Meet the Whites: Riesling


Lucky Duck Riesling
Now we’re into the fun wines!

Okay, they’re all fun (when applied liberally) but the sweet wines are lovely in their own right: they go well with desserts!

And dessert is often my favorite meal of the day.

There’s more to Riesling than just a dessert wine, though, the varietal can be used in everything from the driest of dries to the sweetest of sweets–this grape’s got range!

The later the harvest, the sweeter the Riesling, and you wouldn’t think so at first but the super-sweet dessert variety is helped by a virus! Botrytis Cinerea (aka “noble rot”) is a type of mold that collects on the outside of grapes exposed to warmth and humidity in Fall. While this would normally be horrific, the mold doesn’t actually rot the grapes (well, in the good cases) but it causes them to shrivel on the vine a bit, concentrating the sugar-power inside!

Think about how much sweeter a raisin is compared to a grape an you’re on the right track.

Fruity and flowery, the nose of a Riesling should be pleasant and Spring-y. They are an excellent choice for a picnic lunch–light and fruity–and a great dessert on their own as the lower alcohol means fewer calories without sacrificing your sweet tooth (90 calories for a 4 oz serving). It’s a great pairing for salads, fruits, cheeses, or even a decadent creme brulee.

This week’s wine was one of those why-the-heck-not purchases. I didn’t have a Riesling on the shelf at home and I didn’t feel like making another stop that day (I might have been a lot tired and a little cranky), so I swung into the wine aisle at Wal-Mart while picking up the rest of the week’s groceries.

Lucky Duck Riesling has 2 strikes against it if you listen to the “experts”:

  • The price: It’s a whopping $3.47 or some such
  • The animal on the label: The pro’s have something against animal-wines.

That said, one of my favorite Pinot Noirs has monkeys on the label and is 6.99 at World Market, so I take that advice with a grain of salt.

Reviews of Lucky Duck were mixed. I got none of the “metallic” taste (but, then, I gave it some time to come out of the fridge and waiting a moment or three before sipping it) that others have noted and I liked that it was sweet without being syrupy-sweet. This is a little on the drier side, but not in a bad way if you ask me.

And, well, you might not have asked me, but you are reading this, so it’s sorta the same thing.