Recently, a blast from my past told me she really enjoyed reading my wine blog. She also sparked my interest in re-visiting German wines. I spent a good part of my mid-twenties travelling back and forth to Germany (for reasons we don’t need to get into). In all my travels over to Deutschland, I never toured their wine regions; or really drank their wine for that matter. I remember fondly one day, outside this cute German town Lauda (most German towns are pretty cute I have to say), going for a jog and stumbling upon hop’s growing. I was so impressed, despite not being a huge beer fan. These hops stuck with me and I really just thought of Germany as a beer country. Also at that point and time, I was beginning my wine kick and it never dawned on me to check out their wine regions. Plus, I was a” mature” red wine drinker (this was during my anti-white wine phase) and German’s are known for their white wines. So, I just stuck with beer when I was visiting; felt it was safer.
With this blast from my past on the brain, I decided to explore the area of German wines, since they actually make some of the best Riesling in the world. Around 6 months ago, I took a class comparing wines from different regions; one varietal being German Riesling vs. Washington Riesling; which made my teeth ache from just the thought of drinking all that sweet wine. I sucked it up though. If I was ever going to be taken seriously (ha!) about my knowledge of wine, I needed to understand the difference in regions. Now, I don’t like to admit when I am wrong, but boy was I wrong. These wines were delicious. Yes some were sweet, but some surprisingly were not. And I hate to say this, but I really prefered the German Riesling over Washington. They were less sweet and had a little more mineral flavor, which my taste buds prefer. Sometimes I enjoy being wrong, especially when it come to wine.
Really brief history on German Riesling :
Riesling loves Germany. Because of the cool climate, it helps the grape retain their acidity. German Riesling is the world’s top food wine – because of the low alcohol. Riesling can be sweet, dessert wines but also can be dry (my preference). My advice would be to let your wine salesman (woman) know if you prefer sweet or dry, and they can point you in the right direction.
2008 Loosen Brothers Riesling, Mosel Valley of Germany ($12.00 West Seattle Cellars)
Upon reading about this wine region, I found out a famous German winemaker, Dr. Ernst Loosen came to the US looking for a perfect place to make Riesling’s on this side of the world. He picked Eastern Washington and approached Chateau Ste Michelle about a joint venture. The product was a very fine American Riesling called Eroica (from What’s a Wine Lover to Do? by Wes Marshall, 2010).
This particular wine was alright… but not something I would purchase again. It was more dry than sweet, and had some lime/mineral flavoring – but it also combined grapefruit and granny smith apple flavors – which was overly pungent for me. Too many flavors going on in my mouth that didn’t blend well. I like explosions of flavor, but these flavors exploded in different and awkward directions for me. Now, my husband liked the wine. He enjoyed the combination of flavors. So, it does go to show different palates prefer different flavors. My recommendation, whether you want to try this particular wine or another German Riesling, you must try a bottle. Riesling compliments a wide variety of foods, that you really won’t be disappointed with your bottle. Just remember to let the wine sales clerk know if you want more sweet or dry… or just try both. You never know, you may love each one equally.