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4 Wines & A Plate – Riesling

07.12.10

This was the first time we gave Riesling a go, and my expectations were high. I like Riesling. It was a hot summer day. I had a funky garden salad topped with wood-fire-grilled salmon topped with a puree of 4 varieties of chive an onion, topped with stir fried garlic scapes. Good company. But one can’t win them all.

Execution on the dish was reprehensible – undercooked scapes, and 1-2 of the chives/onions I used were far too strong for this application. Nodding onion, a wild onion in our province that I have grown for a few years and which I typically use for this application, works great. I thought I’d be smart and use a variety of allium. Oops. Kicking the shit out of your palate with raw onion/garlic flavors is NOT how to pair food with nice white wine. It’s not really good idea in general, really.

Then the wines. Opinions and palates varied, as usual, but I found a surprising disjoint between nose and palate scores. I’d dig the nose, dislike the texture/flavor – or vice versa. None seemed to line both up and hit it out of the park. I’d expected to fall in love with Riesling all over again, but instead found myself questioning our relationship – wondering if my crush had ended and perhaps I really did like Chardonnay or Pinot Gris better.

As saddened as I was by the disappointment, I equate it to a philosophy I developed in my waterskiing days. One has to ski the crappy water off and on to truly appreciate it when it’s good.

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