don’t recall if there were more wines in this tasting or not.) or I just neglected to click ‘publish’. Either way, I read back through it, and thought it was interesting enough to go ahead and publish now.


Riesling can be a fantastic Thanksgiving wine. Riesling can have a fabulous richness that can match beautifully with many of our traditional Thanksgiving foods, and sweet German Rieslings can work with your appetizers, main courses, or desserts. So we sat down today to taste a few of them, as well as to go over some German wine geography.

We started with a Theo Minges Halbtrocken 2006 ($13.99), which is from the Pfalz region. The Pfalz is generally considered to be a lesser winemaking region for Germany, and as is the case for many ‘lesser’ winemaking regions worldwide, the Pfalz can be a great place to find good value wines, and this Theo Minges is a good example. It’s a full liter of pretty darn good Riesling that retails in the mid-teens. It’s got a nose of lime and minerals, and an impressively rich pallet of lime and mixed citrus, with a backbone of slate and chalk. The label says halbtrocken but I really get no significant residual sugar on the pallet.

Then we went to the Selbach Kabinett 2007 ($12.49), which is from the Mosel region, which is northeast of the Pfalz, and generally more highly regarded as a growing region. If Germany had ‘Grand Cru’ vineyards, most of them would probably be in the Mosel. The Selbach is much more suited as an apertif. On it’s own it’s great, it’s got a little bit of petrol wrapped up with some lemon curd and orange candy. These elements carry through to the pallet, which is light and crisp, with a notable bit of CO2. Not enough that I’d call it sparkling, just enough to make it light and refreshing. It’s delicate character leads me to recommend it either by itself, or with some slightly spicy fish or salad dishes. The richness of a full Thanksgiving would be a bit overwhelming for this one.

The Leitz Dragonstone 2008 ($12.99) on the other hand would be an excellent candidate for Thanksgiving dinner if you don’t want to spend too much. Now, this description may sound like a load of crap, or at least like a bit of hyperbole, but this really is what I got out of it. Imagine sitting with a cup of honey lemon ginger tea in a kitchen where somebody is cutting apples to make applesauce. That’s what it smelled like to me.  The apple and citrus carry through to the pallet, where they’re joined with some peach and apricot chiming in like backup singers. It’s got a lot of complexity on the pallet, which is the other thing that makes me feel like this wine really wants food. Put this next to some turkey and stuffing and I’m sure they’ll both be better off for having met each other. Or just have it with Chinese food like I’m going to when I’m done writing this.

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