A Dry Riesling You Say?

Earlier this week I came across a recipe for Asian Shrimp Noodles by my friend, Kim of Day With KT.

I love pasta and make it pretty often but I usually go in the Italian direction. This recipe looked and sounded very interesting and very delicious.

Asian Shrimp Noodles from Day With KT

Delicious recipe from Day With KT

Spoiler alert: It was amazing! Super yummy! We licked our plates clean.  As a bonus, this dish can be served hot or cold so we enjoyed the leftovers as a cold pasta salad the next day!

While I was at the grocery store picking up some of the ingredients, I stopped in the wine section to choose something perfect to go with the dish. (Sadly our wine collection lives a couple thousand miles away so we need to do this sort of triage wine shopping. Boo hoo!)

After snooping through the selection and texting my wine consultant/husband, I settled on the 2012 Trefethen Dry Riesling.

In wine-speak, a wine is described as falling somewhere on the spectrum from sweet to dry. I’m not sure why “dry” was chosen to characterize the opposite of sweet but it probably has something to do with the fact that no one would want their wine to be described as “sour”. Can’t blame them.

Actually, “dry” is a technical term in the wine biz meaning that essentially all of the grape sugar was converted to alcohol during fermentation. Because taste is a subjective thing, you can have a “dry” wine that tastes a little sweet to some people. Confusing, eh?

When we think of a traditional German Riesling, we tend to think of a sweeter wine, too sweet for some palates. This selection from Trefethen is on the other end of the spectrum – a Dry Riesling.  And it is from the Napa Valley.

Dry Riesling has been around for a very long time but is still thought to be a bit misunderstood and overlooked by consumers.

Enter The International Riesling Foundation whose goal it is to spread the good word about “the world’s most noble white wine”. They have developed a Riesling Taste Profile graphic which now appears on over 26 million bottles to help consumers understand where that particular wine falls between sweet and dry. Brilliant!

Riesling Taste Profile from the IRF

From The International Riesling Foundation

Anyway, back to the scrumptious 2012 Trefethen Dry Riesling. At about $20 – $25 per bottle, this award winning wine was the perfect pairing to go with our Asian Shrimp Noodles.

Here is how the wine is described on the Trefethen website:

Aromas of jasmine, orange blossom and lime lead to light tropical and floral notes on the palate. The wine has delightful acidity and minerality and ends with flavors of ruby red grapefruit and peaches.

This wine is delightfully smooth with great body. It would pair very well with a variety of dishes including other shellfish and any Asian dish that wasn’t too, too sweet. The Trefethen website suggests pairing the Dry Riesling with Southwestern dishes. I’m going to have to try that!

The 2012 Trefethen Dry Riesling is also a wine that can be enjoyed on its own, say while sitting on your porch with friends or gathered around the kitchen counter as you watch someone else prepare dinner.

2012 Trefethen Dry Riesling

Have you tried Dry Riesling? Do you have a favorite?

Before I go, two very important things.

  • The opinions stated here are all mine and I have received no compensation from the (sure to be) fine folks at Trefethen.
  • Always, always remember to drink responsibly.

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Thanksgiving Dinner Wine – Tips and Types

So you’ve drawn the lucky straw and all you have been asked to bring is the Thanksgiving dinner wine. Or you are hosting and have already made your last trip to the store for potatoes and butter but now need to focus on the beverages you will serve.

Mo Wine Please

~ Thanksgiving Dinner Wine ~

There are several factors you will want to consider before heading out to your local wine shop.

Quantity

Are you the only person supplying the wine? Can you get a rough idea of how many at the table will be wine drinkers?

A bottle of wine will generally yield four glasses of wine.

If you are providing wine for 10 moderate drinkers and you assume they will each drink two glasses, you will go through about 5 bottles of wine.

Ten people times two glasses each, equals twenty glasses. Divide that by four glasses per bottle: five bottles.  (Aren’t math word problems fun?!)

