2016 A to Z Riesling

Year: 2016

Producer: A to Z

Region: Rogue Valley, Oregon

Grape(s): Riesling

Alcohol: 12%

Body: Medium

Dry/Sweet: Semi-Sweet

Tasting Notes: Spring flowers, peach, nectarine, lychee, lemon

Pairings: Indian, Moroccan, summer picnics.

Price (approximately): $14


My Musings:

I love Riesling. So much so that I have consecutive Costco Corner postings on the subject. Apologies for the duplicity.

Wonderfully aromatic wine with notes of spring flowers, white peach, nectarine, subtle lychee, honeysuckle and lemon. The lychee becomes more prominent on the palate, with ripe stone fruit, citrus and a pleasant, honeyed sweetness.

There is tremendous versatility and pairing potential. Great for dishes that are spicy and complex, such as Indian, Asian, Moroccan. My latest pairing was Indian dishes of chana masala, eggplant tikka masala and saag. The sweetness of the wine paired wonderfully with the spice and flavor profiles of the cuisine. Also reminiscent of spring and summer picnics with youthful, fresh elements. Toss in the picnic basket or just sip on a warm afternoon.

A portion of the sale from each bottle supports bee health research. So drink, be merry, and simultaneously save the bees!


2015 Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling

Year: 2015

Producer: Charles Smith Winery

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington

Grape(s): Riesling

Alcohol: 12%

Body: Medium

Dry/Sweet: Sweet

Tasting Notes: Lychee, white peach, lime

Pairings: Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian Cuisine, Mauritian grilled lobster, blackened swordfish with mango chutney

Price (approximately): $10


My Musings:

I love Riesling. Complex, wonderful fruit flavors, balanced acidity, aging potential. There is much to appreciate. With the ever expanding and experimenting New World, you can also find a decent bottle at a good price outside Alsace or Mosel.

Enter Charles Smith's Kung Fu Girl, produced in Columbia Valley, Washington. This Riesling is wonderfully aromatic with notes of lychee, white peach, citrus lime and some floral accents. Oh, and did I mention lychee? Sweet but balanced with good acidity and minerality. Wine Spectator made this a Top 100 wine of 2016. Not sure I would have gone that far, but it is a good, sweet Riesling and, at $10, worth picking up. You won't be blown away by its complexity or depth, but hey, you also didn't just spend $40 (unless you bought 4 bottles).

One of my favorite aspects of Riesling? Pairing potential. Pair with Southeast Asian cuisines that contain tropical and citrus elements, such as Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese and Cambodian. The sweetness of the wine will balance heat intensity characteristic of these regions, while lychee notes will complement tropical and citrus elements commonly contained in the dishes, such as lime and coconut. Other great pairings would include Mauritian grilled lobster and blackened swordfish with mango chutney.


Pacific Rim 2014 Twin Vineyards Gewürztraminer

Year: 2014

Producer: Pacific Rim

Region: Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington

Grape(s): Gewürztraminer

Alcohol: 13%

Price (approximately): $11

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale gold with a full bouquet of lychee and cloves. Pacific Rim Gewürztraminer is crisp with a slight residual sugar of 18 g/L, offering flavors of lychee, melon and tangerine.