Tag Archive for 'inexpensive white wine'

Beringer Moscato

Beringer MoscatoBeringer Moscato
2008, Napa California, $6.00 for 750ml, 10% Alc. content
White Wine
 

My first experience with white wine was waaaaaay back in the 1990’s when I had just finished high school and had somehow managed to finagle a glass of Chardonnay from a disgruntled flight attendant.  I unpeeled my foil-wrapped chicken Marsala, opened up the individually-sized cheddar cheese (you know, the baby round ones in that red wax coating) and thrilled at the prospect of finally discovering what all the fuss was about.  Plastic glass in hand, I took a deep sip of my ill-gotten hooch.  Well, I was disappointed.  Not just that, but I truly hated it.  I couldn’t imagine why anyone would actually choose to drink this stuff!  (Of course, this was at a time when I drank copious amounts of kool aid and very, very, very sweet ice coffee.)  

At any rate, since then, I don’t know if I’ve ever met a Chardonnay that I have had strong positive feelings for.  But I think I’ve discovered the reason: I’m a sucker for sweet white wine.  It’s delicious and refreshing and (unless fortified or harvested late) often a little lower on the alcohol content.

Beringer’s Moscato is no different; it is crisp, brightly aromatic and just acidic enough to balance out the sweetness so you don’t feel like your drinking kool aid (no offense to the stuff — I’ve already confessed to having been an avid fan). Maybe it was the name “Moscato” which comes from the Muscat family within the Vitis vinifera species (the species that most of our well known wines come from such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.), but the flavor did remind me some of apple mixed with muscadine — which is a totally different species of grape (Vitis rotundifolia) grown largely in the southeastern United States.  

Oh, and the Beringer Moscato is pretty, too.  It looks like pale, liquid gold in a glass.

Bottom line:  I like it!  It is perfect for a dessert wine or just alone, and I actually tried it both at room temperate and chilled; I enjoyed both versions, but the chilled went better with my dinner of chicken and veggie fried rice.  I’d would definitely be amenable to getting this again.

 One last tip: if you’re interested in trying this or other versions of Moscato, note that “Muscat, Moscatel or Moscato” are all the same thing, just different ways of identifying this variety.

 wine’s website: www.beringer.com

Weber Piesporter Michelsberg

Webber Piesporter MichelsbergWeber Piesporter Michelsberg

2005 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Region, Germany, $7.00 for 750 ml
(White Wine)

This wine from the Mosel River Valley in Germany seems to actually embody the beauty and gentleness of the place it came from.

While the slate soil hills that the grapes grow on are indeed steep, and tower over the Mosel River that winds its way between them, the overall impression of this area is not what one might think. Steep cliffs with rocky soil would make a person assume the countryside is severe and intimidating, but in fact, the opposite is true. I don’t know if I’ve ever driven through a quainter, more charming and idyllic area than that of the Mosel River Valley. Especially when its in the fall and all the hills are turned golden by the vines and the cobblestone and half-timber villages dotting the countryside all host festivals celebrating the harvest of their grapes.

So enough of sentimentality. What does it taste like? A little sweet and crisp, but also gentle, fun and slightly round-flavored. Its fresh, friendly with just a bit of acidity to keep that zing, but not too much that it isn’t completely pleasant to drink all on its own. In fact, I recommend it. The flavors are very pleasantly perfumy, but to be honest, I couldn’t really single out the particular fruits it called to mind. It tasted of something I’ve had before, but the flavor is not common. Maybe a bit of melon mixed with honey and something else, but I’m not sure what.

While I would like to claim that this wine is a Riesling (due to where it grows and the fact that I’ve seen pictures of Weber Piesporter bottles that had “Riesling” printed on them), I’m not sure if this is a complete Riesling varietal or if it’s a blend. Why? Normally, German wines print both the appellation as well as the grape variety on the bottle if its not a blend. The fact that this bottle doesn’t have “Riesling” on it makes me assume it is a blend of Riesling with some other type of (equally scrumptious) grape.

Technicalities aside, in short, I loved this wine. It is delicious and perfect on its own or with food. Being a bargain wine, it isn’t considered fancy. But it is tasty and perfect for casual sipping. Definitely something I would get again, and, for the price, it’s an excellent find.

Most people drink this wine chilled. But you know what? I actually like it better at room temperature where the flavors are even more aromatic.







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