The Grape Count

In Vino Veritas- "In Wine there is Truth"
Grapes to try to date: 200

Grapes tried: 104
Grapes to go:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

#35- Muller-Thurgau (Rivaner)

Happy Halloween! What a great evening filled with family and little ones. But let's not kid ourselves, we got drink to wine! Random fact: any wine will do on an evening where one has to dress up and put up with little kids screaming "trick or treat" at the top of their lungs in the hope you throw a candy or two into their bag? True story. A second random fact: all wine pairs great with chocolate.

But I'm not even on that wine yet. I am reviewing the wine that we drank on Friday evening. After a long week of hating my job, Kris invited me out to her place for the evening to bitch, drink and do whatever grown ups do on Fridays. I brought us out a Rivaner. The Rivaner grape is one I hadn't heard of before but it is a cross breed of a Riesling and a Madelaine Royale grape (it was once thought to have been crossed with Silvaner but that has been proven wrong). It is quite sweet.

The name of the Winery is Black Tower in Germany, more specifically the Rhine Valley (note: I was just there three weeks ago- the Rhine Valley, not the winery). What a beautiful place on earth that I got to visit. I really enjoyed this part of Germany so it's nice to be able to drink a wine from there.

The Rivaner is also known as the Muller-Thurgau grape (and much easier to pronounce). On the varietal table, it appears as the Muller-Thurgau grape and it's also known as Liebfraumilch (direct translation if I remember my German correctly is Love Woman Milk) or something to that effect. it is moderately acidic and is a light lightweight wine, in other words, very easy to drink. And sweet.

Did I mention sweet? When Kristin took her first gulp of it, she was taken aback. It took us a while to get used to how sweet this wine was! Looking at the varietal chart, it is right next to the Pricesso grape, an Italian grape used for sparkling wine so you can imagine that it is indeed on the sweet side for sure. At first, Kristin said she wasn't sure if she'd be able to finish her glass it was that sweet.

She did.

In fact, she did ask if we had to leave any wine for Craig to try. I said she did.

I enjoyed this wine a lot. It is very fruity but hard to decipher exactly what fruit it is. Kris and took stabs at it- she guessed kumquat. Wrong. The fruits are apparently pineapple and mango.  It was sweet but we paired it with some maki from one of our favourite Japanese restaurants in the city- Teriyaki Corner. They had this new menu item- Dragon Rolls (spicy salmon deep fried and rolled with rice and a special dragon sauce). It was spicy all right but was nicely offset by the sweet crispness of the wine. Looking up the wine online, we found out it pairs nicely with a lot of spicy dishes.

I wouldn't suggest this wine if you're looking for a wine to go with a typical, American style food. It's much too sweet to drink with anything but spice or if you were treating as an aperitif or dessert. The Black Tower winery does indeed do this wine justice and comes in a very funky wine bottle (Black of course...)

The next wine is one of the favourite wines on our list- Shiraz. It is the one we drank this evening while the kiddies dug into their candy. They had their candy, we can have ours!

Craig was left at home to hand out candy to the kids so I stopped by to drop off the Rivaner to him; told him to pair it with something spicy. He ate a tuna fish sandwich with it. When I asked him what I thought of the wine, he said "all I can taste is tuna". Yup, we're related...

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