Monday, December 17, 2012

Columbia Winery Riesling 2009

Columbia Winery Riesling 2009($5.99-7.99)

Color: Straw/light gold
Smell: Resinous, floral, and very sweet on the nose with hints of apple & apricot.
Taste: Low tannin's, high acidity, high alcohol, and very high residual sugars.
          Apple, apricot, rose hips, and honey like sweetness.

Food Pairings: Thai Food
                         Stir Fry
                         Grilled White Fish

Summary: The Columbia Winery Riesling is one of the finer riesling's that can be found in this price point. I wouldn't recommend drinking it by itself being far to sweet for my taste. It's better paired with something savory or hot. It goes amazing with Asian food my favorite being stir fry. It can be nicely paired with a fruit and cheese for dessert as well though. I like to serve NW Rieslings with slices of pears or green apple and a semi-hard asiago cheese during the holiday season as an appetizer or dessert.

  It's important to take into account that riesling is only one varietal of grape, but differs dramatically from region. The three primary growing regions are the Columbia Valley(Washington State), Alsace(France), and Rheinhessan(Germany).
Washington Riesling: high sugar, fruity, floral, and high alcohol(some borderline coolaid or cough syrup).
Alsacian Riesling: semi-sweet, mineral, peach, sometimes melon, and medium alcohol.
German Riesling(can very dramatically): light-dry, fruits-apple, pear, citrus, & low alcohol.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Salut my friends,                                                                                                              
  Tonight we're going to be talking about tasting wine. Tasting is completely dependent on the individual. There is no truly bad wine it's based on the individuals taste. I'll take that back actually... wine from a bag, carton, box, or plastic bottle is just wrong. if you do like that I'm almost a little envious I'd be a lot better off if I could drink more affordable and enjoy. That's the point of this blog though. Tasting comes down to three senses sight, smell, and taste. the first sense of evaluation is sight. you judge            
the depth of color, clarity, murkiness, sediment, and legs.

 Start by filling your glass a third of the way. I like to pour against the side of the glass at an angle to aerate and release aroma. Next swirl holding at the top of the stem and then hold up to a brightly lit window or  white table cloth at an angle. You're looking for depth of color and sediment. Both of these are important indicators. Sediment is never a good indicator any reputable and quality winery has some sort of filtration or purification system. Also sediment can be a sign of poor storage habits, which can cause crystallization. Color is totally dependent on grape varietal and growing conditions though. Cabernet grapes should for example be a deep ruby color bordering on purple and Merlot should be a deep red to brick red. Each one should display proper tones or its been poorly produced or has been miss stored.

  Smell maybe is the most important sense of determining whether a wine is favorable.When an individual inhales through their nose the first impression can decide whether or not one will find it enjoyable. Countless times I have smelled a wine and instantly become opinionated whether I believed I would like it or hate it. It's completely based on the individual preference wise by their "smell memory.".A very sour or farmy smell will dismay most though of course. Start off by swirling again hold at the top of the stem and begin to spin. Quickly raise to ones nose at an angle and inhale deeply. I like to look for six different smell categories spicy, resinous, burned/oaky, flowery, fruity, & putrid, which are the same I use for tasting. With a California Chardonnay for example I would be expecting a light floral and oaky scent.

  Finally tasting the wine itself... the best part finally. Again based on expectations of the individual determines favor-ability. The more you know the pickier you get such as anything else. The same as smell look for.six different taste categories spicy, resinous, burned/oaky, flowery, fruity, & putrid. Once again swirl your glass one last time raise to your mouth and sip slowly about a teaspoon of wine. Swish in your mouth from cheek to cheek across the tongue about three seconds. Pucker your lips and inhale air like whistling inwards and taste this way, then swallow. Initially you are looking for alcohol content, tannin levels, acidity, and residual sugar. On reisling I would be expecting high alcohol, high acidity, low tannins, and very high residual sugar.



  Today I'll be bringing you an intro and few easy tips to shopping for wine on a budget(under $7 a bottle).

  Places to shop: Trader Joes, Fred Meyer, Costplus World Market, Whole Foods, Costco, and discount wine suppliers(every city has them). Also often when you buy 6 there is a 10-20% discount. All of these places also have a discount wine section as well. Discount wines are often ones that have been discontinued by the store. They rarely have been discontinued for negative reasons. Usually they're discontinued due to the supplier increases the price, the supplier can't keep up with demand, or the store is rotating labels, or a customer never picked up a special order.

  Some wines will always be inexpensive due to poor quality or mass production. There are gems you can find due to a winery being new, an overly fertile year, second labels, and diamonds among the rough.

  I do recommend you don't buy any wine label that has a dog on the label, just someones first name, from Australia, bragging  of cheapness, profanity, or has a cheap looking label. Screw on tops are fine though many fine winery's have switched over to screw tops to avoid corking issues and the increased price of cork.

~Keep your buzz on with class & flavor