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25 January 2006

This Saint Aint No Nun

SaintA 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…

SaintmThe Skinny

  • 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.

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Sampled it a few months ago after reading some PR blah-blah that Blue Nun is now more focused on quality, etc., etc.

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