I still define wine as the movie Grease taught me to–“It says right here, it’s a dessert wine.” While I don’t usually eat twinkies with it, I won’t lie and say that I’m not currently drinking a Riesling while munching on Cadbury caramel chocolate. I’m also feeling a bit like a grownup, since I just submitted the first part of my story (rough ROUGH draft) to my masters program. I’m sitting here, sipping my wine, while my Scotsman reads next to me. Wine, chocolate, blog and boy. (He is reading this over my shoulder and complaining that I’ve called him “boy.” I say he can get his own blog.) Yep. I feel sophisticated.
I select my wines in one of two ways. It used to be that I went for the cheap wines with pretty labels. For me, there was a direct correlation between prettiness of label and tastiness of vintage. However, my mother and I went on a “Wine and Waterfall” tour last May in the greater Seattle area and my world of wine opened up. I now often pick a wine by pretending I know a lot about different ones, and say things like “actually, it depends on where the grapes are grown and if they’re allowed to freeze on the vine and the length of fermentation that dictates a wine’s sweetness” and then, inevitably, hone in on the Riesling. Because that’s the only thing I really learned on my wine tour. I like Riesling. And that’s pretty much it. Maybe a rosé occasionally, but give me a Riesling every time and I’d be a happy camper. Though I guess you don’t usually think of campers getting drunk on German wines.
I have discovered that the only Riesling in my local grocery store–to note, I say local, but I really mean the closest and ergo laziest one–is one called “simply Riesling.” I don’t know if Riesling is a particularly unpopular wine in Scotland or if the clientele at Tesco has never clamored for it. It’s not the worst wine I’ve ever tasted but I think next time I might splurge and go to the bottle shop. Which is literally two doors down from me, so an even lazier enterprise than a trek to Tesco.
Simply Riesling also only has a 10.6% alcohol rate, and that’s just not cutting it. Let’s be honest–if it’s anything below 12%, why bother? You can yell at me all you want to about “oh, you can taste the oakiness of the barrel” and “but don’t you just love the sweet honey undertone” and every time I will tell you I can just taste the alcohol. I like Rieslings because there’s a sweet veneer over the alcohol-y bits. I like it more than beer and it’s usually less expensive than those silly cocktails. Plus, I don’t know if you knew this, but white wines are dessert wines.