Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

SEP-OCT 2017

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Riesling is arguably the most misunderstood grape on the planet. The average wine drinker is under the general impression that Riesling is a sweet, inexpensive, low alcohol, German wine with an impossible to understand label. ey believe that Riesling does not go well with food, and as such they are not interested in learning more about it because they do not like sweet wine (and sweet wine is for novices that aren't really into wine). Riesling stereotypes exist because they are partially true. ere is a ton of mediocre Riesling that is sweet, simple, and not really worthwhile. Ironically, Riesling is one of the fastest growing grapes in the United States. Wine consumers are starting to learn what wine experts have been saying for years: they love Riesling and consider it to be one of their favorite white wines because they are knowledgeable that the best examples can be dry, medium- dry or lusciously sweet dessert wines. Quality Riesling will also be moderately priced to expensive, have a wide range of alcohol levels, and can come from almost any wine producing country in the world. Riesling is also noteworthy for being one of the few high-quality grapes that excel in cool-to-cold climates such as Germany and Austria. Without the Riesling grape, fine wine in Germany would be sadly diminished. Riesling labels can be easy to understand or complex, but once the complex is defined, it can give you precise information on where the wine is from and what style it is. Experts also know that Riesling is one of the most food friendly wines on earth. Its naturally high acidity allows it to pair well with spicy food, seafood and fried food, and it makes an excellent aperitif. When pairing a Riesling that is medium-dry with spicy food, the touch of sugar aids in quelling the heat, allowing you to enjoy more of both. It simply goes well with today's modern cuisine. Riesling can be crisp with flavors of apricots, peaches, green apples, lemon zest and minerals, and it can show terror, or a sense of the place. A Riesling with a little bit of bottle age can also have the flavor and aroma of petrol; while this seems pejorative, it actually is not, as long as it is just a piece in the multiplicity of the flavor. To appreciate Riesling, it is a good idea to know what is dry and crisp really mean. Our taste buds are equipped to sense five things: Sweet, Sour, Bitter Salt and Umami. For the purposes of our discussion about Riesling, we will focus on sweet and sour. Sweet is the presence of sugar in wine. Dry is the absence of sugar in wine. Medium-dr y falls somewhere between the two. You usually detect sweetness on the tip of your tongue. To better understand dryness in wine, try this simple demonstration: Place three glasses of water in front of you. Into the first glass of water, pour an entire packet of sugar–this equals sweet. Put a half packet of sugar into the second glass– Riesling Written by Scott Harper, MS 46 Pavilion in the gardens of Wackerbarth Palais wine estate e vineyards surrounding St. Peter and Paul church in Wiesbaden. Photo courtesy of the German National Tourist Board

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