52 Weeks of Wine – Week 17: Riesling (February 16th-22nd 2019)


I’m typically a couple weeks ahead in the 52 Weeks of Wine Training Program so that I have adequate time to taste the wine, take photos and write the blog post. This week was quite different. I have been dreading the Riesling tasting. Even though I chose a “dry” Riesling, I was confident that “dry Riesling” was an oxymoron. Of all the Rieslings I have ever suffered through tasting, they were so intolerably sweet that I could not tell you a single attribute regarding the flavor. I fully intended to conduct a true and open-minded tasting of this wine, but procrastinated the process until the very last minute.

So, when I wanted to create a post on how to quickly chill a bottle of white wine in 15 minutes, the only bottle of room temperature white wine I had was the dreaded Riesling. Okay – I’ll use the Riesling. I took my photos, generated the post, and realized, the best photo to demonstrate the chilled wine would be to display the wine in a glass. That meant I would have to open the bottle of Riesling. And on top of that, pour it in a glass. And when I pour a wine in a glass, it is 100% against my morals to pour the wine back into the bottle or, even worse, down the drain. So here I was, on a Tuesday afternoon, now obligated to taste the Riesling.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent more time smelling a wine than I did on that day with the Riesling. Mostly because if I never transitioned out of the “smell” portion of the tasting, I wouldn’t have to start the “taste” portion. But you’d be proud of me. I did it. I left the “smell” portion and I tasted the Riesling. And it was fantastic.

It turns out, not all Rieslings are sweet! What?! Yup. That’s right.

In particular, this 2015 Trimbach Riesling from Alsace, France, was a yellowish-green in color with a high level of viscosity, which I assessed to the long legs left on a glass by a delicate swirl. The smell is where this wine gets interesting. After long thought, I concluded that the smell was pink pencil eraser with a splash of gasoline. This may sound absurd, but rubber, plastic, and gasoline are common traits of Riesling. As for the flavor – don’t worry, there weren’t any indications of rubber or gasoline. The flavor was subtly floral with traits of citrus, pear and a long acidic finish. This wine is typically priced from $15 to $24. My rating is a four out of five corks. 


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