• Sarah O'Kelley

Drink More Riesling.

In case you didn't know it, one of the fave pastimes of wine professionals is to wax sentimental about the beauty and versatility of Riesling. Since I have not done this in a while, I figured it’s time…

No, seriously, I do LOVE Riesling but like most folks I don’t drink it that often. (What can I say I am always reaching for Chenin Blanc!) In the back of my wine nerd brain, there is always a little voice whispering, “Don’t forget about Riesling.”

Yet, it took a lack of other appropriate white wines around my house to break me out of my stupor. We had just returned from a weekend in North Carolina (the safe/easy getaway for all of us South Carolinians these days)! And while we certainly did not NEED another bottle of wine after all the vacation wine...it’s hard to come down from that vacation vibe. I had at least planned a light meal of fish and a kale salad! But when I went to grab a bottle of Chenin (most likely) I found that my supply of everyday whites had dwindled. But thankfully there on the wine rack stood a lonely bottle of killer Riesling that I had brought home at some point when I was having one of my “You really should drink more Riesling” moments.

The savior bottle? Carl Loewen Maximin Klosterlay 2019 -- dry Riesling from the Nahe region and specifically from the very historic site of Maximin Klosterlay (it dates back to Medieval times)!

Truthfully, this was a special bottle to me as it was a highlight on an industry trip to Germany (back when we could do such things). But the great news? Even top notch Riesling is ridiculously underpriced. This one is on the shelf at our shop for $32!?

We had it with pan roasted triggerfish and the famed kale salad from the Six Seasons cookbook (if you don’t know about this salad -- email me or better yet buy the book). Well suffice it to say this bright, beautiful wine cut through the post vacation blues and literally invigorated both of us to the point of being not-so-sad to return to the real world on Monday. We only drank half the bottle that night and enjoyed the rest two nights later. That’s the other amazing thing about Riesling -- it stays fresh for many days after you pull the cork due to all that vibrant acidity.

Well, this sent me on a Riesling tangent, and since then I have enjoyed Jakob Schneider Estate Trocken (that means dry) with pesto pasta and Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten (that’s a site!) with curried chicken and lentils. Both were quite simply lovely, and just the kind of pick-me-up we all need as we continue to navigate our way out of these trying times.

Bringing me back to my original message: we should all drink more Riesling. End of story!

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