Time once again for a pair of bottles from Wines of Germany. They usually send one sweet and one dry wine, though this time they really outdid themselves on the sweet side. The older I get, the more I appreciate the versatility of Riesling. I used to just get excited about pork and apples and sauerkraut, but that's thinking too small. And, of course, good Riesling can be enjoyed by novices as well as more experienced wine lovers, which makes it great for parties and dinner parties.
Selbach & Pfeffingen sounds like the name of a firm that makes carbon fiber spoilers for Formula One race cars, but they're two separate wine producers from Germany.
2009 Selbach Riesling Dry
Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete
$10, 11% abv.
There have been a few vintages of this "fish label" Riesling, a great example of one of my favorite trends in German wine: simpler, friendlier labels. And I can say that with all the pineapple, jasmine, and tropical fruit in this wine that it would be perfect wine to go along with something like grilled grouper with a mango salsa. I also got the oddest craving for Cuban food while I was drinking it, which makes me think about a theme dinner centered around a love story between an East German gymnast and a Cuban boxer during the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
The magic of wine is that it sometimes inspires the most bizarre thoughts. But speaking of magic...
2004 Pfeffingen Herrenberg Riesling Beerenauslese
Pfalz (Palatinate) Region
$45/375mL, 6% abv.
I was proud to serve this at the October CATNGA Summit with Samantha and Joe, and both of them enjoyed it. Overripe peach and a whiff of petrol, with bright acidity and an intoxicating, slightly musky aroma despite the very low alcohol content. Elements of clover and a light floral nose. Firm sugar but not overwhelming. While I do not have a sweet tooth, some of my favorite wine memories involve incredible botrytized wines with a decent bit of cellar time on them. 2004 wasn't that far away, but this particular wine has aged gracefully. Highly recommended if you can find it, but if not, try to enjoy a good Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese. It will be a memorable experience.
Note: These wines were received as samples.