Friday 23 October 2009

A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines - A Rizling (Riesling) From Hungary

This article reviews a Hungarian white wine based on the
Riesling grape (they spell it Rizling). Now Riesling is an
international grape that produces some extraordinary wines,
especially in Germany. This wine comes from Hungary's
number one sparkling wine company, Torley which makes 12-14
million bottles of the sparkler a year. Their vineyards are
located in the Etyek-Buda region overlook the hilly, lovely
part of Budapest. Hungary makes a sweet wine Tokaji that
many, myself included, compare favorably to French
Sauternes. Let's see how this very inexpensive wine turned

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review
are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Torley, Hasberenyi Rizling, 2007 11.5%
alcohol about $8 (for a liter)

Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. Tasting
Note: Straw yellow color; delicate peach and pear fruit on
the nose and palate; well balanced with refreshing acidity.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with grilled white meats or fish.
And now for my reactions.

I first tried this Riesling with a commercial shepherd's
pie (in the interest of full disclosure, no shepherds were
harmed in the making of the pie). It was lightly acidic and
palate cleansing but a bit sour and thin. This is
definitely not a fine Riesling (could we expect one at the
equivalent of $6 a bottle?). While the acid seemed somewhat
harsh, the wine was refreshing. It flattened out in the
presence of fruit-juice candy.

The next meal consisted of stuffed peppers with rice,
cinnamon, onions, and crushed almonds but no meat. The wine
tasted of green apples. It was thin and yet moderately
long. While this time it wasn't harsh it was slightly too
acidic. The wine is not complex.

My final food pairing involved homemade chicken breast
nuggets that were lightly sauteed in curry powder, white,
and black pepper accompanied by green beans in a stewed
tomato sauce. The wine tasted of green apples that were
slightly unripe, and tart, but not pleasantly tart. The
acidity was less pronounced with the beans, which made for
a better combination.

I ended my tastings but not the bottle with two local
cheeses. When paired with a white Muenster the wine seemed
round. At first it tasted a bit sweet and was lightly
acidic. The second cheese was a Provolone. It was fairly
long and yet feathery and appley. Once again it was
slightly sweet.

Final verdict. I wouldn't buy this wine again unless I were
doing a wine and cheese and wanted to save money on the
wine. By the way, given that it was a liter bottle I had
some left over after the tastings. Guess where it went.

About the Author:

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on
computers and the Internet, but would rather just drink
fine German or other wine, accompanied by the right foods.
He teaches various computer classes at an Ontario
French-language community college. Check out his global
wine website with a weekly
column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about
(theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.

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