Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Weather for Riesling Kabinett

What lovely weather we're having!  So what to drink as an aperitif on a balmy evening whilst waiting for supper?  Perhaps a nice crisp Chablis or maybe a glass of Fino, but if you want a light drink without much alcohol that's very refreshing, you'd be hard pushed to beat a glass of Kabinett Riesling.  Typically at about 8.5%, it's light, with high acidity beautifully countering the residual sugar (it's normally medium dry).  What a delicious and refreshing drink it is.  Depending on the age and the individual nuances of the wine in question, you might get lovely fresh lemon or green apple flavours with a younger wine or the typical petrol (it's nice, really) aromas with a more aged example.  Both are great and equally valid, which shows the wonderfully large drinking window you get with good quality Riesling.  What a fabulous variety.

The example I had last night was a 2002 from the Mosel vineyard Graacher Himmelreich made by the producer Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium (we'll discuss the arcane world of German wine labels another day).  I got it from the Swiss Cottage branch of Majestic, who, I'm very pleased to say, are continuing their tradition of finding small parcels of aged German Riesling.  I've been buying these parcels for years now and they're nearly always worth while when they come in.  I bought it earlier this year and was therefore eight years old at time of purchase, but only cost £8, a snip for good quality wine of that age.  It was absolutely as to be expected; fresh lemon and apple flavours overlaid with the complexity and petrol aromas that come with age.  Very crisp, off dry and beautifully refreshing.  I recommend you look in your local majestic and give an older bottle of German Riesling a go.


  1. Is it only the Majestic in Swiss Cottage which has a penchant for Riesling? Or is it all Majestic stores?

  2. Basically it's all of them in principal, but the bigger branches, like Swiss Cottage, are more likely to hold the stock. Years ago (around 2000) I bought a case of 1989 Riesling Kabinett from the branch in Fortis Green, North London. This was probably the best Majestic parcel I found; 10 years old, a decent producer a great year and I think it was only a fiver a bottle!