31 days of Riesling
If old reputations are anything to go by, ‘31 days of Riesling’ frankly sounds like the sort of punishment that might be routinely meted out to ‘guests’ staying in the Tower of London.
Imagine surviving multiple interrogations in the ‘Black Tower’ only to face the prospect of a month’s waterboarding with Blue Nun!
“I’ll tell you everything. EVERYTHING!”
On the face of it, it’s also quite perplexing – How can you possibly keep people even vaguely interested on the same single grape variety for 744 hours straight?
It shouldn’t make sense. Enduring, say, a full month of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc would be akin to waking up each morning and receiving an unwelcome volley of gooseberries to the face!
Day 1 – Wow, Zingy!
Day 3 - Has overtaken ‘Tang-fastics!
Day 14 – Average body pH is now that of a lemon.
Day 31 – the size of regular citrus-based facial contortions confounds all known medical science.
But weirdly, on closer scrutiny, you find that perhaps 31 days of Riesling might not actually be quite enough.
There are so many styles that range from the bone dry, right through to the sweeter Spätlese styles and beyond [In German Spät = late and Lesen = to pick…. which essentially means the longer you leave the grapes on the vine before harvest, the riper they will have become and so the more residual sugar is contained in each grape]
Celebrated wine writer Jancis Robinson is a huge fan, “I love it. I love its’ raciness, its’ breezy refreshment, its’ ability to go with so many foods, its’ crystalline precision, its’ stately progress to an even more complex old age; and I am thrilled that there are now so many great dry Rieslings….”
When young and fruity, with thirst quenching (not Gooseberry-pelting) acidity levels, the limey citrus pairs nicely with seafood and white meat dishes. The inherent fruitiness also really helps when pairing with spicy Asian offerings – please do try it instead of your usual Cobra/Kingfisher. It’ll be worth it.
As Riesling ages, some say it gains more complex petrol notes. Yes, you read that correctly, I did write ‘petrol’. But don’t be alarmed, this is to be celebrated and is not merely for the benefit of clandestine benzene sniffers.
It means that Riesling, when it ‘grows up’ with more complex flavours begins to pair fantastically with pongy cheeses. It’s most certainly Der Käse Kaiser.
I’m only telling you this in theory – I hate cheese. It’s the Devil’s work and such is my phobia, I won’t eat cheesecake owing to it’s spelling.
Cooler climate Rieslings also have the benefit of usually being a bit lighter in alcohol for those who are determined to uncork something with a modicum of healthiness.
Another wine writer, Olly Smith, says “German fruity beauties are also known, by me at least, as 'The Juices of The Discotheque'. Lower in alcohol, hovering around the 8% mark, they taste like mangos dropped from heaven and offer access to fine wine for the price of a couple of cinema tickets. Book yourself in for the matinee.”
That’s my kind of cinema. Does anyone know if they’ve re opened yet?
They’ll surprise you (in a good way, I promise) and will make any dinner party at home complete.