Cheap Eats. Drinks are a Different Story…
I can have pasta anywhere, and it’s cheap. Only if you are in Tuscany and an old Italian Woman is whipping up risotto with black truffles and pecorino is the €20 plate worth it. Likewise, when you are on the road in one of the most renowned wine growing regions of the new world, it’s okay to pinch pennies on a boxed meal, as long as the wine is unlike anything you can get back home.
Burgundy is most always a sommeliers first love, and for me, there is still a special place in my heart for a Premier Cru Volnay, or a delicious Échezeaux, but like all things, I have been forced to move on. Riesling now, with it’s superb acid, brilliant balance and wonderful resin character has fallen into favor, especially in a delightful southern hemisphere summer where Sauvignon Blanc is so ubiquitous, it’s dizzying.
So when I saw a Waipara Riesling sitting on the shelf, last bottle, I scooped it to pair with my NZ$2.65 pasta bowl with mushroom and black pepper.
The nose with Riesling reminiscent, but not as aromatic as the varietal is capable of. Lychee and resin dominate. The palate is soft, almost unctuous, and sweeter than I would have thought. This is obviously not a ferment-to-dry example, but it is perfectly balanced with hefty acid. Tartrate Crystals gave a bit of texture to my final sip, which indicates the wine was not cold stabilized: even better!
Overall, it was a good expression of the varietal, but I wouldn’t put it in a tasting of some big hitters from Alsace or Germany.