You might want to buy a little extra because I don’t know about you, but I’d ALWAYS prefer to have too much than too little.

Price Point

The price point you choose for each bottle of wine will likely depend on how many bottles you will be bringing. If you are contributing ten bottles you might not splurge on $50 per bottle wine.

Unless you want to. In that case, send me your address so I can come over.

You might also want to take a mental survey of who will be drinking the wine. If most people in the group tell you that they can’t tell the difference between a good wine and a less good wine, you might want to get a few moderately priced bottles for them and then splurge a teensy bit on a bottle or two to share with those you know will appreciate it.

Does that sound horrible and snobby?

I hope not. I like to think of it as being sensible in your purchases.

The bottom line: determine how many bottles you will need and how much, in total, you are willing to spend.  Then you can decide what combination of low, moderate and higher priced bottles fits your budgeted amount.  Another math word problem! Woohoo!

Red or White

I’m more of a red wine drinker, myself, but many folks prefer white. In fact I would probably skew my Thanksgiving purchases to be 2/3 white wine and 1/3 red wine. This may be a gross generalization but I think most red wine drinkers will drink white but many white wine drinkers will not drink red.

Remember, some folks prefer that only white wine be served in their home because of the potential for red wine stains on their carpet or upholstery. Everyone is entitled to make the rules in their own house, right?

Before bringing wine to someone’s house you should determine if they are this type of control freak concerned homeowner.

Temperature

Be a pal. Put both your red and white wine in the refrigerator for a while before heading over to grandma’s. If you are hosting, try to save some refrigerator space for the wine or if it is chilly outside, store it on your back porch.

Now no one is going to test you by sticking a thermometer in your wine glass, but just as a general guide here is what Wine Spectator suggests for the serving temperature of wines:

  • Light white wine, Rosé, sparkling wine – 40 to 50 degrees
  • Heartier white wine, light red wine – 50 to 60 degrees
  • Full-bodied red wine – 60-65 degrees

Just use common sense. The lighter the wine, the cooler it should be served.

Pull your reds out of the cooler earlier so they warm up a titch. Pull out your white wines maybe 15 minutes before serving.

It is always better to pour a wine a little on the cool side because the glass will warm it up a bit. Pour warm wine into a glass and you will end up with warmer wine.

And that’s just a crime.

Particular Varietals

Experts are all across the board on this one. There is no right answer to the question “what wine pairs best with Thanksgiving dinner”.

Here are a few suggestions:

WHITE WINES

spyglass

Sauvignon Blanc – A nice, light, palette friendly wine. Its citrusy flavor provides a nice balance with turkey and gravy.

Riesling – This wine is usually noted for its honey or apple notes. For this reason, it’s a great match with the sweet/savory combination of dishes.

Viognier – As I’ve said before, this wine is like the Pinot Noir of white wines. It has enough body to stand up to hearty food but it will not overpower more delicate selection.

RED WINES

Pinot Noir – You knew I was going to pick this one, right? Pinot Noir is just the perfect food wine. More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon. Folks who formerly swore off of red wine are finding they really love this wine. If you are not sure of the preferences of your guests, Pinot Noir is a safe pick.

Cabernet Franc – I hadn’t really thought about this one until I read this article from the LA Times food section. It makes sense, though. Especially for the guests who enjoy a heartier red wine, the cherry notes that are generally associated with a Cabernet Franc would pair well with stuffing and cranberries.

Zinfandel – Many folks think of this as the spiciest of red wines. It often has notes of pepper and red berries. This is a great wine for people for folks who enjoy a big wine that will stand up to spicier, heartier dishes.

Hendry zin

Byff – this one’s for you:

Please, please, please remember to be responsible on Thanksgiving Day and every day. Be safe. Don’t drink and drive.

I want you to come back and visit me here so you can tell me what wines you served with Thanksgiving dinner!

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