Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Cup of White Wine - Match 2

With the World Cup of White Wine now underway here on this little Wine Odyssey and New Zealand having knocked off the Aussies in our first continental challenge, it's time to turn our glasses towards Europe and the three countries that qualified and actually have white wine for sale in the Vancouver market - France and Germany. The other two European teams that qualified for the World Cup - England, Sweden and Norway - don't exactly have a wine presence in our market - if they even have much of one back at their respective homes.

There are obviously plenty of other European countries with white wines to send to this little competition; their women's soccer teams just couldn't quite pull it out during the qualifying rounds.

Tonight, we're opening bottles from two of the classic white wine regions though. France and Germany are clearly both big guns when it comes to white wine and soccer. Indeed, the German women are two time defending World Cup champions and the World Cup tournament is being held in Germany itself.

To top it off, both teams will be playing out of Group A - along with Canada and Nigeria - in what's being termed the "Group of Death."

839. 2009 Ernest Preiss Riesling (AOC Alsace - France)

840. 2009 Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling (Qba Mosel - Germany)

Keeping in mind, I have to face a budgetary reality when picking wines for this World Cup, I didn't exactly go to a First Growth Burgundy Chardonnay when choosing the French wine. The French might have put up a star wine like that in a real competition, but, unfortunately, that contest will have to take place in someone else's glass; not mine.

I don't know if all that many people think of Riesling as their initial thought of a white French wine, but this Alsace producer was about the same price as the Dr. L. and that's got to be a consideration. French vs. German Riesling. Same vintage. Price within a dollar of each other in our market. Sounds pretty fair to me.

Even if the Dr. L. is an acknowledged "star" in our market.

We rather surprised ourselves by preferring the Alsatian Riesling. I think there was just a bit too much residual sugar on the Loosen Bros. wine. Regular visitors to this blog will probably know that I'm not opposed to a sweet undertone on my wine, but the Dr. L. wasn't so much of an undertone as a visit to the dentist waiting to happen.

Following a brief search, I couldn't find anything out about the Ernest Preiss winery. I believe this Riesling is the only "general listing" in our provincial liquor stores. There might be another varietal from the winery on local shelves but I didn't find any reference to one.

Ernest Preiss just might be a winery to watch for. My first try of one of their wines was enough to move the French directly into our World Cup of White Wine semi-final. I'm sure that ladies on the actual soccer field would be thrilled with a similar result.

As mentioned, before the real World Cup hits the semi-finals, these two countries have a round robin encounter but the game these two play is still a little ways down the road. We'll have to see if the result on the pitch is the same as our little wine match here. I have a feeling a French win on the soccer field will cause a bigger stir and be seen as more of an upset than tonight's win in the glass would ever be.

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