Rudi Wiest Selections Dry Riesling ($13.99) Rheinhessen, Germany From the producer: "In 1890 Carl Gunderloch founded the estate by investing his fortune into the top vineyard sites of the “Rote Hang” area (“red slope area”) in the Rheinhessen appellation. Over the past decade, the 5th generation, Fritz and Agnes Hasselbach, have brought the estate to world class level earning 3 times a perfect 100 point score for the TBA dessert wines of 1992, 1996 and 2001.
Tasting note: You’ve just picked up a delightful Riesling from Germany, carefully selected and blended by importer Rudi Wiest. It features enticing notes of freshly picked white peach, apple and delicate mineral nuances with aromas of grapefruit and lemon. The Rhein Riesling is a refreshing aperitif that also pairs well with diverse flavors, including Asian and Indian cuisine. Your friends will likely covet this refined Riesling, so feel free to share. Cheers!"
Volker Wines von Donabaum Gruner Veltliner ($13.50) Austria From the producer: "Grüner Veltliner von Donabaum comes from two 25-30 year-old single vineyards in the villages of Halbturn and Andau, which are located between the Danube on the east and the Neusiedlersee on the west. The hand-picked and hand-sorted grapes are destemmed before crushing. The wine then rests for two months on its fine lees after a cool fermentation in stainless steel.
Clean and crisp, with a nose of freshly cut grass, green apple, and white peach. Lean and mineral-driven with flavors of slate, lemon peel, and white flowers. Production: 12,000 bottles per year."
1. Taste with as clean a palate as possible. Try to avoid smoking or chewing gum just beforehand. If you have just eaten, drink some water to clear the flavors of the meal.
2. Keep an open mind. Try new things! We all get into ruts when it comes to our palates, but the fun of a tasting is that you don't have to commit to the whole bottle. If you don't like what you've tasted, you can spit it out.
3. Spit or swallow--it's up to you! Just make sure you use the spittoon!
4. See, swirl, smell, sip, savor. Give attention to all aspects of the wine. Here are a couple of links that explain the process:
5. Have fun! Wine tasting has an air of elitism around it, but unnecessarily so. Your palate is your own-it's as individual as you are-and the most important part of appreciating good alcohol is knowing what you like and why you like it. You don't have to use fancy words or spend a lot of money on a bottle. As the kids say, you do you!