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September 3, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is Riesling Wine?

Riesling wine is one of the most popular wines in Europe, and that popularity has emigrated to the United States. Even though Riesling wine has been around for centuries, it was not as well-known as Chardonnay in North America. But rest assured, Riesling is an excellent light- to medium-bodied white wine with fruity flavors and a distinct aroma that is now taking its place as one of the most requested wines worldwide.

White Wine Riesling

Riesling wine has its origins along the Rhine River in Germany. Because of the type of grapes, the wine boasts many fruity flavors, including those of apricots, apples, pears, and peaches, as well as high levels of acidity. Besides Germany, Riesling is also made in nearby Austria and France, as well as New Zealand, California, New York, and Washington. In most of these locations, other than Germany, Riesling is medium- to full-bodied with little residual sugar.

Riesling is one of the few white wines that mature with age and develop a distinct petroleum aroma, a quality of aged wine considered superb.

Types of Riesling Wine

Several types of Riesling wine are available to choose from; one is sure to be favorable for every occasion or need.

  • Dry
  • Lean
  • Sparkling
  • Light
  • Slightly sweet
  • Dessert

The Taste of Riesling

What is Riesling wine?  Types of Riesling wine are available in many tastes and flavors. When the wine is made early in fermentation, it retains the fruity notes. This fruity character depends on where the wine is from.  In Germany, the wine will boast flavors of apples, pear, and apricots, but those from Australia will include citrus flavors. 

In addition, Riesling from Austria and France may have flavors of Stoney fruits. Along the way, it is not uncommon for Riesling to pick up flavors of ginger, beeswax, or honey. Traditionally, Riesling wines have tended to be on the sweeter side to balance the high acidity, but today, a significant amount of Riesling produced is dry or semi-dry.

Sparkling Riesling

Besides the high acidic wine, Riesling is also available as a high-quality sparkling wine, often dry or semi-dry. 

Riesling Labels

Types of Riesling wine:  The labeling of wines in Europe is a little different from North America. In general, the origins and pradikatswein levels are mentioned on the label, indicating the wine’s sweetness. In simple terms, if you want a sweet Reisling, then go with a wine that has a high pradikatswein level. These include Kabineet, spätlese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Pairing Riesling With Food

What is Riesling wine? Riesling pairs well with many types of food, but because it is light- to medium-bodied, it pairs best with spicy, hot, and curried foods, including Indian curries, Chinese duck, and hot Thai rice dishes. The wine's natural acidity balances the spice/hotness, while the residual sugar tames the rich, spicy curries. 

In addition, Riesling can also be paired with most meat, seafood, chicken, and pork dishes. It works especially well if they are high in aromatic herbs, including ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and thyme. 

Cost of Riesling Wine

For the most part, good Riesling wines are under $15, especially those from Washington and California.

Riesling gained its very own winery in 2006 in the State of Washington, Pacific Rim, and Company.  The enthusiasts who dedicated 90 percent of their entire vineyard to the production of Riesling wines were very passionate about it, and they still are.  There is a Riesling for everything!  The soils in the Columbia Valley in the State of Washington are prime territory for producing the best Riesling wines.  Call today to talk to an expert about Riesling wines.

Time Posted: Sep 3, 2021 at 8:01 AM Permalink to What is Riesling Wine? Permalink
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August 27, 2021 | Pacific Rim

20 Wine Quotes Only Wine Lovers Would Understand

These days, life is not always easy. What we used to once take for granted is no more. No longer can we go out and hug someone or even shake hands. Masks are the new norm, and keeping away from people is the new game in town. 

To get through the daily hassles of life, a little sip of wine may be just the right remedy for most of us. Wine has some heart-healthy benefits, and so does a sense of humor.  Laughter is said to be good medicine, so while you sip your favorite wine, enjoy these funny wine quotes from around the globe.

“I tried to think of a way to always have clean bedsheets, so I bought bed sheets that are the same color as my wine.” – Unknown

“A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.” – Louis Pasteur

“I tried cooking with wine. Didn’t go so well. After 5 glasses, I forgot why I was even in the kitchen.” – Anonymous

“In wine, there is wisdom, in beer, there is freedom, in water, there is bacteria.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Anyone who tries to make you believe that he knows all about wines is obviously a fake.” - Leon Adams

“Compromises are for relationships, not wine”-  Sir Robert Scott Caywood

Penicillin Cures

“Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy.” ― Alexander Fleming

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”― Rumi, circa 1200s

“Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.” ― Joan Collins

“Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” ― Pope John XXIII

“Be careful to trust a person who does not like wine.” – Karl Marx

“Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.” ― Anonymous

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” - Benjamin Franklin

“More wine – Less whine” – Anonymous

“I’m like old wine. They don’t bring me out very often – but I’m well preserved.” – Rose Kennedy

“Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.” —Matt Groening

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” ― Paulo Coelho

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.” ― Charles Baudelaire

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.” – Henny Youngman

“I will drink milk when cows eat grapes.” – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Enjoy these funny wine sayings with the next glass of your favorite wine.  Perhaps you can think of more funny wine sayings, and the next thing you’ll know, they will be attributing wine quotes to you!  Learn about and experiment with a variety of wines when you visit Pacific Rim and Company.

