I have tried not to bore anyone to death by announcing one more time the Summer of Riesling, but in case you weren’t around the restaurant this past weekend, On the Square did, in fact, launch its Summer of Riesling 2012 campaign with full force.
Yes, we are indeed Riesling fanatics, and on this past Thursday, we began offering nine different Rieslings by the glass from five different countries: five from Germany (Nahe, Pfalz, Rheingau and the Mosel) and the other four from Alto Adige in Italy, the Finger Lakes in New York, Eola-Amity Hills in Oregon and Alsace in France.
Needless to say, it has been a raging success. In fact, over the entire weekend we maybe sold five glasses of white wine from our usual by-the-glass program because everyone else who ordered white drank Riesling. Our entire wait staff was spinning with love for this amazing grape.
I will say what made it extra special was that one of the wines was from the 1985 vintage, making it older than many of the people who work at On the Square.
Unfortunately I am not one of them.
The wines range in style from bone dry to off-dry to delicately sweet.
On Saturday night, I had to switch out our Alsatian Riesling because we had run out of it. I decided to take the plunge and offer the Domaine Zind Humbrecht “Thann” Riesling by the glass at $12, a price that is double the amount of our normal by-the-glass pricing.
For those who are not familiar with Zind Humbrecht, it is one of the all-time great producers in Alsace and the wines are highly allocated. I have been a fan of them ever since I first tasted them fourteen years ago in New York.
Alsace, in general, is known for its drier styles of Riesling, although Zind Humbrecht often bucks that argument with bottling a few or more that have residual sugar.
In this case, the Thann has approximately 8 grams of residual sugar in the finished wine, but its taste profile is completely dry, to say the least.
Therefore, I labeled it as dry in the taste description on our menu.
When Stephen questioned me about it, I said let’s taste it together and see.
A very unusual thing occurred as we sipped our glasses.
He looked at me in the eye, and said, “You’re right.”
In case you are wondering, that was my form of a joke.
But I digress.
Americans drink sweet. We drink Coke, we drink juice, and in the South, we drink Sweet Tea and Mountain Dew. We tell our sommeliers and our servers we only like dry wine, but those of you who are loving on that Kendall Jackson Reserve Chardonnay, make no bones about it, there is residual sugar in that thar’ wine.
Technically, the Zind Humbrecht does have sugar, but you would be hard pressed to pick it out while sipping. It has body and acid and finesse and tons of other fruit and tertiary components that make the sugar the last thing you’re thinking about as you enjoy it.
Is it sweet, you may ask yourself. Sure, it is. It is sweet and delicious and absolutely mind blowing.
But that has nothing to do with the sugar in it.