Well now that we are officially in the last week of summer, and although it is my favorite season, the fall season is fastly approaching. Football, Basketball, leaves changing color, its gets dark a little earlier, all are letting us know that its time for a whole new flavor of cocktails and wines. Plum, Cherry, Cinnamon, Spice, whiskey, cognac, hot cocktails, port wines, all are about to get a BIG boost with the temperature falling.
BUT, we still have a few days left and our resident wine expert, the extremely talented Tanisha Townsend of Girl Meets Glass is giving us one last wine reminder for the summer. So enough of me talking, lets find out what the Summer of Riesling is all about.........
As much as we try to hold onto the warm days, long nights, and short skirts, the temps are getting lower. And as of September 21st, summer will be officially over. (Collective sigh) And along with it goes the Summer of Riesling.
Summer of Riesling was created by Paul Grieco from Terrior NY as a way to promote the diversity of the grape. Five years later, over 500 restaurants, wine bars and retails shops around the world have joined in and offer multiple styles of Riesling by the glass. Riesling is regarded as one of the world’s finest and most elegant grapes. Its fruity aromatics and bright acidity, make it excellent for pairing with food. Riesling is also late ripening but hardy, lending to sweeter flavors and late harvest styles.
Riesling is most at home in Germany where it’s welcomed by a cool climate. To get the grapes to ripen fully, they are grown on steep sun-facing slopes allowing for grapes to get a maximum amount of sunlight. German-style Rieslings are light in alcohol and age remarkably well with noticeable honeyed aromas. But in the glass, the German style is easily and quickly identified by a distinctive diesel aroma. But don’t fret! The diesel gives way to aromas of melon and wine. German Rieslings also have various levels of sweetness designated on the label.
· Kabinett: dry
· Spatelese: semi-sweet
· Auslese: very ripe, hand selected bunches, typically semi-sweet or sweet
· Beerenauslese: overripe grapes individually selected from bunches and often affected by noble rot, making rich sweet dessert wine.
· Eiswein: (ice wine) The grapes are frozen on the vine and then pressed for their juice
· Trockenbeerenauslese: made from overripe shriveled grapes often affected by noble rot making extremely rich sweet wines.
In warmer climates such as Austria and Australia, Rieslings take more citrusy and peach notes. Due to their high acidity, they are also one of the few white wines that age well. The older they get, they developed honeyed and smoky notes.
Chateau Tanunda Riesling (Australia) – A bit of petrol on the nose swirls away into aromas of lime blossom and citrus. A drier style, but a long finish on the palate.Willm Reserve Riesling (Alsace, France) – White flowers and citrus on the nose with a racy acidity. Clean flavors on the palate pair well with spicy foods or sushi.
JJ Prum Sommeheur Auslese (Germany) – The petrol aroma jumps up from the glass, but once you get past that there is ripe peach and mango to be had. Great minerality and acidity on the palate, very well balanced.
Dr. Loosen Blue Estate Kabinett (Finger Lakes, NY) – Excellent aperitif wine with its white peach and floral flavors. Tons of flinty minerality from the blue slate the vines are planted in.
For more information on Riesling, check out #summerofriesling on Twitter as we chat away the last few days of summer. Of course, with a glass of Riesling by our side.
So thanks Tanisha again for spreading her wine knowledge over here to myself and my readers and I think Ill be picking up myself a bottle of Riesling tonight to have before summer ends. Be on the lookout for more wine based posts from our favorite wine expert Tanisha in the near future.
Until Next Time