Time Posted: Aug 27, 2021 at 6:35 AM Permalink to 20 Wine Quotes Only Wine Lovers Would Understand Permalink
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August 23, 2021 | Pacific Rim

Is Washington the Most Underrated Wine Region in the World?

In a word, yes.  When it comes to wine production, most people would agree that California stands hands and shoulders above the rest of the nation. But ask people which is the second most popular region for making wine in the USA and most people will not know the answer. In fact, it is a close northern neighbor of California.  The State of Washington has established itself nicely as the second wine producer in the country.

Row Of Grapevines On Red Mountain

Unlike California, the wine industry in Washington got off to a very slow start. In just the last decade, however, the number of wineries in Washington has skyrocketed. Every year, the wine industry in Washington attracts millions of visitors, both local and from out of state. This has led to a flourishing multimillion-dollar wine tourism industry, which has enormous growth potential.

The History

The first wine grapes in Washington were grown in 1825 and, within the next 90 years, wine grape growing was well established by the early Italian, French, and German settlers. The settlers were quick to note the rich, warm volcanic soil and desert-like climate.  Along with the annual runoff from the melting snowcaps of the Cascades, a well-known mountain range, it made for an ideal location to grow grapes. 

Soon the land acreage for farming grapes increased, and, by 1960, local commercial winemaking had started. Within the next 20 years, local Washington residents started to grow grapes and developed their own home wineries.  By the 1980s, the wine tourism industry in Washington had evolved and, within a decade, it was competing with Oregon and California for tourists.

Today, there are hundreds of wineries in eastern Washington, north of the Cascades. While driving, one can easily visualize the dozens of wineries that dot the landscape from western Washington to Vancouver, WA.

Geography

One of the key reasons Washington has seen rapid growth of the wine industry is its geographical location. The state is located on roughly the same latitude (46*N) as some of the top French wine-growing regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux.

The dry climate of inner eastern Washington, combined with the long daylight hours at this northern latitude, creates the ideal conditions for growing grapes. Irrigation techniques learned from the French and California growers have enabled the Washington farmers to grow grapes easily, giving rise to wines with a range of fruity flavors, mild acidity, and pleasant aroma.

Much of the grape growing is done in eastern Washington. On the eastern side of the Cascades, the local government endorsed the wine regions, and farmers are provided with much-needed financial assistance. After California, Washington wine regions produce more wine grapes than all other states in the nation. 

Unfortunately, unlike California, Washington wineries still lag when it comes to the export of wine. Much of the wine produced in Washington is locally sold and consumed.  Very little Washington wine is exported out of state. Until the industry gets more well known, it will have to play second fiddle to California when it comes to wine exports.

The Best Washington Cabernet

What is the best Washington Cabernet?  Why not try the 2018 Silver Totem Cabernet Sauvignon?  With blackberry notes and aged in oak barrels for 16 months, this full-bodied red wine is extraordinary.  Half of the grapes are aged in oak barrels, and the other half is aged in tanks for around two years.  The care that the fermenting process takes is the key to the success of this wine.

Wine Regions of Washington

Horse Heaven Hills AVA has the responsibility of producing almost 25% of grape production in the state.  Other Washington wine regions include Columbia Valley AVA, Puget Sound AVA, Red Mountain AVA, Lewis-Clark Valley, and Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley, where there are approximately 36 lakes in the region.

Tourism

California leads the nation with over 4,500 wineries. Washington now has 1,000 wineries (compared to only 20 in 1980). With a far more open landscape and less expensive to visit than California, it is anticipated that the wine tourism industry is going to blossom. 

While much of the tourism is interstate, it is slowly attracting out-of-state tourists. Membership to the Washington wineries is much cheaper than what it costs in California.  You must try the best Washington Cabernet from Pacific Rim and Company.

The Washington wine region’s industry adds close to $7 billion to the state‘s economy each year. Despite a large number of wineries, Washington is still behind California when it comes to actual wine production. The Golden State makes up close to 86% of the total U.S. wine, whereas Washington only accounts for 5%. 

