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grape expectations; weekend: food.

Byline: bill rafferty

Local wine expert Bill Raftery's top tips for tasting and wines of the week...

RIESLING is the most under-rated of grapes and so difficult to sell that a local wine merchant once slipped a MUsel into a Chardonnay tasting; the German wine proved to be the most popular, but everybody ordered "that nice Chardonnay from Riesling".

People equate Riesling with Liebfraumilch, which is unfair as Liebfraumilch rarely contains any. Traditional German labelling such as Domedechant Werner Hocheimer Kirchenstck Riesling Spetlese 1999er Rheingau QbA is confusing. In contrast one of the world's finest producers. Ernie Loosen, labels his basic Riesling as The Naked Grape.

In South Australia, Clare Valley above the hotter Barossa has been identified as the best site for Riesling. Young Riesling is wonderfully refreshing, ideal for summer drinking.

Bill's selection

The Naked Grape, Riesling 2004, Ernst Loosen, Pfalz.

If you think you don't like German wines, try this, it won't break the bank, simple yet elegant.

Drink with: Trout or simple salads. Sainsbury's pounds 5.99.

Leasingham Magnus Riesling 2003, Clare Valley, South Australia.

Leasingham produces regional wines with real character. This has a hint of petrol with lemon and lime.

Drink with: This wine suits most foods and everyone will enjoy it, including an auntie who still likes Blue Nun and an uncle who prefers blockbuster Shiraz. Sainsbury's pounds 6.99.

Domedechant Werner Hocheimer Kirchenstck Riesling Spetlese 1999er Rheingau.

Hochheim on the Rhine, supplied "Hock" to Queen Victoria; Kirchenstck is one of its best vineyards; Spetlese means late-picked, the grapes contain more sugar and with an ABV of only 8% much of this remains.

Drink with: This sweet wine is good enough to drink on its own or with fish or roast poultry. Morrisons pounds 6.99.

Bill Raftery runs regular wine courses at Coventry University. E-mail him at b.raftery@coventry. ac.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 30, 2005
Words:310
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