Posted in Wine

Thirty Bench Riesling 2016

For the past year or so I have been slowly drinking my way through central France, metaphorically speaking, but occasionally I make the odd detour. This present selection is one I sampled at the Brasserie Metropolitain in Ottawa in March of this year.

This Riesling is a VQA (or Vinters Quality Alliance) wine produced by the Andrew Peller Estate on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, and more specifically the Beamsville Bench Sub-region of that wine production district. I do not recall the price I paid at the restaurant, but it retails for $22.95 at the LCBO and is listed, on the LCBO website, as having 11.1% Alcohol and a Sugar content of 20 g/L.

The body is fairly light with medium sweetness and a bright acidity that offsets the sugar quite decently. The nose features golden apples, dark honey and straw, and all these qualities are continued on the palate with green apple also coming through with notes of cedar. There is also a floral presence and another additional quality that makes the wine rather unique. Some reviews have noted a ‘petrol’ component in this vintage, which is not uncommon in Rieslings and reflects the presence of a chemical compound known as TDN, or Trimethyl Dihydronaphthalene. I did not get that here, but there was a very faint hint of formalin along with a stronger, and most curious hint of saffron. I very much enjoyed the effect and, overall, this was a very pleasant and interesting sipping wine.

UPDATE: One of my blogging friends Stefan, at Stefan’s Gourmet Blog, who has much more experise in wine than do I has informed me that “This type of Riesling is called Feinherb in Germany. It is all about the interplay between sugar and acidity.”

4 thoughts on “Thirty Bench Riesling 2016

  1. I’m sorry my question is not based on this post, but I have been slowly finding out a little about wine including reading your blog and wondered what type of wine would be used in Italian wine cookies? Most recipes online say “dry red” but what would you recommend if I wanted to use something not quite so dry but not very sweet?

    1. Hi … I have never heard of using red wine in cookies before. I would actually go with the recommended dry red as I imagine the sugar content of the recipe will offset the residual sugar in the wine and would likely taken into consideration by whoever wrote the recipe.

      It would be difficult to name a specific wine and be sure it would be available to you. You probably would want an ‘off dry’ wine in the range of 6 to 20 grams per liter of sugar. You will likely have an easier time finding that range in a blended red (ie: one that does not specify a single varietal such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, etc). Maybe a Californian red blend?

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