Culture / Foodie Events

This $5.99 Wine Steal Is No Joke

Stepping Into the World of Trader Joe’s Rieslings

BY // 01.18.16

A few weeks ago I wrote about a trip I made to Trader Joe’s; I bought some wines during the excursion, and this past weekend I sampled another one purchased that day. It’s a Riesling auslese from Washington, labeled Columbia River Landing, and while it in no way compares to the Rieslings I drink on a regular basis, I think you should give it a try, considering that it sells (in Texas) for $5.99 a bottle.

I opened this bottle on a Sunday afternoon while I was making a chicken curry. The plan was to pair it with the dish, which we did. The first taste of the auslese made evident its sweetness, but also its balance. The grapes were picked at the onset of Botrytis, so you get the intensified sweetness; you also get melon flavors and slight citrus notes. I enjoyed it on its own, and it was not bad at all with the chicken, which included ginger, cilantro and, of course, curry powder. In fact, its sweetness mellowed, and the minerality was enhanced. It was a good choice for the meal.

There really is no better food-pairing wine than Riesling; I have enjoyed it with spicy foods, with complex Thai dishes and with foie gras. The grape and the wines it produces are still misunderstood by many on these shores, and that’s a shame, but also an opportunity. My advice? Drink more Riesling.

Want more wine? Check out these stories:

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Oil Man Falls in Love, and the Rest is Good-Taste History
Ryan Cooper of Camerata is a Riesling Man
Mixing It Up With Jeremy Parzen, an Ambassador of Italy
Sommelier at One of Houston’s Top Wine Bars Loves Underdogs

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