• Two Thumbs Up
• Lots of floral and citrus aromas with a subtle petrol note. It has bursting flavors of lime, lemon, pineapple and mineral qualities. It also has a fun, lightly spicy, white pepper note.
The most obvious reason I have for recommending Australian rieslings is they are generally delicious. They have a refreshing, scintillating acidity that reminds me of tart citrus fruit. In fact, if you look up “zesty” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of a lime sitting on the beach holding up a bottle of Australian riesling.
If that’s not a good enough reason to pick up a bottle of Aussie riesling, especially as temperatures start creeping into the 80s, then you probably prefer hot coffee and wear corduroys when you go to the pool.
The more underlying, sinister reason I have for recommending Australian rieslings is that perhaps—just perhaps—trying a riesling you actually love will open the door that has longed been barred by many seemingly reasonable wine drinkers. When I ask what is the first word you think of to describe riesling, most people say “Sweet!” and make that “bleh” face.
Yes, I said “love” and “riesling” in the same sentence! You could love an Australian riesling because many, many of them do not have any glucose or fructose leftover from fermentation. They are what is known as dry and are utterly unsweet.
Before I go farther, I must explain. There’s a big difference between wine with subtle, seductive and sophisticated sweetness and insipidly sweet wine. (Not that there is anything wrong with insipidly sweet wine, wine that is merely sweet for the sake of being a sweet drink.)
But when you get over your irrational fears of sweet wines by trying a dry Australian riesling, then you might try an Alsatian or Washington State riesling. Some, not all, of these reislings will have kiss of purposeful sweetness to them. The leftover glucose and fructose remain in the wine to offset the naturally high acidity of riesling. This makes for a balanced, more elegant expression of the riesling grape.
Often as not, I’ll boldly (and wrongly) declare that a riesling from Germany, New York State or Austria is completely dry, only to find out the wine has a fair amount of sugars leftover from fermentation. The sweetness simply goes unnoticed because it counters all the other spicy, fruity, tart flavors that come when you make a riesling wine. Yes, there are rieslings that are sweet, and not much more than that. Your wine shop guy or gal can help you navigate away from these bottles.
But I’m not suggesting you go to Germany first…or ever for that matter. Just pick up an Australian riesling and follow your palate wherever it may take you.
(Wines are rated on a scale ranging up from thumbs down, one thumb mostly up, one thumb up, two thumbs up, two thumbs way up and Golden Thumb Award. Prices are suggested retail prices as provided by the winery, one of its agents, a local distributor or retailer.)