I had a fantastic dinner on the weekend at a fairly middle-of-the-road Thai spot. But of course, dinner is so much more than the food on the plate. It is the company you keep. The atmosphere around you. And, importantly, the wine you share with your friends.
There were quite a few wines on the table, but I brought a Riesling since my friends like their Thai hot and I do not. I wanted something to take the edge of the inevitable chilli rush, and there was no Gewürztraminer cold in the local Dan’s. So I plumped for the next best thing, a nice looking Clare Valley Riesling.
The Jim Barry Watervale Riesling goes for only $15/$16 dollars, which is quite tidy value for a wine with this much style and finesse.
It pours with similar colour to a well made mojito - pale, but tinged with verdant invitation. Legs like chopsticks dance around the glass as you give it a twirl.
But it is when you bury your nose in the top that the party really gets started. The mojito comparisons continue as you are met with the sweet smell of muddled limes and freshly crushed herbaceousness. There is also a hint of the hot lemon facetowels your barber uses at the end of a shave. And that is always my favourite part.
The drinking is great too. What you smell is what you taste. It fills the mouth agreeably with strong citrus flavours, and the kick of acidity beats up nicely on the chilli sting from your green curry. The finish is long, smooth and permanently inviting of another sip.
It is thirst quenchingly good and would be an excellent choice on any hot day this summer, with or without food.
Riesling is not as popular with the punters as it once was, which probably explains the modest pricing of this fellow. But long gone are the cask boxes of riesling your parents used to take to BBQs in the 1980s. These days it is elegant and tasteful. And, importantly, it now comes in bottles.
Drink with: A hot Thai and/or HAB