Monday, August 02, 2010

The Great Australian Riesling Roundup

Time for a roundup of Rieslings to put some zip into your summer. When July turns into August, I always start hankering for some boiled spicy shrimp or a garlic and lemon marinated chicken to break up the BBQ sauce, hot dogs, and steaks that many of us have been indulging in since Memorial Day. If this is how you are feeling, there's nothing better to pair with these lively, vibrant summer alternatives than Riesling. And Australian Rieslings seem ideally suited to the warm temperatures and outdoor dining that dominate this part of the year.

Here are my recommendations, culled from Australian Rieslings I've enjoyed lately:

The 2008 Plantagenet Riesling is a very dry wine with aromas of petrol, lemon pith, and apple peel. (suggested retail $20; available for $13-$21) The flavors are a bit rounder--more like Granny Smith apples and litchi--but they remain dry. Excellent with seafood. Very good QPR, for this classically tasty wine.

Despite its name, 2009 Frisk Riesling "Prickly" isn't prickly at all. (suggested retail $10; available for $9-$13) Instead, it's a simple Riesling with a touch of spritz and lively, slightly sweet apple flavors. Far less dry than either of the bottles here, this would be a good pick for sipping on the back patio with some hors d'oeuvres or for pairing with very spicy food. Very good QPR.

With the 2008 d'Arenberg Riesling The Dry Dam we're back to a wine that is dry and elegant, with similar petroleum and green apple aromas. (suggested retail $16; available from $9-$18)The flavors are dominated by green apple this time, and more petroleum sneaks in to the aftertaste. Nice for the price, and widely available. Very good QPR.

Full Disclosure: I received these bottles as samples.

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