But most experts believe that Washington has a lot of room to grow; the climate is perfect, the labor is cheaper than in California, and more young people are interested in the wine-making business.  The State of Washington’s best-kept secret may soon be out of the bad.  To learn more about some of the wines produced in Washington soils, visit Pacific Rim and Company.

Time Posted: Aug 23, 2021 at 10:36 AM Permalink to Is Washington the Most Underrated Wine Region in the World? Permalink
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August 17, 2021 | Pacific Rim

7 Surprising & Unusual Food & Wine Pairings

There is a myth of gigantic proportions circulating in the world of wine drinkers that only certain foods can be consumed with wine. Where and when this belief started is hard to know, and for the longest time, wine drinkers only consumed their favorite beverage with certain foods.  There is always food that goes with wine and wine that goes with the food.  Most wine drinkers only paired foods that wine experts recommended for fear of feeling embarrassed or being ridiculed.

three people toasting red wine at a Mexican restaurant

But experts in the wine industry all agree that this is a foolish belief; you can enjoy your wine with any food that you like. No rule steadfastly says that wines can only be enjoyed with a lamb steak or certain cheese and crackers. Over the past few years, wine connoisseurs have tried various combinations of food pairings with wine, and here are some weird pairings that might not end up being so weird after all.

1. Burgers and Red Wines: 

Whether you are eating a veggie burger, chicken burger, or lamb burger, you may want to consume some red wine at the same time. If the burger is spicy and flavorful, try a light-bodied red wine, like Gamay, Negroamaro, Lambrusco, or Pinot Noir. Still, if it is the classic cheeseburger, then a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah may enhance the palate.

2. Macaroni and Cheese:

Most people would never dream of consuming wine with Mac & cheese. But with the right sparkling wine, the dish will taste absolutely great in your mouth. Some great sparkling wines that go with this all-American dish include Brut, Moscato, Chardonnay, and Ayala Brut. The creaminess and salt pair excellent with sparkling wines.

3. Chocolate Ice Cream:

If you have been waiting to indulge in chocolate ice cream, then try pairing it with a light red wine like Pinot noir. Each scoop of chocolate ice cream with a sip of the Pinot Noir will be a delightful experience. The rich milk chocolate flavor, plus the soft fruit aroma of the wine, make a great combination.

4. Pizza and Red Wines:

Regardless of the topping, experts agree that pizza plus red wine is a great pairing. Some of the red wines that can handle a mega-dose of pepperoni and mushrooms include Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. The high tannin content and acidity of the red wine combine well with the meaty and salty taste of the pizza. The key is to select a light-bodied wine so as not to overpower the flavor of the pizza.

5. Sausage or Bacon and Most Wines:

Both bacon and sausage go great with a sweet wine like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Canyon Oaks Zinfandel, Sweet Lucy Red, or Sweet Moscato. The spicy meat taste will blend well with the sweetness of the wine. However, the key is to sip the wine, as it will exude the pepper flavor of the sausage/bacon.

6. Tacos and Wine:

Tacos can be salty, spicy, sweet, and hot, and to calm the palate, the best wines are the fruity, medium-full-bodied red wines, specifically Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Or, if you prefer white wine, go with a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. The aromatic fruits will balance out the spice and the heat. Plus, the mild acidity of a Riesling will help melt the guacamole in your mouth.

7. Hot Dogs and Wine:

A hot dog with relish, a thick layer of mustard, a scoop of spicy baked beans, and jalapenos served on a traditional soft white bun with fried onion toppings are best paired with Alsatian Pinot Blanc, Riesling, or a lighter, fruity red like Pinot Noir. These wines will reduce the spiciness, richness, and smoke, yet also bring out the flavors of the hot dog. If the jalapenos are spicy, then you need to cool the palate down with sparkling wine; choose either a Chardonnay, Chilean Merlot, or a Riesling.

Figure Out the Weird Wine Pairings for Your Next Party Today!

At the end of the day, there is no firm rule on wine pairings and food. It is all based on your personal preference. Try any weird pairings you would like to!  Find the food that goes with wine that you like. 

The important thing is not to stick to old wine rituals; try a different red or white wine with different types of food. Soon, you will realize that wine and food pairings can also depend on the mood, occasion, setting, and beverage availability. To ensure you don’t run out of wine, visit Pacific Rim and Company, where the selection will give you a variety of wines to try.

