Today (July 28, 2015) is my 5th birthday! Well, not mine of course, otherwise I shouldn’t be drinking wine, let alone teaching and writing about it. No – today Bristol Wine Blog is 5 years old. My first WordPress blog – a few rather embarrassing sounding lines introducing myself (still available if you really must – go to Archives, July 2010) – attracted just 7 readers, mostly friends I’d alerted. Since then I’ve had almost 14000 hits on this site, plus unknown numbers of others that read it on my Facebook Page, Wine Talks and Tastings. To all of you, Thank You for reading and I hope to provide you with lots more of interest in the future.
And how have I been celebrating my ‘birthday’? With a glass of one of my favourite grape varieties (Riesling) from, perhaps, a surprising source. Riesling is a grape that does well in relatively cool climates; in Germany, it thrives in some of the most northerly vineyards in the world where other varieties simply wouldn’t ripen. So, you might not expect it in Australia with its generally warm to hot climate – except that some bits of Australia are decidedly cool.
Take the Great Southern region of Western Australia, for example. Thanks to winds and ocean currents straight from the Antarctic, parts of Great Southern are ideal for Riesling; Howard Park produces an excellent example there (Great Western Wine, £15.95). A wonderful aperitif with its lovely palate-awakening zingy freshness and delightful lemon and grapefruit aromas and flavours, but it’s a wine that also has enough richness and complexity to cope well with fish dishes (we paired it with Cornish brill), especially those in a creamy, herby sauce.
And, as Riesling is a grape variety that keeps well, I think I’ll get another bottle to lay down ready to open for the next big celebration – my 10th ‘birthday’, perhaps?