Sunday Read: Germany’s Rieslings on the Tip of the Tongue

Eric Asimov of the New York Times has done it again: He has written about Riesling. One of the reasons why I like his writing so much is that he has for a long time been a supporter of appreciating Riesling more.

In this piece, he makes some valid points about the discrepancy between German Riesling drinkers, who overwhelmingly prefer their Rieslings dry, and international Riesling drinkers who rather have significant residual sugar in them. As he seems to point out, there is a room for both. While he loves the sweet style, he also thinks it is time to embrace the dry style. And sees a future for both styles, which I agree with.

In my book, that is one of the reasons why Riesling is the greatest wine grape around: It is so versatile, and can be made to excellent wines in so many different ways that it is mind boggling…

Here are some quotes (which naturally made my heart swell):

“The sweet style is thoroughly distinctive. Residual sugar is beautifully balanced by snappy acidity, making for a wine that is refreshing, even bracing, rather than cloying. No rieslings anywhere in the world are like these.”

“In these dry wines, without the residual sweetness to create tension with the acidity, the balance must come instead from a wine’s body and texture, which include the components of alcohol and fruit. If captured properly, the wines feel full of energy, as if they are thrusting forward toward the next sip. If not, they feel flat and dull. ”

Well worth your time.

Happy Sunday!

Eric Asimov: Germany’s Rieslings on the Tip of the Tongue

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18 thoughts on “Sunday Read: Germany’s Rieslings on the Tip of the Tongue

  1. ksbeth says:

    i so prefer the dry, never knew a german riesling was different from the sweet ones i’d tried, i will give it another try – thanks for the lesson ) beth

  2. I love that your heart swells over Riesling.

  3. I love a good Riesling and prefer the drier ones, but some residual sugar can be good as well. (Good to have you back writing again. I have missed a few weeks as well, but hopefully am more organized now and back at it as well.)

  4. reijosfood says:

    If one asks in restaurant what white wine waiter would recommend, answer usually starts from Chardonnay or Savingnon Blanc. It would be time to find riesling because there are much more varieties.

    • I totally agree. But customers also shy away when they hear Riesling, so it needs work on both ends. I think there are a number of wine waiters touting Riesling these days, but it still has not translated into customers actually ordering them…

  5. I like it best when there’s something of everything–every style, every language, every color–something for everyone.

    • Hard to capture in one bottle, but they do exist…:)

      • One of my friends had to write a philosophical paper once, something about Shakespeare and “all the world in a glass of wine…”

        I’m still looking for that wine.

        • Hmm…yeah. These wines must exist somewhere!

          On a slightly related note: Have you ever had omija cha? A Korean tea that literally translates to “five taste tea”…because it contains sour, bitter, sweet, salty and pungent aromas. We had it while in Seoul, it reminded me of all flavors in one mug. I will try to find the dried berries needed for making it at the Korean store today. But maybe your Korean restaurant serves it?

          • I haven’t had it. Sounds intriguing.

            The Korean restaurant we’ve been going to is actually a food truck–very limited menu. But there’s supposed to be an authentic Korean restaurant on Wickenden Street–now I’m going to have to be sure I check it out.

            • Oh, I forgot it is a food truck…the tea was really interesting in taste. The dominant flavor was sour, but it felt so layered. We had it at the end of dinner in Seoul, and it just hit a lot of right spots…

  6. I definitely prefer German Rieslings, especially the Troken. Mmmm! In fact, I’m on Cloud 9 because I found a local retailer who can get Knipser Rieslings. Well, one Knipser Riesling. But it’s something. Prost!

    • Oh nice!! It is always so cool when you can find a winery you know you like!! A friend of ours told us last night that he, after having had some Karl Erbes wines at ours (which I love so much), found them in a Boston wine store, so he bought a bottle as a gift for someone…I love those connections!

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