29 June 2010

The World Cup of Riesling

It was hot last night. But, I, Decanted Diva, got prettied up for a blind tasting. In honor of that futbol tournament in South Africa, The World Cup of Riesling featured 12 wines from 9 countries all from the single - and most elegant of grapes - Riesling.



I love Riesling so very much. I call her "The Empress of Grapes", because Riesling is equally delicious whether dry, sweet or sparkling. The combination of raging acidity, white fruit and flowers with Riesling's ability to reflect its terrior - often in mouth-coating minerality - makes it a dream grape for my mouth. And yes, I think of Riesling as a woman - a commanding, powerful woman of astounding beauty and grace.



I don't blind taste everyday and it was fascinated by my reactions to the wines. I know what I know about wine and I know it's hard to evaluate wines, but harder still when some of those wines are from places you've never thought about growing & making Riesling. Blind tasting skills be damned!



A wine from Bio-Bio in Chile last night had me thinking Old World because of the intensity of its minerality on the nose and palate. A wine I've had dozens of times from Kamptal, Austria - and which I could have sworn I loved - scored lowest on my tally. The wine I scored highest was not only from the New World - I a proclaimed Old World Girl - but off-dry to boot.



Blind tasting for everyone, I say. Preconceived notions about wines or grapes you love or hate close you off from helping your palate grow. I have a similar problem in that I often love the region, grape or winemaker or his philosophy of winemaking and then I close my eyes to the flaws - like with my Austrian above. Blind tasting takes all that away so that you can examine only your reaction to the aromas and flavors. You may be surprised at what you like!

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