Firstly, to those of you who haven’t read the first part, you can find it here.
In the previous post, we covered the five major flavour elements you can expect to find in your wine. Alcohol, Acidity, Tannin, Fruitiness, and Sweetness – along with a rock solid recommendation for those of you wishing to start your own wine pilgrimage. Sula’s Riesling is moderately cheap, easily available, and is overall, a great place to start.
For those of you who have tasted this wine, some of what I’m about to mention should sound quite familiar. For those who haven’t (which is much more likely), this should give you a good idea about how it tastes, what the flavours mean, and why I recommended it.
- If you’re accustomed to drinking hard liquor, you may be surprised by how light this wine feels in your mouth. This is because, even by most wine standards, Sula Riesling is quite low on alcohol content, clocking in at about 10.5% abv. (most wines range from 13-16%). That, combined with the fact that it is not at all thick, and doesn’t aggressively occupy your palate, means that it is a “light bodied” wine.
- The wine has quite a prominent, sharp taste. What you’re tasting there is “acidity”. The Riesling grape produces wine that is generally very high on acidity content, so if you found it too harsh, don’t worry. Most other wines are much less acidic.
- It smells a lot sweeter than it tastes. When you sniff it for the first time, you might get a few familiar smells like lemon, honey, and even pineapple. When you taste it, however, it’s not as sweet – that’s because Sula’s Riesling is produced in a “dry” style. It does have a little bit of sugar, but it’s not enough to be easily noticeable. And it’s a long shot from the cola we’re all so used to.
Riesling is a really easy wine to drink, and in my opinion, suits our climate perfectly. It’s best enjoyed really, really cold, and I find the acidity to be very refreshing our insanely humid weather.
Pro tip? Put your glass in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before pouring your wine into it. That prevents cold wine from getting warm too quickly – a very common problem where we live.
The important question now is, does this sound like something you would like to drink? Think about how those flavours would feel in your mouth, and whether you would enjoy them or not. It’s best to be completely honest with yourself – a wine isn’t good just because somebody else says so. If you think you might like it, go out and buy a bottle. Ask for a pint-sized one (375ml, 12 fl. oz) if you don’t feel like committing to the whole bottle.
Here are a couple of questions to help you figure it out.
- Do I enjoy the citric taste of lime a lot? This refers to both food and drink.
- Am I looking for something to enjoy without wanting to get drunk?
- Am I okay with something that isn’t very sweet?
- If the answers mostly point towards yes, am I willing to spend 750 bucks (about $12) on the bottle?
- Do I have people to share it with?
The last question is of profound importance. Nobody says you can’t enjoy wine on your own, but it’s so much fun to share with other people. And consider its history – it’s always been a communal drink, meant to be shared and enjoyed amongst family and friends.
Whether or not you liked the idea of the Riesling, this next recommendation should strike a balance between the two extremes.
According to me, a wine like this should have a place on every family’s dinner table.
Fun fact: it was also responsible for encouraging a friend who didn’t drink wine to start going out and trying some more.
This is a Rosé, or a Pink wine – which lies somewhere between a red and a white. It’s made from a grape called Syrah. It’s a bit cheaper than the Riesling, I found it for Rs. 650 (approx. $10) at Dorabjee’s in Pune. They had a great Buy 1 – Get 1 offer going on, so I managed to get two for the price of one, which came up to Rs. 325 ($6) a bottle. Pretty insane deal, if you ask me.
So, with the Riesling, you have a general idea about what you’ve tasted, or can taste, in a wine – in terms of Alcohol (and body), Acidity, and Sweetness.
With the Rosé wine, we start to explore the last two flavour elements – Fruitiness, and Tannin. These won’t be as intense in a Pink wine as compared to a red, but they are easily noticeable, and very easy to understand. More details shall follow in the next part of the series. Stay tuned. 🙂
I bid you adieu, till the next post.