Of Rieslings and Sweet Whites

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This season is somehow marked by lots of whites. It’s probably because I’ve been staying away from red meat in my cooking and I’ve been choosing whites by the glass when out at bars and such. I think whites are lighter than reds and are easier to parse while on a night out. Better to taste  quickly, put the notes away and get on with the socialising at hand than to take my time and look like a pretentious twit. Here are some that escaped this blog till now, in order of increasing sweetness.

A bottle of Pike’s Creek Riesling (2005) from Victoria, Australia was sitting in my store room for too long. Of course I had to do it justice and it didn’t disappoint. It was pale straw with a floral and sweet honey nose. Mid-dry, it was crisp and had a whiff of asparagus to it. That was surprising as I associate asparagus with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I liked the smooth, slightly mineral finish with a tinge of acid. Rating: 4/5

At a friend’s house, I had a Flonheimer Klostergarten Huxelrebe Spätlese (2007) from the Rheinhessen region in Germany. It was very similar to the Kabinett I had at an earlier gathering. Pale yellow, it was medium sweet with similar honeysuckle, peach and apricot bouquet. It had a touch of mineral to the finish and was pleasing but forgettable. Rating: 3/5

There was also a Trimbach Riesling (2006) AOC Reserve from (where else?) Alsace, France. It was fresh green-tinged yellow and had a floral honeysuckle nose. It had a lovely flinty finish, well-balanced by acid. Rating: 4/5

Rounding off the lot was a Brockland Valley Noble Semillon (2003) from Margaret River, Australia. Deep amber, the dessert wine had a lime, citrus and honey nose. It was, of course, sweet and had a syrupy finish replete with toffee. Good for having instead of dessert. Rating: 3.5/5

Key to ratings:

0 Wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole
1 I’d rather drink beer
2 If there’s nothing better
3 Just one glass is fine
4 More, please!
5 Where can I get a case?

A Night Where the Eating was Incidental

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It was one of those nights that happens when too many winos and people possessing wine turn up and all alcoholic hell breaks loose. While the food was great, it was incidental, only serving as a foil for the wine. Here’s what we had:

First up was the rather pompously named Flonheimer Bingerberg Bacchus Kabinett (2007) from the Rheinhessen region in Germany. It was pale yellow with a nose of honeysuckle, peach and soft fruit. Mid-sweet and pleasing, it wasn’t very complex and made for easy drinking. Rating: 3/5

Next was the Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz (2005) from the Barossa Valley in Australia. It was red-purple with lots of mulberry nose, boasting big fruit and soft tannins. A straight forward and again not very complex wine, it’d do great for barbecues. A typical outdoor Aussie barbie comes to mind. To our surprise, it also went beautifully with dark chocolate cupcakes. Not a lot of wines can handle chocolate, so extra points for that. Rating: 4/5

There was another red in between but I narrowly missed out, watching in vain as the resident wino casually poured out the last of the bottle. Mental note: must act faster next time. No matter, the dessert wines that followed more than made up for it.

The Trentham Noble Taminga (2005) from New South Wales, Australia was a golden amber brew with a heady melon and honey nose. It was rather syrupy and sweet but also very refreshing because it isn’t sticky like most dessert wines. In a word, luscious. Strangely enough, having some kiwi fruit with it brought out the citrus notes.Rating: 3.5/5

Up next was a non-vintage Italian Vin Santo, Il Santo Giglio di Firenze from Tuscany. Such a deep amber it was almost brown, giving off nutty toffee and raisin notes. It was sweet, extremely syrupy and viscous, a great digestif. Rating: 4/5

Last of all was yuzu liquor from Japan. We should have drunk it as an aperitif because it was light and fresh. The slightly medicinal citrus whiff of yuzu went well on the rocks. It’s also sweet, making it a good ladies’ drink. Think umeshu and the like. Rating: 3.5/5

After all the eating and mainly drinking, there were red faces all round. It didn’t stop us from playing wii and that got us even more red-faced and merry.

Key to ratings:

0 Wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole
1 I’d rather drink beer
2 If there’s nothing better
3 Just one glass is fine
4 More, please!
5 Where can I get a case?