Tag Archives: germany

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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Happy Valentine’s Day

We don’t even celebrate this cheesy holiday, but then when I saw this photo I just had to share it with you. Matthias Meierer of Weingut Meierer posted this photo of a vine on the Mosel on his Facebook page and I am hereby shamelessly stealing it:

A Vine Heart along the Mosel (by Weingut Meierer)

A Vine Heart along the Mosel (by Weingut Meierer)

It’s the classic way of binding vine branches in winter along the Mosel, and for any romantic wine lover, there is nothing like seeing a whole vineyard bound like this…

So here we go: Happy Valentine’s Day!

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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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