Wine of the Week: Riesling, the Perfect Poolside Wine

Categories: Wine Time

german riesling.jpg
If you've been following along recently here at "Wine Time" on the Eating Our Words blog, you know that my credo and top criteria for picking wines are balanced alcohol and bright acidity.

These words-to-live-and-drink-by go hand-in-hand with a motto often repeated at our house: no wine without food, no food without wine. In my view, wine is a food, and if it overpowers my victuals with alcohol, you aren't going to see it on my dinner table. (By the way, for those of you wondering whether or not there are wines appropriate to be served at breakfast, there are indeed such wines. When the cool weather returns and the holidays approach, I'll devote a post to my favorite breakfast wines.)

With the arrival of higher temperatures, I begin to pay extra attention to the alcohol content of our wines. In the summertime, we tend to eat saltier foods (grilling by the pool, anyone?), which, along with the heat, invariably make me thirstier.

This is just one of the reasons that Riesling -- made in the German style, whether from Europe or the U.S. -- is one of my favorite poolside wines.

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Last night, we opened a 2009 Riesling Blue Slate by Dr. Loosen that I had picked up at a local retailer for less than $20. And we paired it with frise, a type of bruschetta that I had brought back from my recent trip to Apulia, topped with olive oil-cured tuna, cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and kosher salt. (If you want to make this at home and don't have any frise, just toast some stale bread on the grill, in the oven, or even in the toaster.)

At 7.5 percent alcohol (yes, just 7.5 percent!), this wine is ideal for summer and sipping by the pool. And it has what my wife Tracie P likes to call "tongue-splitting" acidity: the "zing" that you get in this wine makes it a wonderful match for a wide variety of foods, from grilled vegetables to fresh soft cheeses (try it with real buffalo's milk mozzarella, for example), from potato chips and dips (guacamole and Riesling, anyone? hell yeah!) to a quesadilla topped with my favorite store-bought canned salsa, the "Casera" by Herdez (I don't know why, but it always tastes better from the can as opposed to the jar).

And the best part is that, with such bright acidity, this wine (with screw-cap enclosure) will keep well in the fridge overnight. So, I know that I can enjoy another glass from the same bottle the next evening as a light aperitif before dinner.

For less than $20, the Dr. Loosen second-tier Kabinett "Blue Slate" is always a great bet from a time-tested producer -- one of the greats from the Mosel. The Dr.'s entry-level Riesling can clock in at less than $11 and is always a go-to when I need a thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing quaffer.

Tracie P and I still can't afford a house with a pool, but at $11 we can afford the wine.



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12 comments
Roy
Roy

Rieslings (especially German) are a Sommeliers best friend. The sweetness matched with the refreshing acidity just makes it really food friendly. We just added the Loosen Blue Slate to the Barbed Rose Wine list for the summer. 

nice article! Thanks Jeremy

TQro
TQro

Memories!!!  My first taste of Dr. Loosen was on vacation in Lake Tahoe at the Lone Eagle Grill.   I only picked it because I had my mind set on an appetizer of trout on endive leaves. Recalling the crispness of the wine now!  BTW, if you ever go there.. I'd suggest the Lone Eagle Grill ONLY for their 'cocktail hour', great lake views, live music.

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

Christina, Finger Lakes makes some great Riesling... When you look over New York City menus from the 1950s, you see that New Yorkers drank more Riesling than any other grape in that era. And yes! Riesling and guacamole! Perfect... 

Katharine, your wish is my command, lady! :) 

Eric, you might be surprised at the different ways wine can be "applied" in the morning (beyond the obvious!). Thanks for reading... 

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Finger Lakes, NY. Dry Rieslings. The Tasting Room carries one of the best wineries out of the region, Dr. Frank. (Was also on the menu at Kata Robata for awhile.) I've seen a few FLX wines at Central Market, but usually Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs--I haven't looked in awhile, so maybe they've gotten smart & added the Rieslings & Gewurtz, which are among the best wines produced in the FLX region.

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

TQro, believe it or not, the first time I tasted Dr. Loosen was in Berlin in 2008. They opened a 95 (I can't remember the vineyard or category) and it was phenomenal. Once you get into the winery's higher range, the wines are highly collectible... Glad we jarred a pleasant memory here! :) 

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Disclosure: I'm biased. I grew up in the FLX. Still, they are the best Rieslings produced in the US! :)

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

agreed. it's gonna be a sunny day in the morning!

Roy
Roy

Figer Lake Rieslings have come a long way. Great style!

TQro
TQro

Good to know about the higher range. I think I'll pick up a bottle this weekend, sip, snack and scroll through our pictures. 

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