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What Riesling to Choose From M&S?

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

With normality on the horizon as the days of lockdown ease, we must take a moment and appreciate the blessing of being able to enjoy quiet sunny Wednesday afternoons in our back gardens...

Whilst maintaining a two metre distance from an elderly couple when queuing the aisle in my local M&S, waiting to be called forward by the cashier, my eye caught this Riesling from Pfalz. The sun was shining and whilst perspiring in my facemark, gloves and coat, the possibility of having a chilled glass of wine while flicking through my magazines was irresistible.

Riesling, is a white wine grape famously planted in France and Germany. Although making appearances in new world territories such as Washington State U.S (one of the best I've tasted was from here) and Australia, this grape is Germany's favourite. Originating in the Rhine region, it has been widely planted and can produce a versatile range of styles. From sweet luscious wines with notes of tropical fruit, pineapple and nectarine to dry styles with citrus lemon and lime, green apple and mineral stone notes.

This wine was produced in Pfalz, Germany's second largest wine-growing region located on the West of the country. Just 80km across the boarder in France is Alsace, therefore there are stylistic similarities. Riesling is the most widely planted variety in this region and Pfalz has a reputation for high-quality products. Winemakers in this region have a inextinguishable creativity and spirit when it comes to producing their products. This individuality is prized among wine professionals as the passion is tangible within the wines produced.

The diverse terroir (the geographical make up of landscape, soils and climate) of this region allow for various flavours and characteristics. Due to the South West location of Pfalz the region is graced with glorious sunshine enabling wines rich with ripe fruit to be common. Due to this heat, Pfalz wines benefit from the harsh Germanic acidity often associated with wines from this country to be softened creating a well balanced 'Trocken' (bone dry) wine.

I started my lazy afternoon in the sun enjoying a pesto salad and a glass of this wine. Not the most likely paring, but I was in the mood for a slosh before my dinner. I sat and soaked up the sun reading my Condé Nast Traveller article encouraging travel to Armenia and highlighting the 'Hot List' of destinations this year...not that we will be going anywhere!

After successfully catching up with my subscriptions and building my summer tan I began making dinner. A easy quick tea for a sunny evening, haddock (I didn't have any sole) meunière with roasted Mediterranean veg. The Riesling was a perfect paring with this fish dish. The remaining Germanic acidity was beautifully balanced with the rich buttery sauce.

On Vivino, this wine receives a 3.6/5 star rating. Averaging at £6.64 a bottle this Riesling has notes of lemon and lime with undertones of peach and apples developed due to the warmer climate. Subtle earthy characteristics such as minerals and stone are also noted. Whether my enjoyment of this wine was influenced by my perfectly relaxing afternoon, delicious dinner or fresh tan, I cannot say. However, I would recommend this Pfalz Riesling to a friend and will be buying it again. Hopefully the sun will still be shining...

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