Stop being scared of sweet wines!

“Is it sweet but?”

Ahh… Well… No… but it's fruity… but not sweet... it's half dry… so it's sweeter… but not really?

I’ve worked in retail selling wine, pouring wine at restaurants, and studying wine for a few good years now, and this question seems to haunt me. Trust me, I understand exploring all the varietals and regions in wine can be daunting… but I think it’s about time we all start giving those Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, Gruner Veltliners some love.

It seems people who do not drink much white wine often refer back to those days when they started drinking wine… Those regretful days of drinking 1. The cheapest and 2. The easiest to drink sweet Sauvignon Blanc from a goon.

I’m sure we all remember. Now nothing against those wines, but they are far from representing most white wines. Very few white wines actually have much residual sugar in them, so you can rest assured that most chardonnays and pinot gris (which typically have less that 4g/L of residual sugar) are going to be dry, this is the same with most reds.

In fact, you can almost guarantee that most of Orange’s Riesling will be considered a dry white purely because of our cool climate- we produce high acid wines which give flavours of citrus, green apple and petroleum… we do however produce some Rieslings which are very special, maybe the grapes have been infested with botrytis (a rot which increases the sweetness of wine) or a wine maker has retained some residual sugar to balance the acidity in the wine.

One of my local favourites is the Chalou Riesling. This wine is sweeter than other local Rieslings due to a bit of botrytis on the grapes but still extremely refined, sophisticated, and very expressive.  Now if you have tasted this wine, you know it's tremendously different to those wines of your 18-year-old self-days, you may have thought it wasn’t even a sweeter wine.

Dr Edge’s East Riesling we have in store is another great example of this. Peter Dredge worked with Dr Loosen over in Germany, basically meaning he loves the use of sugar to balance acidity. Whilst his wine is not sweet, it is not as acidic… something you can only understand if you come get a bottle yourself. We have plenty of wines in store which are not sweet but are sweeter… off dry or half dry is the term used.

Linear Wine just in ACT have an exemptional Gruner Veltliner… a grape which I constantly reach for anytime I want something with a bit of interest. In my opinion it's like the love child of a Pinot Gris and an off-dry Riesling. We have this one in shop and are so excited for you guys to try it and get on the Linear wine train, it’s the perfect wine for seafood or any sort of fresh salad. Most of these wines I’ve mentioned will be a match made in heaven for any Asian dishes!

These off-dry wines are something to explore, trust us that we aren’t selling you syrup grape juice but instead a wine with class and distinction! Also, any of these varieties are amazing for cellaring. The acid in them makes the cellaring process one which will affect the wine in a unique way…. We hope to see you all pick up that long funny shaped bottle with a name that you can barely pronounce and give these wines a go.

- Ani -