St. Gabriel Riesling 2014

by Amy

As we all know, I am Riesling's #1 fan (as evidenced here and here and here). So when my dear boss found this bottle for me to try, it made me even more thankful that I have the best job in the world. 

One of my favorite things about Riesling is that you really never know what you're going to get. The varietal is so varied, ranging from dry to sweet, that you're in for a surprise every time you open a bottle from a new vineyard. Though I always expect something aromatic and interesting.

And this one didn't disappoint. 


When I tried St. Gabriel's 2014 vintage, after every sip I couldn't stop saying, "Man . . . this is so good!"


Tasting Notes

This one's got a lot going on. Truth be told, I couldn't get much from the nose other than candied lemon. But that first sip packed quite a punch: there's pear and peach and pineapple and green apple, and I swear it's slightly effervescent when it first hits your tongue. There's not much alcohol in this at all (only 9.5% ABV), and its sweetness is balanced so well by the acid—this is going to be a great wine for pairing or drinking on its own (it's 5 o'clock somewhere, y'all). 

It doesn't officially declare it on the bottle, but I'd say this is a Spätlese (shpate-lay-zuh): a German designation for a late-harvest wine. Because these grapes stay on the vine longer, these wines can be run off-dry to a little sweet, depending on when the vinter decided to harvest.

Price Point

Certainly a bargain for what you get: you can find it here (on sale!) for $9.99.

Pairings

This aromatic, off-dry beauty will play nicely with many things: spicy Asian dishes (I'm looking at you, Thai curries), pork, soft cheeses, and apple desserts.

*This is imported by Prestige Wine Group—I can't wait to see what else is in their lineup! Because in case you can't tell, I LOVED this wine.

Sutter Home Pinot Grigio

by Amy

Whether you want to or not, sometimes you have to follow directions.

For those of us who are rock-solid stubborn, this is a hard realization to come to. But the sooner you accept this, the happier you'll be. Because sometimes things aren't built according to your preferences and the way your brain works. Sometimes you have to meet things halfway in order to have an optimal experience.

This phenomenon is why I.T. professionals characterize 90% of the service calls they receive as PICNIC: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.

In other words you, the human, are responsible for the problems you're having—not the computer. Your real problem is that you've forced a piece of machinery to meet your expectations when that piece of machinery was not built to be your mindreader. Just like a good relationship, you've gotta meet the computer halfway in order for you both to function harmoniously.

The same holds true for wine. 

Serving temperatures are important. The delicate aromas and structural compounds of wine are severely influenced by the temperature. Serving temperature for reds can vary depending on varietal, around 55 degrees F to 72 degrees F, but a good rule of thumb for whites is to chill them around 45 degrees F.

And guess what? Your white wine doesn't care if you've just come home with your takeout and you're ready to start eating sushi and drinking wine and watching Netflix right now—you need to let that sucker chill for a bit.

I bet you can see where this is going.

Such was the case last Saturday night. I'd brought home a bottle of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio and some sushi. But I was ravenously hungry, so I didn't wait to chill my wine—and I was punished. It was not a pleasant drinking experience, one I'm pretty sure I likened to drinking fruit-flavored rubbing alcohol. And I blamed it on the wine.

That's what I get for paying $5 for wine! my brain fumed. (Though, to be fair, I've had some delicious $5 wines, and have known to imbibe Two-Buck-Chuck with great pleasure. But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned by her wine choice, and so I raged on.)

But later that night, I needed some wine to go with my SNL (I mean, right?), and thought, "What the heck?" So I pulled my bottle out of the fridge and poured another glass. And this time, it was a completely different drinking experience—the wine was actually tasty because it was finally the correct temperature.

Duh. Duh, Amy. 

Sutter Home Pinot Grigio, when served at the proper ice-cold temperature, is a pretty solid wine. With notes of honeysuckle and lime, this wine sports medium acid with a high-ish tasting alcohol content, rounded out with flavors of peach and cantaloupe. If I had chilled this properly, I bet it would've gone well with my salmon and tuna nigiri. 

You can find a bottle of this online for $6, but I routinely see it for $5 at my local wine merchant.

Lesson learned. Don't be like me.

 

Like this post? Share it!