04 April 2011

Riesling in Spring

Willkommen! It's time for another pair of Rieslings from the folks at Wines of Germany. I tend to associate Riesling with fall weather. Maybe it's just because that's the time of year when I want roasted pork, baked apples, braised cabbage, and other Teutonic comfort foods. But this grape works quite well year round. Since you can serve it cool and the alcohol level is generally low, it's an especially good choice as the weather starts warming up.

There have been lots of arguments recently about alcohol levels in wines, with people arguing 14.5% vs. 15.1% or setting a hard limit for their purchases. Frankly if the wine is balanced, I'm not really concerned, but every time I try one of these mellow 9% German wines, it's such a refreshing change of pace. Even 12% is low compared to a lot of wines on the market today.

2009 Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett
$22, 9% abv.
Always interesting to see German wines with a Doctor's name on the label. It seems to be a uniquely German practice, with the rare exception like New York's Dr. Konstantin Frank. This Riesling is medium sweet with amazing apple cider aromas and flavors. There's a little touch of honey, and a delightful acidity that balances out the sweetness so well.

2008 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken
$17, 12% abv.
This one is dry with pears and jasmine on the nose. It has a tart acidity with a dark undertone and a bit of minerality. As the picture shows, I tried out these two wines with a BLT, some potato salad, and what turned out to be some very disappointing pickles. (The unnatural neon color should have been a clue.) It's the first time I've paired Riesling and a BLT, and I've got to say that it works extremely well. The acidity is great with the mayo and bacon, and as for the L&T, well, I've always loved Riesling with salad.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


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