by Juel Mahoney
Inspired by Paul Grieco from Terroir Wine Bar in New York and his Summer of Riesling, as well as Monday’s dinner with Ernie Loosen from Dr Loosen at Mien Tay Vietnamese Restaurant, here are our 31 reasons the noble Riesling grape is king.
1. Rock the Pradikat: German Rieslings have MANY levels of sweetness.
2. Yet it can be drier than Jack Dee. Some might not just get it.
3. Trocken Riesling has 9 grams of Residual sugar. “Remember that a can of Coke has 39 grams of demon sugar” – Paul Grieco
4. Introduce a White Zinfandel drinker to an Auslese Riesling. An easy way to do some good in the world.
5. It is not manipulated to be low in alcohol. It IS low in alcohol
6. Dr Loosen Blue Slate Riesling 2010 is 8.5% alcohol. Not many can get wine so perfectly balanced at this alcohol level
7. It can be at the start AND finish of a meal
8. Even better, it doesn’t need food at all
9. It can withstand spices and flavours from any corner of the world:
10. Have you seen a piccolo Riesling bottle? Dr. Loosen 2006 Riesling Beerenauslese, ultimate dessert wine in mini-size.
11. They come from the same country as Kraftwerk
12. It is easy to drink wines from before you were born
13. There are spectacular recent German Riesling vintages people overlooked- 2010, 2007, 2005, 2001, 1990
13. It is very good AGAIN in 2011
14. “Suffice it to say, communism hasn’t survived as long as some bottles.” – Summer of Riesling
15. More human than machine – specialised grape pickers are needed on steep slopes
16. It has more acid freakiness than Heaven in 1988
17. It is like a sorbet in sunny weather
18. Thankfully it is also the perfect rainy day wine
19. It has long German names that sound better at the end of the night than at the beginning
20. Names of the vineyards (in translation) sound like titles of Manga episodes
21. The vineyard Ürziger Würzgarten means Spice Garden of Urzig
22. The Mosel vineyard Goldtröpfchen means little drop of gold
23. The colour of the bottles
24. A Riesling in Magnum is a sight to behold.
25. “The transparency of Riesling is fully exposed in a trocken expression…and we love being naked.” – Summer of Riesling
26. Ordering Riesling in a restaurant: respect from Sommeliers
27. Those who sell it, love it
28. Despite it being mind-bogglingly undervalued
29. In the 1950s and 1960s it was as difficult to buy En Primeur as Latour. Today a Grand Cru Riesling BOTTLE costs LESS than a glass of First Growth Bordeaux. How times have changed.
30. Riesling is magic
31. After assessing a customer’s cellar full of Bordeaux First Growths, he handed me a Magnum 2007 Reichstrat Von Buhl Pechstein Forst Riesling Trocken GG (photo above), saying “you’ll probably enjoy this more than me”. I doubt it, but it was certainly appreciated.
1. Riesling is King, unknown
2. Ernie Loosen & Chef Mr Su Tran from Mien Tay Restaurant, Battersea – photo thanks to Lucy Bridgers, a brilliant food and wine blogger
3. Whole Crispy Fried Sea Bass with Lemongrass & Chilli at Mien Tay with Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2010
4. At Mien Tay Battersea, BYO Riesling dinner 9 July 2012 – Joh Jos Prum Wehlener Sonnenhur 1990
5. At Mien Tay Vietnamese restaurant. 1975 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett
6. Smily face, Guardian
7. Manga, Tears of God
8. Magnum of Riesling, 2007 Reichstrat Von Buhl Pechstein Forst Riesling Trocken GG