**A Quick Word From Your Holiday Turkey**
Gobble, everyone! Hope you’re having a gobbly-great holiday season! I’m not particularly, I’m sitting in your freezer waiting to be baked and eaten, but no hard feelings – Gobble knows if I were bigger than you and had thumbs and could recognize my own reflection, well, y’all would be on my plate too. Before all that happens, though, I’d like to ask a question that me and the other Turkeys in the yard have been wondering:
Why don’t you drink Riesling with me?
Whether it’s dry or sweet, Riesling pairs with me and my fixin’s, like gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce, in fact it’s one of the only wines that can check all of those boxes. The fruit balances the saline notes and the tartaric acid cuts through the fat. It’s so perfect it’s almost like turkeys invented it (except we woulda called it Gobble), but every Christmas y’all show up with Apothic and J. Lohr and the like… I’d shake my head disapprovingly if my neck weren’t, you know, right over there.
Riesling, folks. It’s really quite gobble.
**A Quick Word From Your Christmas Ham**
Oink, folks. I don’t often agree with my fine feathered friend there, but everything the bird just said about Riesling also applies to me. Baked ham and Riesling, guys. It’s oinking delicious.
**I am so sorry, here are some yum Rieslings**
Pegasus Bay, Waipara, New Zealand. I’m very excited to offer these unique and ultra-rare Rieslings – in fact I’m the only retailer in BC to offer these, they were imported at my request. The Donaldson family farms the vineyards in Waipara, north of Christchurch on the South Island, and differ from their Marlborough counterparts by inviting Botrytis into the mix. Often employed in sweet late-harvest and Spätlese/Auslese Rieslings, the Noble Rot concentrates the sugars in the shriveling grapes and increases phenolics, and the Donaldsons render those grapes two ways:
Pegasus Bay “Bel Canto” Dry Riesling 2017. An electric, statuesque, Botrytis-affected Riesling vinified dry, to an austere 5g/l residual sugar. Ginger, apricot and orange peel on the nose precede a stratified, richly structured body that calls to mind Smaragd Riesling from Wachau, Austria (but with way more fruit weight). The Botrytis adds waxy texture and depth, the acidity is considerable but completely in balance, bolstered by a very slight effervescence that adds the last few volts to the long finish. An altogether new Idea, I’ve never quite tasted anything like it. 95 points Cameron Douglas MS*, 94 points Bob Campbell MW*, 2 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax
Pegasus Bay “Aria” Late Picked Riesling 2016. Pushes the Pleasure Buttons faster and more frequently than a caffeinated squirrel playing Call of Duty, like someone dunked a plugged-in toaster into a Gold Capsule Auslese. Key Lime pie, jasmine and melons swirl around a lemon-yellow body of sweetness and delight. 50% Botrytis, 83g/l residual, 11% Alcohol, this is powerful, heady stuff, but the shining streak of tartaric acid saves the day and brings a fresh zing to the finish – this pairs with Foie, Crème Brulée and Stilton, not pancakes. Simply gorgeous, drink this and try not to smile, it’s impossible. 95 points Bob Campbell MW, 93 points Robert Parker, 2 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax
August Kesseler “530,3” Riesling Spätlese 2006, Rheingau, Germany. Put simply, this wine is having more fun than you. This wine is eating nougat and you are not. This wine smells like honeyed grapefruit with slate and you don’t. This wine is 13 years old and I truly hope you are not. Exclusive to Everything Wine, this is a perfectly-aged Rheingau Riesling that’s just off-dry enough to be naughty but structured enough to go a further decade if you can wait (you can’t). August Kesseler took over his family’s winery in the ‘70s and has been at the forefront of the qualitative renaissance that the Rheingau region – previously known for jug-filling – has enjoyed over the last few decades. This 2006 is a staff favourite for very good reason. 3 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax
Jim Barry “The Florita” Riesling 2018, Clare Valley, Australia. Built like an arrow, The Florita (means “wee flower”) has always been one of Australia’s Tent Pole Rieslings, showing the bright, linear purity of the Clare Valley, and serving as an antidote to the Barry family’s spine-crushing reds. Brilliant citrus and stones on the nose, business-like and fresh on the palate with a miles-long finish. Decades of cellaring potential, here, it’s like Grand Cru Alsace with blinders on. 96 points James Halliday, 6 bottles available, $71.98 +tax
Until next time, Happy Drinking!!
*Cameron Douglas MS is New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier, reviews NZ wines more than most, and should have picked a different domain name than camerondouglasms.com. Likewise, Bob Campbell is one of two NZ Masters of Wine, specialises in that country’s wines, and his domain name is fine.