 

Time Posted: Aug 17, 2021 at 10:16 AM Permalink to 7 Surprising & Unusual Food & Wine Pairings Permalink
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August 9, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is the Difference? Chardonnay and Riesling

Chardonnay: The Basics

Chardonnay is a white wine that first originated from the Burgundy region of eastern France. But today, the green-skinned grapes are grown in many other places, including New Zealand, California, and many parts of Europe. While the grape itself is neutral, the wine is vinified in many styles that add a variety of tropical fruity flavors during the manufacturing process. In general, Chardonnay wines tend to be light- to medium-bodied with mild acidity and may contain flavors of apples, plums, and pears.

Beautiful white wine in wine glass

Chardonnay made in Australia is known to have citrus flavors. Chardonnay wines that have undergone malolactic fermentation tend to be nuttier and mildly acidic but may also have a hazelnut flavor or a buttery aftertaste. Chardonnay can also be found in several superb sparkling wines. Today, Chardonnay remains one of the most popular white wines for people of all ages. It is reasonably pierced and readily available.

Riesling: The Basics

Riesling is another white wine made from grapes in the Rhine region of Germany. The key difference between the grapes used to make Chardonnay and the Rhine grapes are that the latter often exude aromatic flavors and give the wine flowery or fruit flavors and high acidity.

When discussing Riesling vs. Chardonnay, a similarity of both is that the origin of the wine strongly influences its flavor. Riesling wines have fruity flavors with noticeable acidity in cooler climates, but in warmer climates, such as in Austria, the wine tends to have peachy and citrus notes. Like Chardonnay, Riesling made in Australia has a characteristic citrus aroma. The one area where Riesling differs from Chardonnay is that aged Riesling takes on the distinct petrol character. 

Today, Riesling wines are made in many parts of the world, including South Africa, most of Europe, California, Washington state, New York, New Zealand, China, and Canada.

Sweetness-Dryness

Riesling wines tend to be sweet, semi-sweet, and dry. In addition, there are also several types of sparkling Riesling wines. In terms of quality, Riesling is often in the top three white wines, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

When discussing Chardonnay vs. Riesling, the Riesling wines tend to be medium-bodied, mildly sweet, or dry. They all tend to have some type of fruity flavor. On the other hand, Chardonnay is a medium-bodied wine with mild acidity and is usually dry rather than sweet. It may also have fruity flavors of apples, lemon, hazelnuts, etc. Oaked Chardonnay, however, is a heavy-bodied wine and also emits subtle notes of nuts and vanilla.

Color and Climate

Riesling vs. Chardonnay: Riesling wines tend to be of lighter color or yellowish in nature, whereas Chardonnay wines are often brown or gold-colored; this is chiefly due to the oxidative process during winemaking. 

In general, the majority of Chardonnay wines will be on the darker side or light brown or golden in color.  Chardonnay, made from the temperate regions of Chile, Burgundy, Oregon, and New Zealand, will exude a tinge of lime, citrus, or even tangerine. The Chardonnay from warmer climates, like South Africa, California, and Southern Australia, will exude ripe tropical flavors of apricot, passion fruit, and even lemons.

In addition, Riesling wines are often recognized by their distinct slender bottle-shape with a long neck.

Aroma

The light-bodied Riesling wines do not tend to have a strong aroma, but the aged Riesling will have a distinct petrol aroma. If you have a good nose, you may also be able to pick up the fruity aroma of apples, pears, apricots, lime, or other citrus fruits.

Chardonnay vs. Riesling finds that Chardonnay is much different compared to Riesling in the aromas. The Chardonnay may have a nuttier aroma, mixed with cedar and vanilla. Similar to Riesling; however, there may be underlying notes of apples, lemon, and citrus

Wine and Food Pairing

Because Riesling is highly acidic, it tends to pair with diverse foods, including Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Asian cuisine. The mildly sweet Riesling goes great with curried and spicy Indian cuisine.

Chardonnay tends to pair well with Italian foods, pasta, fish, roast meat, and seafood. It is also a great wine to be consumed with desserts.

Which is Better?

Both Riesling and Chardonnay are great wines and very affordable. There is no major difference between the two, and, at the end of the day, the decision as to which one to pick depends on personal preferences. 

If you prefer a light-bodied sweet wine, go with a Riesling, but if you prefer a medium- to full-bodied, dry wine, go with Chardonnay. The good thing is that there are so many types of Riesling and Chardonnay wines; you can pick and choose until you find out which one you like the best.

You can learn more from the experts at Pacific Rim and Company.  The 2018 Silver Totem Chardonnay is a fine example of a Chardonnay produced in the Columbia Valley region in the State of Washington.  It is refreshing and crisp while also being vibrant and juicy with vivid fruity flavors.

Time Posted: Aug 9, 2021 at 7:20 AM Permalink to What is the Difference? Chardonnay and Riesling Permalink

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