Tonight marks the finale of the month-long salute to German wines taking place at TasteLive. October has more-or-less been “Riesling Month” for me (not that I don’t drink Riesling pretty much every month) in helping to get the word out about the events being hosted by TasteLive and Wines of Germany.
Tonight’s twitter tasting event, at 8PM ET, is the final October Wines of Germany tasting event and will feature a handful of bloggers tasting through selections of Schloss Reinhartshausen wines from the Rheingau (the region typically home to Germany’s most austere and powerful Rieslings). There will be one more public TTL event on Dec. 3rd that will feature a sample of Rieslings from various German producers – that’s one where you will be able to join in and taste; more to come on that from both me and the folks over at TasteLive. For tonight, you’ll be able to follow along with the tasting action at the TasteLive website, or by following the #TTL search term using your favorite twitter client.
Here’s a bit about tonight’s highlighted producer, as lifted from the TasteLive website:
Schloss Reinhartshausen (Reinhartshausen Castle) has been identified with production of rare and majestic German Rieslings since 1337. Schloss Reinhartshausen embraces 15 separate vineyard sites located in the vicinity of the townships of Erbach and Hattenheim. These include a significant portion of the legendary Grand Cru Erbacher Marcobrunn vineyard, as well as the neighboring Erbacher Schlossberg site in its 15-acre entirety.
More on the wines for tonight’s event are below. Interestingly, the TasteLive website lists a Trockenbeerenauslese among tonight’s selections, and I received an Auslese (more on those terms can be found here). Not sure which one is correct. I don’t have any experience with the wines of Schloss Reinhartshausen – the notes below are not my words but have been taken from the importer’s descriptions, so take those with a grain of salt. Having said that, the descriptions have certainly whet my appetite…
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At this point, most anyone who has listened to me speak (or read my blog posts) about Riesling for more than six seconds is (painfully) aware of my love-affair with the noble wine grape, I consider it probably the greatest white wine variety due to its uncanny ability to retain a signature while also elegantly translating a sense of place as purely as the best red wine grapes, blah blah blah…
Truth be told, even I’m getting sick of hearing about how great I think Riesling is.
Having said that… I cannot resist the temptation to relay some interesting facts about how Riesling is able to translate a sense of place so well.
You see, I’ve been sitting on a book (well, not literally sitting on it, just waiting to read it… ah, forget it…) that I received as a sample from the Wines of Germany folks during my trip to German wine country earlier this year. The book is a bit of a sleeper – it’s dry reading, oscillates wildly between wine-geek information on Riesling, producer profiles, and beginner’s guide takes on how to enjoy Riesling wine. It’s also translated a bit awkwardly from the German, which means the English version reads with an odd cadence and uses the word “indeed” multiple times in the same sentence – as in
“Indeed, what I am about to write in this sentence is indeed going to reinforce what was stated in the sentence prior to this one!”
No surprise then that this book isn’t exactly lighting up the Amazon.com sales rank charts (currently, it’s at number 2,832,386).
But, that doesn’t stop the book, titled simply Riesling, by Chrstina Fischer and Ingo Swoboda, from delivering a masterstroke of Riesling wine appreciation. At least, it did for me. (Indeed) Chapter three of Riesling is (indeed) so freakin’ awesome that I’m going to summarize a large section of it, because it provides what might be the most eloquent overview of the link between Riesling wine aromas and soil types that I’ve ever seen.
(Indeed) It’s like the f—king Rosetta Stone for translating Riesling soil types!
And that is enough to get any Riesling wine geek’s mouth watering (Indeed!)…
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The rage is relentless
We need a movement with a quickness
You are the witness of change
And to counteract
We gotta take the power back
Sometimes I wonder if the Internet should have a theme song. I’d nominate Rage Against The Machine’s Take The Power Back, given the possibilities of democratization that the connected economy presents to us nearly every day.
That’s an overly-dramatic introduction to a couple of on-line surveys… but what the hell, why be afraid to revel in our time, right?
Anyway… frequent 1WineDude readers will know my good buddy (and uber wine-geek) Jason Whiteside, who is currently finishing up the challenging WSET Diploma program (the stepping-stone into Master of Wine qualification). Jason is taking on a bit of wine consumer research as part of his WSET work, and he needs your help!
Below you will find links to two (very, very quick) surveys that Jason is running to collect consumer’s views on two hot topics in the wine world. The first, rising alcohol levels, is a topic that generates just about as much passion as any other being discussed around wine today. The second is a more specific exploration into what wine consumers think about Sauvignon Blanc (which surprisingly also brings out strong opinions among true wine geeks).
I’ll defer to Jason to introduce the surveys:
“These surveys represent a small amount of consumer research, which is being done for the WSET Diploma (the Diploma is divided into six learning Units, and one of them is on “The Business of Wine”). Both surveys are about ten questions each, and should take less than three minutes to complete. Consumer preference doesn’t garner the attention that Wine Critic preference does, but surveys like this can help swing the power back to the people. Thank you very much for your time in filling out the surveys. Your answers will remain confidential; even I will not be able to see who answered what.”
The results will be published in a future 1WineDude article, so do us a favor and take 5 minutes to tell us your thoughts!
Have your say about Alcohol Levels and Wine:
Tell us what you think about White Wine and Sauvignon Blanc:
This week, we begin what school children in the U.S. have long considered the holy triumvirate of holiday respite, rivaled only by the extended time away from school called Summer Vacation. For this week, the oft-exploited holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas attack us in quick bursts of targeted marketing succession.
Now that I’m older, a full-fledged adult, I look at the season a bit differently. To me, it’s the Season of Hopeless Wine Pairings, in which I am besieged by requests from friends, family, and strangers alike who are looking for an answer to the fright-inducing question:
“What wine should I bring to [Insert Holiday Dinner Name Here] ?”
For reasons that I find difficult to understand, hardly anyone who asks me that question seems ready to accept my answer:
“It doesn’t really matter unless you’re trying to pair a wine with specific dishes, so just drink whatever you and your guests like best.”
Like the aforementioned school children, they are somehow desperate to identify a “correct” answer, even if there isn’t one. Will this be on the exam?
I realize that Holiday time in the U.S. can be particularly stressful for modern adults – which is why I think it’s even more important not to sweat the wine choices for holiday dinners; just bring something you’ve been dying to try, or that you like. No, I’m serious – that’s all there is to it. You can over-complicate it if you particularly like being stressed-out, your call.
Anyway, I invite those looking for some relief from the potential hangover of holiday wine pairings to check out the latest issue of Mutineer Magazine, in which I join up with Drew Langley (from L.A.’s Providence) and Michael Scaffidi (from The Jefferson in D.C.) to pair wines with specific holiday dishes like Smoked Paprika Popcorn, Pork Belly Sliders, and Ganache Stuffed Figs. So you’ll get some interesting and inspired holiday cuisine suggestions along with wines to go with them.
Oh, yeah – and Marina Orlova is on the cover, and she is ridiculously hot.
Enjoy the issue, and let’s drink a toast to a low-stress run through upcoming Holiday season.