Wine for Diwali

Diwali is a big holiday for Hindus – it roughly translates into the festival of lights and is a celebration of good over evil. I’m half-Indian so we always celebrated Diwali in my house growing up. We lit candles, danced in cultural shows, wore Indian clothes and always ate a lot of great Indian food. A wine for diwali has to be as glorious as light and pair well with Indian food.

2008 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling

German Riesling is one of my favorite wines in the world and this is a fantastic Riesling from the Mosel valley in Germany. I really think that Riesling is the most noble grape and becomes glorious when grown on German soil. Dr. Loosen is a very respected producer and the grapes for this wine come from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard, which is considered a Grand Cru vineyard, one of the best vineyard sites in all of Germany. The soil is all blue slate that gives the wine a zippy minerality. The vines are more than 70 years old which imparts complexity to the wine. Riesling is a great match for Indian food – it has enough flavor and body to match the heavy sauces. Also, sweet beats heat. The sweetness of this Riesling works to tame the spiciness of the food. This wine is Spatlese quality level, which means “late-harvest” – the grapes are picked in mid-September when they’re riper with higher potential sweetness.

Tasting Notes

This wine is glorious – canned mandarin oranges, vanilla and honey notes, white flowers, fresh apples. There is a hint of petrol on it that you will get in the best Rieslings. Very refreshing acidity that cleanses your palate and will make you want another bite of that Indian food. It’s like the richest, brightest light in a glass. Definitely a representation of everything good in the world, just in time for Diwali. Happy Diwali!

Video originally posted on 11/01/2010.