So there I was last night, minding my own business. It was just an average Monday night. We forgot to pre-plan our dinner for the evening so we defaulted to Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken (I know, it happens. I’m almost embarrassed to admit but we do this at least once a month)…. In my culinary defense I always make my favorite homemade side for that particular dish, Chinese spiced green beans cooked up in a pan with some (okay LOTS of) red chili flakes, a pinch of Chinese five spice, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of finishing salt… yum.
And I needed something to drink that would go with the sweet and spicy combo.
I had just received some 2008 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling to sample so I pulled it out thinking it would do just fine.
At first swirl I knew this wine was more than just fine. I could smell immediately this was going to be a pretty good wine! I took just one sip, jotted down some quick notes then went to my computer to see what this wine retails for. When I read that the wine sells for $10 I said to myself… you can’t be serious?! No, really I said that, out loud.
I’ve seen this wine in the stores, cases piled up on each other, and I have to be honest with you, sometimes when I see this kind of display I have to wonder if it’s just another mass produced wine that’s not really good. But I’m telling you folks, this one is well worth your Alexander Hamilton!
2008 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling
Columbia Valley (Washington State)
Retail $10 | Alcohol 12.5% | Residual Sugar 1%
The wine is highly aromatic on the nose with citrus, apricots, juicy apples, and that “thing” (the thing often described as “petrol” or “diesel”) Riesling lovers look for, and reinforced on the palate. Overall the wine is crisp, fruity, and refreshing with good acidity, good balance, and all for just $10.
Pair it with anything spicy or Asian inspired (like I did last night), a good roasted chicken, or even Thanksgiving Dinner…. I could go on and on. It’s a very versatile food wine.
I don’t normally write these kinds of enthusiastic posts about a $10 wine, but I was so pleasantly surprised last night by this particular wine. So much so I felt compelled to write this post and also drink a second bottle of it with tonight’s dinner (spicy turkey chili, homemade this time).
What impressed me most was the quality to price ratio. While I like the wine a lot, I like the price even more. For just $10 you can get a great quality Riesling from the Pacific Northwest.
I know you’ve seen it in the stores, it is everywhere. Now don’t be afraid to pick up a bottle (or six). And if you haven’t seen it at your local wine shop or supermarket, they also have a very cool feature on their website where you can find the retailer closest to you that stocks the wine.
I was sent this bottle as a sample, but you can be certain that I will be buying more of this wine for the coming fall months here in New England and enjoy for weeknight meals. In fact I’m going to do it right now because according to their website, if you buy 6 or more bottles, they throw in free shipping. Score!
As I wrote this post I found out that one of Pacific Rims other Rieslings (not this exact one but instead their 2010 Riesling) was just named Wine Enthusiast #1 wine on their Top 100 Best Buys of 2011 list, so these folks are making some solid value wines! Cheers