Riesling is a white wine from France. This particular riesling is from Alsace, France. When I was in sommelier school pronouncing the word “Alsace” was quite the challenge. The first time I went to the store to buy a bottle of riesling from Alsace, France I pronounced it wrong.
Using an uneducated guess, I asked the clerk for a bottle of riesling from Alsace, but I pronounced it “All-sass.” He gently corrected my mistake and led me in the right direction. Since then, I have learned how to pronounce the word Alsace (Al-sas). The bottle of 2016 Dirler-Cade Lieu-dit Belzbrunnen Riesling created by Dirler-Cade is absolutely delightful. The crisp, dry and acidic flavors of this wine can quickly sweep you away to Alsace, France.
Alsace is located in northern France, by the border with Germany. Although the area is often cold, the sun still shines there. It is so sunny that it is known as France’s driest region, only yielding less than 24 inches of rainfall a year. The landscape is comprised of soil made of clay, limestone, volcanic sediments, schist, quartz, sandstone and chalk. All of these mysterious flavors can be engaged with in a glass of riesling. One of my favorites.
Winemakers in Alsace lean more toward being purists. They intentionally choose to work more in the fields than in the cellars. By no means am I a wine maker in real life, consider myself one, or pretend to be. Crafting wine from the field to the bottle would be exciting, but also a serious amount of time and effort. It seems to paralelle with life.
Life takes a lot of focused time and strenuous effort for the majority of it. While I slowed down to engage with this 2016 Dirler-Cade Lieu-dit Belzbrunnen riesling from Bag and String Wine Merchants, I couldn’t help but be drawn inward to my thoughts. The aromas of fruit notes such as green apple, peach, pear, stone fruit and petroleum swept me back to my childhood in the country side. Summer time to be exact. Climbing the apple trees, eating peaches, and the fresh smell of petroleum from dad’s garage and work area.
For me personally there is something intoxicating about the smell of petroleum. It has a way of drawing my senses like this riesling, which carries the smell of petroleum. I think for me it forced me to realize the short span of time I had from my childhood to my current state of adulthood. Sure these aromas of green apple, peach, pear, stone fruit and petroleum cause my senses to perk up, but I found a deeper truth in the midst of tasting this white wine.
On the palate it is so well crafted, like most French wines, with notes of honey, lemon peel, citrus, green apple, petroleum, mineral and even hints of flint. I couldn’t savor the flavor enough found within every sip the riesling. More so, I was stunned by an even greater depth of thought. As I reflected on my personal childhood, it rushed me to ponder on my oldest daughter’s childhood.
Life is truly a delight, just like this wine, but as long as wine will last in a bottle so does our life. My daughter will turn the age of thirteen in a few months. Yes, she will become a teenager, but there is an even greater underlying reality. When tasting wine, there is always the length of the wine or how long it remains on your palate. Wine on your palate that remains there longer, enables you to pick up on the underlying tones.
Tasting wine is no different than us choosing to process through our mind’s experiences and future. The underlying reality is I only have five years left of captured time to invest in my daughter. I concluded after finishing this bottle, there are parents who can’t wait to see their kids off into the college life or the work force and then there are parents who struggle letting go of their children.
I find myself located somewhere in between the two. Like riesling, I don’t enjoy sweet and I don’t look for seriously dry riesling. I search for the happy medium. Parenting is far from easy and it’s a full-time job. The winemakers of Alsace strive to maintain a purist mentality through the entire process of wine making. In the same manner, realizing I only have five years left with my oldest, I want to be found in the happy medium of parenting.
As if I’m investing my time into making a stunning bottle of wine, I yearn to place my focus and energy in the purest forms raising her with what limited time remains. The wine makers of this 2016 Dirler-Cade Lieu-dit Belzbrunnen Riesling did an outstanding job. You can experience their creativity, hard work, and intense focus to produce the best within each sip. At the end of five years, I want to be able to look back on all the time invested in her and see the teachable moments of driving a car, handling relationships, healthy living, and overcoming life’s drama.
Where are you spending your most valuable time lately? What deadline are you facing off with? Have you acknowledged the timeframe and need to take some form of action? I love wine and I place a decent amount of focus there. My daughter is more important than any bottle of wine. Wine will come and go, it will always be available and present. Time spent with my oldest, will not be.
Maybe today, you should pour yourself a glass of riesling, whiskey, bourbon, or a Coke. Consider the time you have available and where you spend it all and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” There are just a few life lessons I brushed over while drinking this delicious riesling. I suggest slowing down and making a fantastic crafted meal and taking a closer look at what you have before you. Some extensive pairing the 2016 Dirler-Cade Lieu-dit Belzbrunnen Riesling are with pork, salmon, tuna, roasted chicken, spicy cuisine, or cured meats.
If you’re looking for more inspiration or want to be nosey and observe my personal life, check out my Instagram @the_traveling_somm
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