When to drink – part two


Following the German theme, Richard found a bottle of Nahe wine – Shafer’s Dorsheimer Pittermannchen Riesling 1991 – bought from Majestic several years ago. The ABV was 9.5%. It is reckoned that Nahe (Rhine) wines are most like Moselles in their acidity and delicateness – and so this proved.

Deep gold in colour, as would be expected with a 23 years old wine, it exhibited a very mature nose, slightly woody (which vanished quickly) and then the classic petrol bouquet of Riesling while it developed in the glass. The palate was startlingly refreshing in its acidity, belying its age and helping to balance the off-dry flavours. There was sweetness but also strong fruit flavours so difficult to spot in the harmonious whole.

A quite remarkable wine, this was tasting well the following night, albeit the palate had a slightly boiled fruit flavour. The cost, Richard thought, was about £6! [Richard: actually £6.49]. Wonderful value.

So, two German wines both of which could be enjoyed on a summer’s afternoon without generating the woozy head which higher alcohol wines tend to do. Somebody wrote that German wines, particularly off-dry Rieslings, are ideal for drinking in the summer house on a warm afternoon. That presupposes conditions that are beyond many people, i.e. time and a summer house. Good luck to those who have both. Essentially, it’s no different to sitting looking at a pub car park with a pint of beer and a grab-bag of Walkers. What’s German for ‘a chacun a son gout’?


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