When I got baptized in Riesling

I love changing my mind. I love when reality does not live up to my prejudices and I am forced to say: I was wrong. I love to discover that there’s a whole world behind something that I in my mind had reduced to a simple definition.

Somehow, the world of wine seem to challenge me all the time. How many times only during the last months have I had to say: “I normally don´t like this type of wine, but…“ Perhaps categorization a sign of ignorance. Once upon a time I used to say “I only like full bodied red wines”. My love for wine was born in Italy and it was through the powerful wines of the south I got really hooked. That was the truth for that particular moment in my life, nothing wrong with that. But now I realize that the more I learn, the more I understand how little I know, and how wrong it is to generalize.

Before going to the Mosel valley this spring I was not a fan of Riesling, at least I thought so. Through my limited experience, the idea I had was a usually too sweet and unbalanced wine. A common but not updated idea of the Rieslings of today. Mosel valley is marvellous and that week the sun was shining every day – which perhaps influenced my experience. But that was far from all. During the tasting of over 100 wines in a week, I discovered some dry, lovely wines so different from my expectation that I actually came home with 12 bottles in my luggage.

My American classmate, who since long is a Riesling lover had been saying for months already: “this trip is going to make you change your mind”. And one day, at lunch in the beautiful city of Berkastel-Kues, he looked at me and said: “I think you are ready now”. And he literally baptized me with a drop of Riesling on my forehead.

So now I don´t say I´m not a Riesling person anymore. Next step I guess is to stop saying, “I don´t like sweet wines”. I am still not there, I still hear myself expressing this categorical comment now and then. But after having encountered several amazing passitos I now know that even sweetness, though not my normal preference, is a universe of its own. Even though one might have her/his own personal taste, the beauty lies in constantly questioning it. Wine is alive and in evolution, during the wine making, in the bottle and in the glass, therefore our way of experiencing it should also be in evolution, flexible. Wine has this capacity of making me re-evaluate, seeing things from new perspectives, challenging myself and my preconceptions. Just another reason to love wine.

Riesling from 1976 at Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum.

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