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Sunday Read: Silvaner – The Best Spring Wine You’ve Never Heard Of

With today being Easter (happy Easter to those who celebrate!), spring is finally, officially and weather-wisely here. We’re having a gorgeous spring day here in Ann Arbor, and I hope so do you…

Spring also means white wines, finally. While I never stop drinking whites in the winter, red wines replace a sizable chunk of my consumption and by the time spring arrives, I am happy to change back to whites mostly. Naturally Riesling takes its part in this, but Lettie Teague reminded me that there is another German grape that is worth checking out: Silvaner.

A less acidic alternative to Riesling that is used in Germany mostly in spring for its great pairing abilities with seasonal food like white asparagus. It’s hard to find in the US, and many of its incarnations in Germany tend to be flat and boring, but when done right, they can be exciting spring wines. I tasted a great bottle of Silvaner a few weeks ago that is part of the importer Rudi Wiest’s portfolio. I will write more about that in the very near future.

In any case, it’s spring and time for more whites. What white are you looking forward to this spring?

Lettie Teague: Silvaner – The Best Spring Wine You’ve Never Heard Of

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Sunday Read: New German Rieslings somewhere between dry and sweet

You wouldn’t believe how often I get to hear how Riesling is SO sweet. Yes, often it is. But then again, often it is not. What one has to understand about Riesling, at least in my opinion, is that as with all wines balance is key. Given that German Rieslings tend to have a significant amount of acidity due to the cooler climate they grow in and Riesling’s natural higher acidity, sugar in the wine is a key to balance that acidity. In years with lower acidity, like 2011, it was easier to make very dry wines because the acidity did not need that much sugar to balance it. In years with high acidity levels, I usually struggle with fully dry wines…

Throw in wine drinkers’ split personality: Many want to see the word “dry” on the label, and insist that they only like dry wine, but then prefer wines with some residual sugar in them that would qualify those wines as semi-sweet or off-dry. It’s a conundrum for wine makers, and the piece I am linking to today explores how German winemakers deal with this issue. Maybe we all should become more comfortable with the grey, in between areas. Some sweet, some dry, not either or. After all, it is the in between that is usually the more exciting area to explore…

Happy Sunday!

Jon Bonné: New German Rieslings somewhere between dry and sweet

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