Paul just loves Riesling! (I love talking in the third person!) But honestly, this is true. But for those of you who can’t believe it, let’s explain this with some of the superlative notions that I often expel in the tasting room.
Although I drink more reds (on average) than whites, Riesling would be my choice if I could only choose one wine the rest of my life. If I were stranded on a deserted island and my disable sailboat had only one type of wine in it, I would hope and pray that it was Riesling. And the best wine I’ve ever had in my life (to this point) was a Riesling (1997 Zind Humbrecht if you really must know).
Am I getting through to everyone yet? Ok, so now I’m ready to back up my words with concrete “facts”.
- No wine is as versatile as Riesling is with food. Pork, chicken, fish, fruit, spicy, sweet, fresh or cooked, Riesling will pair nicely. I can even make a heavy beef stew that is showcased better by Riesling than any red wine!
- Dry, off-dry, semi-sweet or sweet, Riesling can be made in so many styles and still be a world-class wine. (Try that with Cab. Blah!)
- No other variety showcases the terroir (the tastes of the region) better than Riesling can, partly because Riesling can grow wonderfully in so many regions. A New York Riesling is different than an Alsatian Riesling, which both are different than an Australian Riesling. But all are beautiful.
- From the grape-growing point of view, we do almost nothing with the vines in the growing season. No crop thinning, no leaf thinning, no cane tying, no nothing. The vine seems to do it all itself. Compared to Merlot (the problem child), or Nebbiolo (Uncle It), Riesling is a heavenly saint.
- Riesling ages spectacularly. It can out-age many or most reds in California simply because the variety has such wonderful natural acidity. That acidity acts as an “anti-oxidant”, keeping the wine fresh and vibrant over many years as it matures. (We just opened a 1993 Madrona Riesling today, and it was beautiful.
- Lastly, Riesling is affordable. Even the best of California come in under $30 a bottle. Compare that to good coastal Cabernet Sauvignon, and you’ll get three or more bottles of Riesling for each Cab!
So are we clear? And you respond, “Crystal!” Riesling is truly amazing and worthy of it’s own month of celebration.
Throughout the month of August, we are excited to be partnering with 5 local restauants to present a special dish paired with Riesling. Check these out!
Bear Moon Grill
901 Ski Run Drive, South Lake Tahoe
Bear Moon Grill will be featuring their House-made Crab Cakes paired with the 2014 Riesling, from our Hillside Collection. The complete description: House-made Crab Cakes set in a bed of arugula salad, spiced walnuts, and a drizzle of stone-ground mustard. Paul and I happened to be in Tahoe and tried this pairing – it’s outstanding!
The Farm Table
311 Main Street, Placerville
The Farm Table will be featuring the 2014 Dry Riesling from our Signature Collection with their Chef’s Platter. One of our favorite items on the menu! It’s the Chef’s choice of 5 items from their meat and cheese selections. It also includes sliced baguette, and house-made pickled things!
Powell’s Steamer Co. & Pub
425 Main Street, Placerville
Powell’s Steamer Co will be featuring their Seafood Louis and the 2014 Riesling, Hillside Collection. Fresh garden greens topped with your choice of crab, shrimp or both served with their housemade louie dressing. Another fabulous pairing that we have enjoyed!
Smith Flat House
2021 Smith Flat Road, Placerville
Featuring their Local Cider-soaked Pork Tenderloin paired with Apple Chutney, served with a roasted potato medley with peppers and onions and local hand-cut vegetables. This amazing dish will be paired with both the 2014 Riesling, Hillside Collection, and the 2015 Dry Riesling, Signature Collection.
312 Main Street, #104
Totem’s is featuring their fabulous Falafel (checkpea cakes, flatbread, kalamata olive, cucumber, dill/mint yogurt) with the 2014 Dry Riesling.