Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck: The Nuclear Physicist of Wines

Remember that kid in elementary school who was always the last one picked for any team sports? You know, the one everybody said was a spaz, who couldn't hit a ball or catch a ball or tell first base from third base or a touchdown from a free throw? 

In the wine world, that kid is Riesling. A dork, a klutz, a loser. Of course, that kid you remember from elementary school probably grew up to become a nuclear physicist or movie star or major-league pitcher who made a gazillion or two dollars by sticking 100-mile-per-hour fastballs in the sinus cavities of terrified batters. And you're probably still living at home with Mom and Dad.  

Well, Riesling has grown up to be taken seriously too.

We're not talking crap Riesling, the cheap, icky-sweet stuff that comes

in jugs the size of oil drums and is a favorite of the blue-hair

brigade. (Though to be fair, some fantastically sweet late-harvest

Rieslings are among the finest wines on the planet and command

similarly exalted prices.)  

No, the Rieslings we're talking

about are a lot more interesting than that, with aromas of fresh-cut

flowers and honeysuckle and oranges and flavors of ripe peaches,

melons with a soft, Meyer lemon-like acidity that keeps all those lush

flavors honest. And the 2007 Jekel is one of the best domestic

Rieslings on the market. It's got all that luscious fruit -- peaches,

apricots, orange flower water -- goes great with food, and is a super value at around $12.

Even if you don't make a

gazillion or two dollars scaring the bejesus out of people waving big

sticks of wood, you can afford that.

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Bill Citara