Wednesday, July 29, 2009

winey wednesday

I (almost) never cook on Wednesdays. It's hubby's late day at work, so he doesn't even get home until about 9:30 and has no desire to eat at that time, and I have never been especially motivated to cook for only me. When he used to travel a lot, I had a lot of cereal dinners.

So, in lieu of a tale of my kitchen adventures, we'll save the chickpea curry for tomorrow night. Let's talk about wine - Riesling, in particular. Riesling is pretty much the only white wine I'll drink, aside from a very occasional (as in not-even-yearly) pinot grigio. I have recently discovered that a lot of people like this wine in the summer, so there are a wealth of wine recommendations in my food magazines that offer suggestions for Riesling. So...I decided to branch out from my go-to label, Hogue Cellars in Washington (state).

I had a kind of Goldilocks and the Three Bears experience. Or, to go Really Theatre-geeky, an Into the Woods experience, in which going into the wood (great unknown) made the known mean more. I'll skip that for now, though, since it's been a decade or more since I've even bothered with that musical and I'm probably misinterpreting or misquoting it, but I'll have the melody stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

ANYWAY, I compared three Rieslings:
1. Hogue Cellars (Washington)
2. Polka Dot (Germany)
3. Clean Slate (Germany)

Granted, my quest began with the desire to find Urban Riesling, which I had recently fallen in love with, aided my neighborhood vegan restaurant, Horizons. Long story short, I went to the two wine stores near my home and neither had it, but I felt compelled to buy something at each since I was there. I picked up the Polka Dot because it was just adorable - a cobalt blue bottle with white lettering and hot pink trim. I couldn't help it, even though I knew the pretty bottle could be compensating for crappy wine, but I took my chances. I picked up Clean Slate because it had come highly recommended as a good summertime wine from, I believe, Health magazine. It also had an attractive bottle, but in a much more masculine, understatedly handsome way.

Anyway, if you're looking for an honest, easy to read comparison of those three Rieslings, here it is - short and sweet (here comes Goldilocks):
Polka Dot was too sweet, Clean Slate was too dry, and Hogue remains my reigning champion.

I find it quite ironic that I prefer the domestic Riesling over the German Rieslings, since Riesling came from Germany originally. However, the Urban Riesling is also German, so I think maybe those two just weren't what I was looking for. Polka Dot was okay, but it lacked the necessary crisp acidity to make it not taste similar to flat ginger ale. Clean Slate had plenty of acidity, but it just did not deliver the fruit accents it touted on the label - between the two I would buy Clean Slate again before Polka Dot, but I sure do love that blue bottle.

And on a completely unrelated note, my fingernails are bright red! (no, I didn't have any Riesling tonight....)


  1. You win points for both reviewing Riesling (which I love) and referencing Sondheim. -Rachel

  2. Ha ha - I'm honored. You also win points for recognizing the musical!