Wine review: North by Northwest 2010 Riesling Horse Heaven Hills

North by Northwest 2010 RieslingI admire when a winery steps outside the annoying conservative boundaries of the wine industry. Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon fame (an interview with him), The Three Thieves and their ground-breaking Bandit wine in a small box and chalk up another win to the folks at Oregon’s King Estate (reviews of their other wines), who created this Washington State-based project, North by Northwest. These guys have the chutzpah to do things differently.

What’s so different? The front label, not the back, is laden with wine geeky educational jargon — which isn’t explained like they’re talking to a kindergartner — forcing someone to research and explore the meanings behind the verbiage. Hmm… will it work? I fear that people who don’t understand might flee…

And that would be a shame since the wine is pretty darn tasty. With a slight smidge of sweetness, this almost completely dry Riesling has a flowery aroma, juicy and ripe apricots, pear, and plenty of food-friendly acidity. Finishes with a spritz of lime-y citrus. 13% alcohol also goes down easy.

Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Price: $12- $14
Occasion: Sample sent from the winery, tasted blind.
Availability: At fine wine shops and online at the North by Northwest website.
Food pairing: Any Mediterranean dish with olives or challenging pairings like Asian or Indian food. The wine’s high acidity and slight sweetness combats the spiciness. Or try it with this Tilapia dish with fire roasted tomatoes.


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