Monday, May 25

Wine About It: Charcoal-tasting riesling disappointing despite its fruity flavors

Life is filled with moments shared over a glass of wine, whether fueling a gossip session with friends, or destressing after a long day of school. But what are the best options for the average broke college student who can’t afford a $50 bottle of wine? Each week, columnist Susana Alcantar will discuss different wine options for under $15, where to get them in Westwood and which are worth your money.

German royalty loved to drink riesling wine.

Although I don’t hail from German nobility, I too enjoy a good bottle of riesling. The riesling grape first originated in Germany and the country is still the main producer, however, it is also cultivated in many other parts of the world. The white wine, known for its refreshing fruit notes, is available in both sweet and dry varieties.

The first wine I purchased was a Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling for $6.99 at Rite Aid. I poured myself a glass and was immediately drawn to the color – a nice pale yellow that reminded me of the early morning sun. The aroma was also appealing as I instantly smelled a refreshing peach scent.

I expected the glass of wine to be the perfect companion to my latest Netflix obsession, “Club of Crows,” but I was completely wrong. While exhilarating at first as it sank into my taste buds, the wine quickly hit me with an overwhelming bitter aftertaste, as if I had just eaten charcoal. I wanted the taste out of my mouth as soon as possible, but it lingered for much too long.

The bottle indicates the wine is supposed to be refreshing with sweet lime and peach flavors. I found no lime flavors present and though the wine was refreshing at first and did taste like peach, the horrible aftertaste ruined it.

I picked up another cheap wine option, the RELAX riesling, at Target for $7.99. The yellow hue indicated it might have a taste similar to juice because of the brighter color, which worried me because I try to avoid wine that is overly sweet. I couldn’t pick up on a precise scent since the wine had a bland smell, but I sensed the wine would have a citrus feel because of the general fruity aroma. As I tasted the drink I was pleasantly surprised – I liked it immediately.

The description on the bottle promises a moderately dry but fruity wine featuring intense flavors of peaches and apples and a hint of citrus. I loved the dry and fruity combination because it prevented the wine from being too cloying, and the apple and peach flavors were not overpowering. However, the hint of citrus was more than just a hint and was a bit too acidic. Nevertheless, the RELAX riesling comprised a good glass of wine and kept me wanting more.

The last wine I drank was Hive & Honey riesling. The riesling, which had a similar color to the Chateau Ste. Michelle, possessed an almost clear complexion and offered a sweet combination of honey and fruit scents.

I was excited to try this variety because the previous two did not have honey in them; however, I was a bit disappointed once I tasted it. I picked up slight flavors of nectar, lemon and citrus which were all delicious, but none of them had a lasting impact on my taste buds.

Out of the three rieslings, one clearly stood out as the best – the RELAX riesling. It offered the best taste for the best price and will probably be one of my favorites moving forward. On the other end of the spectrum, the Chateau Ste. Michelle proved to be a waste of money, unredeemable by its nice but deceiving color.


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