I am a big Riesling guy, sometimes. I thought I’d continue last week’s theme with a potential bargain. Today’s selection comes from the country that made Riesling so popular and frankly unpopular, Germany. The appellation is Landwein, which means country wine, a plebian appellation for an inexpensive wine. Over 200 years ago Schmitt family ancestors settled in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer wine region of southwestern Germany, not far from Alsace, France. This is Riesling country, and on occasion great Riesling country. But when you see a wine offered for $6 on the Internet, the question of greatness rarely comes to mind. Schmitt bottles a wide range of wine, the Fuenf line also includes a sweet red and a Sangria. Today’s companion wine is another sweet German Riesling, Spaetlese (late harvest) produced nearby and costing about $25.
Let’s start with the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : Bright straw color; peach, apricot, and mineral aromas; off dry; citrus and mineral flavors with clean finish. Serving Suggestion : Serve with poached trout or halibut.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine’s sugar and acidity were both obtrusive. This drink was raw. When paired with Japanese rice crackers its acidity remained harsh but its sweetness was tamed. My initial meal centered on a boxed Eggplant Parmigiana liberally doused with grated Parmesan cheese. The Riesling tasted of unripe apples; its acidity was raw. When it encountered macaroons (coconut cookies) harsh acidity was all that remained.
My next meal’s piece de resistance was a baked tilapia filet marinated in Agave and soya sauce. The libation was round but cloying and excessively acidic. I did taste pears and apples. Perhaps not surprisingly quinoa had no real effect. But the medley of zucchini, onion, and Portabello mushrooms did manage to tame this German’s acidity.
My concluding meal focused on an omelet spiced with oregano, thyme, tarragon, and basil. This libation responded with only a little fruit. Perhaps surprisingly steamed broccoli rendered it syrupy and round. On the other hand fresh strawberries almost gutted the liquid. And upon meeting homemade sesame seed, carob, and sunflower seed cookies only its acidity came through.
Final verdict. Not much fun(f). If I could get it for six dollars and I needed a pairing for steamed broccoli I would definitely consider this reminder of those 1970s Rieslings that almost buried one noble grape. Otherwise... And I have no regrets that this winemaker’s sweet red cannot be found in my stomping grounds.Access the companion wine Another Mosel Spaetlese Riesling.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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