Seven years ago, I didn't really know anything about Riesling. Seriously. Most of the Rieslings I had tasted at that point were purchased in supermarkets. Which meant that they were all from California or Washington, and that almost without exception, they sucked.
I had yet to begin exploring the wines of Germany and Austria (I would shudder at the thought of decoding those inscrutable five-syllable names) and when it came to the wines of Alsace, I tended to pass over Riesling in favor of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Blanc. I had probably tasted one or two Rieslings from the Clare Valley in Australia, but as far as I was concerned, the entire grape variety was uncharted territory.
At a certain point, however, I got serious about filling in the major gaps in my wine knowledge and experience, and dove headfirst into Riesling, tasting hundreds of German and Austrian wines per year. I've kept that up ever since, and have come to love Rieslings, especially old ones, for their gorgeous, stony zest and brightness that is unique in the world of wine. I tend to prefer drier Rieslings -- up to about the level of Spatlese -- which makes some of my Riesling fanatic friends snigger over their Auslese, but despite my aversion for the super sweet, I pretty much think that German and Austrian Riesling kicks ass.
This month's Wine Blogging Wednesday event, the 45th in our series, is hosted by my friend Tim Elliot who runs Winecast.Net. He's selected Old World Riesling as the the theme for the tasting. This means Riesling from Germany, Austria, and France, primarily, although if you can find some from Northern Italy or elsewhere in Eastern Europe, more power to ya.
If you're not familiar with Wine Blogging Wednesday, it's the Blogosphere's virtual wine tasting event, where bloggers all over the world taste wine based on a theme, and then post their reviews on a designated Wednesday. For WBW#45, bloggers all over the world will be drinking and reviewing Old World Riesling on May 7th. Even if you don't have a blog, you can participate by posting your review at www.winebloggingwednesday.org.
See you on May 7th, and may the Trockenberenauslese be with you.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Karen MacNeil The Most Untrustworthy Wine in the World Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 11/22 I'll Drink to That: CP Lin of Erewhon Warm Up: New Zealand's South Island I'll Drink to That: Bob Cabral of Three Sticks Wines Warm Up: Rotgipfler and Beyond I'll Drink to That: Bernhard Stadlmann of Weingut Stadlmann Vinography Images: Last Light I'll Drink to That: Suzanne Mustacich
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune