Posted: November 18, 2011
Rieslingis an amazingly versatile grape. With the potential to range frombracingly focused to syrupy sweet, viscous and oily to refreshing andbubbly, it's tough to make grand sweeping statements such asriesling goes great with turkey. That said ... seriously ... riesling goes great with turkey. We rounded up six affordable German Rieslings for a comparison tasting.These samples range from kinda sweet to quite sweet, but all offer acidity to balance the sugar, meaning the sweetness never detracts from the wine's complexity. These are a step up from the usual blue bottles that are so popular this time of year. Nothing wrong with the blue bottles, but these selections bring something a little special to your Thanksgiving table (or whenever) while still offering great value. 2010 Strub Riesling Soil to Soul Starts off sweet on the nose caramel (odd) and citrus (makes sense). I'm expecting something big, and it delivers on the palate, with lots of tropical fruit. This wine isn't amazingly complex, but it is very pleasing and easygoing. For fifteen bucks (and on sale right now for even less) this is a great value. 2010 Josef Leitz Riesling Dragonstone Vanilla on the nose, and a tiny bit of char. Easy and sweet on the palate with nice, broad fruit flavors. Dragonstone is a perennial favorite value. 2010 Strub Niersteiner Bruckchen Riesling Kabinett More quiet on the nose, hinting and sweetness and intensity. Plus something else? Cream? It might be the power of suggestion, but the lemon graphic on the label of this bottle predicts the wine's powerfully citrus characteristic, with sugar balanced by fresh acidity. 2010 Strub Niersteiner Paterburg Riesling Spatlese Similar on the nose to its Kabinett brother, this bottle has an orange graphic on the label instead of a lemon. It has the fruit to live up to that claim broad orange citrus, even tangerine, with more weight on the palate. 2010 Kurt Darting Durkheimer Hochbenn Riesling Kabinett If the previous two wines are characterized by citrus, this one is all about crisp green apple. It's more defined and focused on the palate. The sugar takes second seat to the wonderful fruit, acidity and even herbal cut. What a value at sixteen dollars (with a couple bucks off right now)! 2010 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett The nose is - wow. Tart white fruit cut by green herbal notes, not aloe or eucalyptus or grass, but something like that. It's really complex on the palate too. Oranges ... lime ... agave? It reminds me of a fresh margarita. This is delicious. Full disclosure: I just talked myself into buying this for my Thanksgiving table. Of course there are tons of other Thanksgiving options beside German riesling, and we'd love to tell you about all of them. Stop by aBinny's store where you'll find special turkey tags on staff-picksall around the store that highlight our favorites for the season.