Varietal: 100% Riesling
Region: Germany – Landwein Rhein
Cost: $24 (SRP of Octavin Home Wine Bar)
Winemaker’s Notes: Light in the glass with aromas of peaches and pear that follow through to the palate and finish with a nice crispness. A perfect match for firm cheeses, pastas with cream sauce, lighter seafood dishes, and Asian cuisine.
My Review: I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a huge Riesling drinker.Now, before I get comments and emails from devout Riesling lovers, let me qualify that. I grew up in Germany, and my first experiences with wine were mostly German. Now, I know that not all German Rieslings are incredibly sweet, but some of them are, and those are what I was first exposed to, and now my palate tends more towards robust reds than sweet whites, so I don’t drink a lot of the grape – it is what it is. Because of that, I was a bit…apprehensive when offered a sample of the 2009 Rudolf Muller Riesling in an Octavin Home Wine Bar, because not only was this a grape that I don’t typically drink, it was a high volume of it.
A lot of times when doing these reviews I’ll try and fix something along the lines of what the winemaker recommends pairing the wine with, though I’ll be the first to admit that just as often I don’t. With this wine, having so much of it and in a container that made it easy to pour some out for tastings and for dining, I decided to try a couple of different things with it to give my opinions on it.
The first dish that I paired with the Rudolf Muller was some sausage ravioli in a cream sauce. The crispness and light sweetness of the wine were a nice counter to the richness of both the pasta and the sauce, and were a nice change of pace from the usual Sauvignon Blanc or steel Chardonnay that I would have usually paired the dish with.
The second dish I paired with the wine was some Yukon Gold potatoes in curry over some jasmine rice. Again, the crispness and light sweetness of the wine helped counter the heat of the curry and the overall starchiness of the dish, and again provided a nice alternative to the usual light wines I probably would have turned to had I not had the Rudolf Muller.
By itself the wine is still fairly enjoyable, and one I wouldn’t be opposed to having around when summer really gets into swing. While there’s an undeniable sweetness to the wine, it comes across as candied fruit as much as anything, the aromas and flavors of pear and peach are nice and crisp, and the finish is clean without a lingering sweetness in the mouth that I’ve experience with some sweeter wines.
This is by no means a dessert wine and should not be treated as such. While it’s sometimes nice to pair sweet with sweet, this wine serves much better as a counter note to savory and is one that I would definitely say give a try to if you’re a Riesling fan, and even if you’re not. It’s good to see Octavin Home Wine Bars adding another varietal to their selection, and they continue to impress me with their commitment to quality boxed wine. Fortunately I still have quite a bit of this wine and look forward to trying it with other dishes in the near future.