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Ch Ste Michelle Dry Riesling bottle Picmonkey

2015 Dry Riesling


Chateau Ste Michelle

Columbia Valley

Alcohol: 12.5%

Suggested Retail: $ 10

“Poor Riesling. In the U.S. It doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Somewhere along the line the American consumer heard that sweet wine was the tipple for those whose tastes had not evolved to more sophisticated wine varieties, which often were drier.

“Well, Riesling often is sweeter than Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and other white wine options, including the ubiquitous Chardonnay, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. This might be another case when a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

“In Germany, and in the Alsace region of France, Riesling is considered something to celebrate, not apologize for. It is produced at several levels of sweetness (or dryness, if you will). Though California is home to some very nice Rieslings, it’s the colder climes of the country that are more associated with this noble grape. The state of Washington has many wineries that make Riesling. Perhaps the most prominent of these is Chateau Ste Michelle, which turns out different styles of this grape at ascending price levels. They sell a huge volume of Riesling, which actually contravenes the idea that all American consumers are clueless about this grape. A few days ago Taste California Travel picked up a bottle of their Dry Riesling in a grocery store while shopping for chicken to grill. The winery’s suggested retail price is ten bucks, which is cheap enough for a decent table wine. The supermarket had it at $7.99 (Chateau Ste Michelle’s huge volume tends to encourage these bargains for the end point user).

“The Ch. Ste Michelle 2015 Dry Riesling has a horizontal dry-to-sweet scale on the back label showing this wine to be in the dry—but not bone-dry—category. Some years ago, when a different winery invented, or adopted, such a customer-friendly visual, I heard a wine writer and his wife dismiss this innovation as pandering to wine drinkers far below themselves and their knowledge level. After all, they knew which Rieslings were sweet and which were less so. Or at least they thought they knew. I like the idea and think it’s an appropriate way to help a would-be consumer so he/she can buy your product.

“Your reviewer enjoyed this modestly-priced wine and agreed with the back label’s additional information indicating the purchaser would find aspects of white peach and Mandarin orange In the aroma and taste of this Riesling. We did and expect you will, too. This is a very acceptable bottle of wine that worked for our table. To call it an 'entry-level' Riesling is not to damn with faint praise. The word needs more wines like this and we recommend it to all wine consumers who’ve not had to good fortune of experiencing much Riesling.”

Food Affinity: “This under-ten-bucks bottle was a very nice accompaniment to our grilled chicken that had been given a garlic-ginger marinade. We think it would work similarly well with many treatments of fish and pork, especially those incorporating citrus components.


Editor’s Note: Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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