2009 Heinz Eifel Beerenauslese

The hot, muggy weather has rendered us unbearably sluggish. Dinner plans start with grandiose flair in the cool morning, only to quickly dissolve as the heat sets in hours later. More often than not, we end up eating cold sandwiches or cereal, not wanting to tempt the fickle whims of the oven or step outside to grill. But there’s always time for a bottle of wine, and luckily, our friend Riesling is always around to lend a helping hand. Tonight’s selection? A chilly beerenauslese from Heinz Eifel.The Eifel line is produced by the Romerhof family in tribute of the founder of the vineyard, Heinz Eifel himself. The selection offers a fun, flashy set of wines with clever, simple labeling. A bit of a stone’s throw from high Germanic typeface and heraldry but still striking, with BA, E, and S, etc, to designate the growth. We sampled the 2009 Beeernauslese, courtesy of Winesellers, Ltd, and quite enjoyed it with salmon cakes and curry cauliflower. With a clean, mineral-forward flavor profile and subtle nose, this went impeccably with the deluge of savory flavors we subjected it to.It had a lively flavor, predominantly tasting identical to the syrup in the bottom of cans of cling peaches. A nostalgic, comforting flavor for me, and not too sugary with a mineral-tinged hint on the tongue after the sip is done and a luscious, thick texture. One that serves well for breaking out for family, friends, or just an impromptu dinner that deserves more than water or beer.

2009 Heinz Eifel Beerenauslese
88/100
MSRP: $9

2008 Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett

Happy 4th of July! I hope you’re all enjoying your barbecue and fireworks. And as we all know, nothing goes better with hot dogs and burgers than a good Riesling. Except, of course, a nice Burgundy. Or truffle oil. Or pretzel buns. Okay, so Riesling is tasty with most foods. But don’t uncork the Pinot Grigio just yet. Here’s a Riesling from Dr. Fischer that is sure to please all palates and pair with your party plates. [Read more...]

2008 Heron Hill Late Harvest Riesling

Easy drinkers and easy thinkers can be the movers and shakers of the world of wine. Imbalance in one direction or another shatters the beautiful cohesion that wine and food can have together, and when the two seamlessly dovetail, it’s a gorgeous thing. Riesling is versatile enough that it can work with or around difficult flavors, and because of this, it’s fun to pair one wine with various types of food to see how they interact and are compatible. [Read more...]

Long Night of German Wines Charity Dinner at Hearth, New York, NY

“Holy cow!!!!!!”That about sums up half of my notes- of the 35 wines I tasted and the three plates of fresh roasted pork and rhubarb pistachio strudel that went into my mouth that night, there are three instances of the phrase. Maybe “holy pig” would have been better. At 2AM on a clear Manhattan evening, I stumbled out from one of the most memorable evenings of my life as a Riesling writer. [Read more...]

2009 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

Sometimes you don’t want to think. You just want to drink. But Jess, I’m at a family function. I can’t just tip back a keg and drink like I’m in college again and have gotten laid for the first time. There are children here and the last time someone got tanked on the 4th of July, we wound up with the birth of mildly slow Bobby in ’08. Well, fear not, simple bringer of potato salad or hunter of the last pack of all-beef kosher franks, for Robert Mondavi has the perfect vino for you. No, this isn’t a Riesling, but sometimes it just isn’t a Riesling night. In our case, the food just was a little too heavy for a Riesling, but not quite rich enough for any old red wine. Yes, it was time to break out the Fumé Blanc- Mondavi’s answer to the parched palates of backyard barbecues, in my opinion. [Read more...]

Detecting faults in older Riesling

Recently, my girlfriend and I were at a local tag sale. While perusing a game of Pictionary, most of its pieces missing, I happened to overhear the owner of the house ask another customer what the best way to sell some older wines was. Sensing an opportunity, I chimed in with the magic words, Muzak to every retailer’s ears- “I’ve got cash if I like what I see.” A brief evaluation and I was now the proud owner of a dusty box of 70′s Riesling. Lady Luck was on my side- all I needed was to see the tall, slender hock bottles to make my decision.

Checking them out in further detail back home, I realized that I might have hit the jackpot even more than I’d initially anticipated. Ten bottles of 1971 and 1975 auslese and beerenauslese peered up at me from the carton. Of course, every rose has its thorns and every bottle its botrytis…and undesirable fungi as well. I figured that some of the bottles would be wonderful (they were) and that others would be completely unpotable. (They were.) But for the continuing edification of you, my Riesling renegades, it never hurts to know a little bit more about the standard set of flaws that you should know about when uncorking these classic beauties.

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N.V. Fitz-Ritter Riesling Sekt Extra Trocken

If you haven’t already done the internet stalker thing, you might find it interesting that before Nobly Rotten, I started another website primarily focusing on food. That website turned three years old today, and to celebrate, we cracked open an unusual example of a Riesling sent over by the magnificent Winesellers, Ltd. This Riesling Sekt, or sparkling Riesling, was made by Fitz-Ritter in a similar method used to make Champagne. Fermented in the bottle, this is a beautiful basic example exhibiting the versatility of sparkling Riesling. It also happens to have one of the prettiest labels I’ve seen on a Riesling, eschewing the harsh Bavarian calligraphy and forbearing crests for a rather French motif, clad in dusty rose. [Read more...]

2010 Selbach “Incline” Riesling

It’s 5:19. Do you know what you’re drinking tonight? We do. We’ve been revamping our study all day, formerly known as the room occupied by many boxes, formerly known before that as the room our cats liked to pee in and occasionally sleep in. And now, it’s emerged from its trauma only to become a fully legitimate, functional space for studying, working, and now, wine storage! We’re the proud owners of a Eurocave and are steadily building our collection as we find more beautiful, whacky, and penetratingly tricky wines to share with you. [Read more...]

2009 Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett

The anticipation I have before opening a bottle of wine to accompany dinner is similar to the excitement I feel before a concert. Obviously, I have some idea of what to expect- I’m not expecting T-Pain to open for Steely Dan, nor am I pairing a Napa Cab with food better suited to a Riesling, but nevertheless, there’s still a brief moment of wonder before it all comes together. And like a concert, the role the wine can play in relation to the food can be vibrant and up front, the Walter Becker to a backing band of many different sensations, or act as more of a supporting role, the bass line to a powerful song. In either scenario, it gives it the opportunity to show its colors and play well with others and make a dinner more than a simple production. [Read more...]

2010 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling

We’ve been working on a miniature wine cellar in the house for about two months now. Since we started building a more extensive wine collection, including a selection from favorite producers to keep around for a decade or two, we’ve been carefully picking out wines and keeping track of the temperature in our closet to ensure that it keeps our wines at the perfect temperature. It’s pretty ideal so far, and is in a dark place away from sunlight, unexpected heat, or the roving paws of curious kittens. And we’ve been judicious about keeping our collection sealed…so far. When a selection of the 2010 Wiemer vintage came over a few weeks ago, I wanted to save a few for a rainy Riesling day but was too tempted by the weather! [Read more...]