Flight #2 was "Dry style Riesling- focused on terroir". The wines were of the same vintage and region in this case, but from very different vineyard sites. I had a hard time wrapping my head around this flight because the wines were so different! It was helpful having a clear example of how terrior really affects wine- on paper it seemed like the wines should taste very similarly but in fact they were worlds apart. Stone, soil, sunlight, micro climate, shade, runoff... the list of variables is astounding. I have so much to learn.
Flight #3 was "traditional Riesling- Kabinett-Spatlese". These two had different weights but similar flavor profiles. Again, it was nice to focus on the texture of the wine and experience sweet wines with beautiful, lemony acidity. I am hoping to help spread the gospel of Riesling. People fear sweet wine- it has a bad reputation. I am about to wedge 2 or 3 of them on our list, and hopefully start turning that reputation around! Rieslings are made to be enjoyed with food!
Flight #4 was nuts. It was called "Rieslings well aged". We tasted a '99 Jos. Christoffel Spatlese and a '93 Jos. Christoffel Auslese. My first sniff of the '99 was memorable. My first instinct was to turn in horror, but mostly I was curious. The wine smelled like a dirty closet that a cat first peed in, and then died in. It was weird, it was bad, but it was interesting. I was nervous to taste it, and I am so glad I did! It tasted like an herb garden, full of honey and flowers. Wow. I don't know what the story behind the nose on that wine was, but I grew to really appreciate it once I tasted the wine it guarded. The '93 on the other hand had a beautiful flowery nose and tasted like dried apricots. Very easy to love.
Flight #5 was dessert wines. Beerenauslese and Eiswein. They were sweet, it's true, but the balance of acidity and ripe fruit was perfect for each of them. The eiswein was brighter and livelier than the beerenauslese, but I almost enjoyed the sweet burn of the beerenauslese more than the perfection of the eiswein...almost.
It is easy to think "Riesling" has only one identity, but in fact it has many. Rieslings can be bone dry, herbal, creamy, rich, or light. They can be wonderful, and yes they can be terrible. You wont find any of those ones here at Park Kitchen, however. Next time you are in, talk to your server about what we have available... I am imagining a Riesling glass pour in our future....