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Riesling for the weary palate

Peter Rollinson

It has a lot to cope with, the mouth. Not content merely being the portal via which we nourish ourselves, the aperture also contorts to compose facial expression, assists in the passage of respiratory and other gasses, sculpts the sound of our speech and most critically of all – provides a laboratory for the analysis of flavour. There are numerous additional popular applications; but the Blog format limits space so we can take them as read.

 

But what do you drink when the palate is weary? You can only ask so much of one mouth in a day, and outside disturbing Daliesque fantasy we are equipped with just the one cake-hole. Riesling is perfect when it’s time to relax; wine to savour in the embrace of your favourite chair. 

 

You need a wine with sweetness in aroma; those signals through the nose will awaken your taste buds and prepare the mouth for flavour. A good German Riesling is a gift to wine lovers; a seduction of perfumed sweet fruit which leads to mouth-filling flavours of lychee and grape, the sweetness balanced with tingling acidity. With age comes wisdom, and over the years a good Riesling may have learned many secrets of minerals, honey and even petrol; if you question the wine thoughtfully it will share them with you. Though intensely flavoured such wines will sing gently, every word a subtle, supple delivery and absolutely crystal clear. 

 

There are many styles of Riesling around the world; classics made to traditional European classifications which engage lifelong devotion among enthusiasts, and brilliantly food-friendly drier styles from Australia, Americas and New Zealand where more recent plantings have worked so well. Having tasted interesting examples from around the globe, my tired mouth always finds its way back to Germany or Alsace where it takes smiling refuge. Typically low levels of alcohol (often little above 8%) are another advantage these wines possess; ideal when I want simply to enjoy a glass without outraging the strictures of official “guidance” and suffering the remorse inevitably to follow… 

 

So when the legs feel heavy and you want to sit & sooth in style, give a tired mouth the job it was surely designed for – put some Riesling in it.

 

 



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