Wednesday, May 23, 2007

House Wines

Today's Washington Post features a useful survey of a perennial topic: inexpensive wines for daily drinking under $15. To be honest, I've never thought much of the idea of a having an established "house wine" -- I like variety too much to buy multiple cases of a single, inexpensive wine and even for casual company like to serve something a little special. But I do like the idea an "occasional wine" -- wines for a particular mood or setting or season -- and many of the recommendations in the article (most from DC-area chefs and sommeliers) are wonderful suggestions for casual summertime drinking.

I must say, however, that I don't care much for the authors' -- Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg -- choice of "house white": the "Dr. L" Riesling from Ernest Loosen in Germany ($12). Having tasted through most of Loosen's wines last year in the U.K., I found the 2004 "Dr. L" Rieslings clumsy, imbalanced, and lacking in freshness. The "Dr. L"s are Loosen's entry-level Rieslings and by far the weakest in his range. For a small step up in cost, one can drink far, far better from Loosen's truly impressive portfolio. For example, the 2004 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett -- balanced, elegant, and refreshing, with great minerality -- is available for around $17.

1 comment:

phil from new york said...

I've read about wood chips for some time, but do you guys know which wines use them? Maybe names have been published, but I do'nt recall seeing any. I'd just like to know who is doing this and whether any names have ever come out. Thanks for the post.