by Fergal Gleeson
You can blame it on the Nun’s! They did it. They almost killed Riesling. It was different in the 1970s when sweet white wine was almost a religion.
I was fetching some white lemonade (my favourite beverage at the time) from the drinks cabinet and there it was. Nestling between the Jamieson, some sherry and a few bottles of Guinness stood the legendary Blue Nun.
The brightly coloured label featured 6 Nuns of undetermined order with wicker baskets “a happily” plucking grapes. Maybe “The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music” was playing the in the background.
They were busy because at it’s peak Blue Nun was selling 6 million bottles a year. It all changed in the late 80’s. Serving Blue Nun, Black Tower and German Riesling in general became the equivalent of wearing white socks and sandals. Blue Nun and German Riesling were out like Spanish Mission Style homes, Roller discos and Ron Burgundy Moustaches.
Wine styles like clothes come in and out of fashion. What goes around etc and German Riesling is now respected for it’s unique ability to produce unique wines that are sweet, crisp and refreshing all at once.
The damage done in the ‘70s means that it hasn’t captured the audience of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc in the English speaking world but don’t let that deter you.
The high quality of most German Riesling doesn’t bare comparison to past abominations. This weekend I tried the biodynamic Wittmann Riesling Trocken 2012 from Rheinhessen- it is delicious!
It starts with a lively acid on the tongue that makes you sit up. Lime flavours override lemon, there’s a touch of spice and a sprinkling of sherbet on a long finish. The Wittmanns have been wine growers since 1663 so they’ve seen a lot of fads come and go.
Blue Nun won’t be back but with wine of this quality, Wittmann is here to stay.
Rating: 4/5. For more Wine Reviews read and follow www.greatwineblog.wordpress.com Drink and be merry!