Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good for me, not my guests

It's still summer in these parts. For some reason, summer and warm temps bring out the sweet wine lover in me. Normally, I prefer a dry riesling - along the lines of The Traveling Vineyard's "Calamity Sue" Riesling. I find the dry ones much more food friendly, so do keep that in mind when planning meals. But for sipping after a long day with my feet up on the deck? A sweeter Riesling is called for.

I occasionally wander down the inexpensive and economically packaged wine aisle at my local package store. Translation - cheap, big bottles! Most of the time, to be honest, the quality of this mass produced wine is pretty sub par. Sub par, that is, unless you're looking for something sweet. If it's sweet - it's sweet, and it doesn't matter if it's $5.00 or $55.00, it will taste fine because it's sweet.

I would never spend more than $20 for a bottle of sweet wine, unless it's a nice, carefully crafted dessert wine. Some sweet wines are worth the pricetag in the teens. $15.00 bottles of sweet wines can have a lot of character and complexity. But more often than not, sweet wine drinkers are looking for that cheap bottle of white zinfandel to satisfy their sweet tooth and give them a buzz at the same time.

Now, I'm not anti-white zinfandel by any means (even though I don't drink the stuff) but there are alternatives! Riesling is one of them, and lucky for you sweet wine drinkers out there, most rieslings you will find from the US are sweet. And cheap. And they get the job done.

Woodbridge 2011 California Riesling is doing the job for me right now. :-) I think I paid $12.99 for the big 1.5 liter bottle. It's sweet. Not cloyingly so, but pretty sweet. The only thing I would pair it with is a warm summer day and an Ulta Beauty sales flier. For company, I would most likely choose something a bit more interesting and flavorful. You know - it's OK for me, but not my guests. Serious Wining gives this bottle 3 out of 5 stars.