Riesling, Runways & Rubber boots

Claudia Schiffer in lime green rubber wellies. Suddenly, Digiboy is much more interested in tasting Riesling!

Just like this world famous beauty, Riesling is loved all over and is a veritable national hero at home in Germany. Long, lean and fresh-faced, it has a naturally high metabolism (due to the high acidity level) which gives it that lean and clean feel without it ever becoming flabby – even when sweet! Yes, Riesling is the supermodel of the major grape varieties.

Whether bone dry in tight black leather for a David Bailey photo-shoot or sweet and pretty, wrapped in white fur for Cosmopolitan’s Christmas cover, both grape and model suit any style thrown at them. Despite such changing faces however, both always exude that inimitable character that could never be anyone or anything else:

Think freshly squeezed lime juice on a summer day with the feint aroma of burnt rubber and diesel coming off the hot road. These are some classic markers for a Riesling which become increasingly bolder with age. You may like to take it lip-pursing, lemon-sucking dry. You may prefer it with a sprinkling of sugar…you may even crave it as a full-on dessert style wine! There’s something for everyone.

The thing is, it ain’t always clear what you’re gonna get, so here are some uber basic tips to help minimise the surprise element:

Wine Language Tasting Tour:
For that full-on, dry, lime and rubber experience, head to Australia’s Clare Valley or Eden Valley.

If you’d prefer it still dry but fuller bodied and more fruit, go to Alsace.

For something more delicate with just a touch of lime, more flowery aromas and a little bit of sugar, think German ‘kabinett’ style Riesling with just 1-2 years age. For more sweetness, try a ‘spatlese’ style.

For something fresh and clean tasting with a lovely mineral edge, try Washing State.

Just remember: the more age on it, the more aroma!

Riesling is coming back big time and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Sure, it can be an acquired taste, but have a go and see what all the fuss is about. If you’re not into the sugar – try it with Thai food. You’ll soon change your mind.

Zum Whol!

Wein-Vogel x

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