Category Archives: Sunday read

Sunday Read: Sips Closest to Dessert

I’ll be participating in a #Winechat this Wednesday (9-10pm EST), a Twitter event hosted by @ProtocolWine (if all the wines make it here in time, the East Coast snowstorms have delayed some deliveries). The theme is “Ice Wine” and dessert wines in a nod to the Olympics (where all ice is fake, as we are being told). When I heard of the theme I immediately got in touch to see whether I could participate and was lucky to be chosen to receive some samples to talk about this Wednesday. Needless to say, I am super excited. Coming of (wine) age in the Mosel valley, I had ample exposure to its sweet wines and therefore feel particularly comfortable tasting these wines…

We’ll have a dinner party with friends that night because I don’t want to try the wines alone and so naturally my thinking has moved to what to pair dessert wines with. I am not a fan of sweet desserts and these wines, it is usually overkill. I am looking for ways to pair wine with savory dishes. Because for me either the wine IS the dessert or it should complement savory aromas.

I came across this article by Eric Asimov published in 2009 in which he looks at exactly that topic: pairing savory dishes with sweet wines (we’re on the same page regarding dessert and dessert wine). I found it an inspiring read!

Happy Sunday!

Eric Asimov: Sips Closest to Dessert

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Sunday Read: The Riesling Syndrome – Too Sweet or Too Dry?

The other day I came across this article that fits my own more rambling style on the general question of Riesling’s dryness or sweetness or the middle ground of it. The author, Jason Wilson, makes some great points about the frustrations of dealing with uninformed yet “on a mission” bartenders and wait staff that pour an 8% ABV as a dry wine, the dichotomy between German consumers (dry) and the US market (sweeter in general), the International Riesling Foundation’s sweetness scale, and why all of this is so confusing and not helping the grape.

The article contains some beautiful metaphors and expressions (one winemaker is quoted as as saying “We can show sweeter Rieslings until the cows come home.” – but no one will buy them in Germany), and makes some great points that are on my mind a lot.

One key take away, and I am repeating myself here: If you wonder whether the Riesling bottle you are looking at contains sweet wine, check the alcohol. If it’s single digits, it will be sweet(er), if it’s double digits it will be at least off-dry. You’re usually in safe dry territory above 11.5% ABV.

Cheers!!

Jason Wilson: The Riesling Syndrome – Too Sweet or Too Dry? 

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Sunday Read: What’s in (and out) in the world’s oldest wine region

Jancis Robinson wrote a love letter to the Douro valley a few days ago, and I can only agree and simply have to repost it.

She opens with the line that some landscapes just get under your skin, and she uses an African safari. Now, I have done safaris in Southern and Eastern Africa, and I couldn’t agree more: the sweeping savannas, the incredibly wide sky, and naturally seeing those animals of childhood dreams in real life…I could watch elephants for days and weeks without getting tired.

Then there are other landscapes that catch me, like the rising mountains of Alaska, straight from the sea, snow capped. It’s insanely breath-taking in its majesty. And then there is the Mosel valley, with its steep vineyards and the rather unimpressive little river snaking through. And then there is the Douro valley in Northern Portugal which I have been fortunate to visit once, and hope to repeat that sometime this year. The vineyards in these ultra steep are terraced, rugged, not like the picturesque Mosel. Here, it is more brute force, and sun burnt land…stunning.

Not to mention the people and the wines, not just Port. Some of my favorite, affordable wines in the world come from this area. Jancis takes us on a tour d’horizon through recent Port developments and regular wines. We all could use a little more Portugal, a little more Douro in our lives.

Happy Sunday!

Jancis Robinson: What’s in (and out) in the world’s oldest wine region

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