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Wine Time: Riesling is a wine that should not be underestimated -- PNJ.com
Nov. 5, 2013 7:26 PM
Obtaining my degree in wine business from Central Washington University gave me an incredible education and experience. I have been lucky enough to travel through the Rhone Valley in France and work with Gilbert Cellars, a top award-winning winery in Washington state. With this incredible education and experience, I want to help consumers widen their wine horizons. I relish the idea of showing people wines that they wouldn’t ordinarily try and opening their eyes to something they aren’t quite used to.
Some of us have a way of finding a few select varietals we like and then close our minds to anything else. In my experience, Rieslings are one of those examples. One of the characteristics of this varietal that usually comes to mind is “sweet.” This is an unfortunate caricature, because a Riesling can be much more complex than that. I have come across such a Riesling.
Charles Smith released his first wine in 2001 and since then he has become one of the most well-known winemakers in Washington. In fact, Food & Wine magazine named Charles Smith “Winemaker of the Year” in 2009. Although he began his career with a fantastic Syrah, in recent years he has displayed a previously hidden talent. He makes one heck of a Riesling. Wine Spectator has even awarded his 2009, 2010 and 2011 Best Value.
Like his previous Riesling vintages, the 2012 Kung Fu Girl Riesling is hardly too sweet. In fact, it is considered to be “off-dry.” Hints of white peach, apricot, green apple and minerality will burst in your mouth while still providing the perfect balance of acidity. My recommendation is to have this wine with some nice, spicy Thai food or even enjoy a glass on its own. Take the time to appreciate and focus on what flavors you are tasting. Try to differentiate between sweet and fruit; the distinction can be subtle but important.
This 2012 Kung Fu Girl Riesling can be found at the Seville Wine & Gift Shoppe for $12.49. If you want to explore more of the affordable wines and creative styles of Charles Smith, you can also find his 2012 Velvet Devil Merlot ($11.99), and the 2010 Boom Boom! Syrah ($14.99) at the shop. But stop by and open your eyes to a Riesling with a lot to offer.
Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com.