We are having a beautiful stretch of late summer weather here near Boston with comfortable temperatures and humidity. As we sat out back and the late afternoon turned towards dinner time, I opened a 2015 A. J. Adam Drohner Hofberg Kabinett as an aperitif. This wine was described by one wine critic as “a Spätlese from a cooler spot”, which I took as a nod to its ripeness. Some sweet ripe fruit, some slightly tart fruit, balanced by gentle acid and a nice minerally mouthfeel and chalk in the aftertaste. It is a delicious, refreshing, and an appetite-stimulating wine to sip outdoors on a day like today.
The conversation eventually got around to the inevitable “what’s for dinner?”. We opted for a mixed plate of middle-eastern goodies that my wife picked up recently - meat, cheese, and spinach “pastries” and rice filled stuffed grape leaves. My wife switched to ice tea, but I poured myself some more Riesling and we had our dinner. The Riesling was fine with all these varied tastes, but especially and surprisingly so with the bit acidic stuffed grape leaves. The wine countered with its fruit turned up a notch.
We have been having dessert more than usual for a while (Covid coping?) and there was just enough apple cake left for a serving each. The cake was not too sweet and I refilled my glass and went for the Riesling “trifecta”. The wine’s sweet fruit took a back seat and its tart apple fruit jumped forward along with some restrained acidity. Pretty good showing again for the Riesling.
No doubt, Mosel Riesling is my wine of choice if I need to go through a menu with one wine. Some would say Champagne but I disagree, I don’t see any Champagne doing that well with more challenging elements like sweetness and spiciness. That said my sweet spot for a jack of all trades Riesling is something slightly drier than the average modern Kabinett.
Indeed Jim, RIESLING is very versatile. I attended a JJ Prüm-Workshop a few years ago with the main topic “Sweet Riesling and Food”.
Katharina Prüm recommended aged Prüm Spätlese to Ribeye and to game dishes in winter times.
So, you only have to be open-minded.
P.S. this reminds me I had a few days ago a 2019 Keller „limestone“ Kabinett to Gyoza with pork&kimchi stuffing and Miso Onions incl. crispy rice.
I had to stop, otherwise I would have drunken the whole bottle alone, such huge drinking pleasure, typical KABINETT, and perfect combination with the food. Ein Maul voll Wein
I finished this bottle last night, and I wanted to make a few more comments to end my “ode” to Riesling . . .
We had some leftover basil pesto over pasta. I added some more pesto and tomatoes to freshen it up. Rather than open a new bottle of wine, I grabbed the Hofberg that was left from the previous night and poured a glass. This pesto being cut with the tomatoes was a little softer than our usual robust basil and garlic version. The Riesling was maybe not an extraordinary pairing, but it was more than decent. It was LIKE two separate interesting and delicious “conversations” - the food and the wine. They got along just fine.
After dinner we went out back to sit under the sky turning from early to late evening. I slowly sipped the last glass of the bottle that we had opened in this same place the day before, enjoying the clouds pick up the pink hue of sunset, enjoying the Riesling whispering good things to me.