It’s July, so enjoy 31 days of German riesling. Chink chink.

I love German  riesling wine.
I love other things too and truth be told, some of them I love more than German riesling.  That aside, if you’re a riesling lover, than July could just be your month.

31 days of riesling

The 31 Days of German Riesling campaign is once again underway,  highlighting the delights of this wine to fans old and new.

Some top riesling facts:

  • With naturally high acidity, rieslings are said to be amongst the best white wines in the world, and some have ageing potential similar to some of world’s best red wines from top regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy.
  • Did you know that with more than 50% of all of the riesling vineyards in the world, Germany is the biggest riesling growing country?
  • Searching for a dry riesling? Look for the word ‘trocken’ on the label as that means ‘dry’.
  • Searching for the perfect wine to match Asian food? Try a German Riesling – it is one of the few varietals that pairs well with hot and spicy flavours!
    (Thanks to the 31 days team … for more facts click here)

Lots of restaurants and retailers all over the UK will be running offers, price promotions on selected wines, in store tastings, wine matching dinners and lots more in July.

If you can’t beat them, join them.  I’m off to buy a bottle of German riesling.

For more details about 31 days and to track down events, you can click here.

Wine Press: German pinot gris is perfection as food partner

Salwey Pinot Gris wine

Bacon and onion tart may not sound like a culinary dream – but with a glass of superb German pinot gris wine it can feel like luxury.

I fancied some German pinot gris and came across a recommendation to drink it with Zwiebelkuchen, which is a traditional German baked dish of dough covered with onion and bacon,  and egg and creme fraiche.

So I did.

I Googled and found a recipe easily enough and even with making dough from scratch this golden-topped open pie was rustled up in less than 40 minutes.Salwey Pinot Gris wine

With it, a glass of Salwey Pinot Gris 2011 from Baden (£13.20 www.tanners-wines.co.uk) was perfection.

Now this pinot gris is miles apart from its flavour-thin mass produced pinot grigio cousin from Italy.

If you’re browsing German labels, you’ll see grauburgunder (a dry wine) or ruländer (a sweeter version).

I met Konrad Salwey, the producer of my pinot gris, some months ago and he enthused about his wine which was born out of the volcanic soils in Baden.

It has nectarines, pears and lemons on the nose and an excitable scythe-like acidity tremors and teases your tastebuds long after the last drop of wine has slipped down your throat.

There’s a rich, fulsome spiciness which perfectly complemented the creamy, peppery pie topping.

Konrad told me that his own preference was to have the wine with mushroom risotto or creamy pasta.

I hunted around for a couple of other German pinot gris.

Palataia Pinot Grigio 2012 (Marks & Spencer, £8.49) is from the Pfalz and blends pinot gris with 15% pinot blanc. It is a bright, crisp, mountain-fresh trickle of apples lemons and pears.

Klein Pinot Gris 2012 (www.nakedwines.com,  £11.99 or £8.99 if you’re an investing Angel) lacks the creamy depth of the Salwey but has fresh citrus and stone fruits on the nose and a good, balanced zesty finish with tickly spice.

For more information on German wines you can go to www.winesofgermany.co.uk

Also in my glass… medal-winning Trivento Reserve Malbec 2012 (Tesco, £8.99) was a plummy, datey, mouthful with a nose like a walk through a warm, autumn forest. It  came into its own with a hearty chorizo-laced pasta and suits powerful flavours superbly.

Published in the saturday extra magazine November 9, 2013

Liverpool Echo – South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Evening Gazette – Birmingham  Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express