A few days ago I was perusing the surprisingly rich German wine collection in my local wine shop (Keep in mind we’re talking Utah’s alcohol monopoly. So by surprising, I mean approximately 20 different German wines). For kicks I like to keep tabs on the entry level stock - the stuff that costs between ten and fifteen bucks. The reason? Well, when German wine newbies come to this particular store, they quickly learn that their beloved eight-buck ‘Peezportur’ and ‘Bloo None’ aren’t sold here. This is the one shop in town that doesn’t sell lower end sugary Ries-plonk (at least from Germany, anyway). In the past, those brave enough to expand their German wine horizons likely stepped up to ten-dollar Dr. Pauly or thirteen-buck Dr. L. However, these selections are no longer available. In their stead appeared the slightly enigmatic “Saint M.” My curiosity got the best of me and I took the Saint home.
As I drove, with Saint M as my co-pilot (almost as good as god, I suppose), I observed that the wine seemed familiar. Obviously, it’s a German Riesling, so the wine is housed in the typical narrow bottle common to most Deutsche Rieslings. Yet there was something else about the bottle that seemed familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it…
- Saint M Riesling 2004 ($10) [imported by Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle]
- Riesling from Germany’s southernmost wine region - the Pfalz
- Qualitätswein with 11% alcohol
- Very pale mellow yellow gold in color
- Saint M provides ‘German Riesling 101’ scents of fresh apricot, peach, bits-o-honey and a hint of mineral zing
- This Riesling is fresh and fancy-free. The flavors are mostly peachy fruit. And this Saint is slightly sweet, but doesn’t fall off the syrup cliff - it’s got enough zesty acidity to place it somewhere between the dry and off-dry camps
*** (3 stars out of 5)
I took Saint M for a three-day culinary spin. It was unobtrusive, if not downright pleasant next to roasted broccoli spiced with Cayenne and made less-healthy with melted sharp Cheddar. As a Mexican food amigo, this German was also more than happy to join the fiesta. Finally, Saint M bid me Aufwiedersehen as a one-glass accompaniment to spiced sweet potatoes. This was the best match of all. The theme seems to be, “pair Saint M with slightly sweet & spicy food.”
Still, what is it about the bottle that’s so damn familiar? Stay tuned.