Wine shopping is probably my favorite activity. Perusing the aisles filled the delicious looking wines is an adventure every time. I buy wines from all over of course, but usually I start at my local market. In Eugene we have some incredible stores that have a wide variety of options. Picking wines that anyone can find is a goal of mine though. That being said, I recently found a wine at my local supermarket that once I had my first sip I knew it was too perfect to not share. The 2013 Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Charles Smith Wines was an amazing find!
I’ve been really into finding good wines from Washington lately, and this was an example of some of the delicious varietals coming from this beautiful state. Did you know that there are 750+ wineries in the whole state? Many of these wineries are producing big bodied varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah due to the amount of warmer temperatures that the state has. Eastern Washington has an exceptionally hot climate that has some incredible grapes grown there. It is there that the grapes for the 2013 Kung Fu Riesling were grown, at Evergreen Vineyards just outside of George, Washington.
Charles Smith Wines is a label produced by owner Charles Smith. He initially started K.Vintners in 2001, and made some amazing, award winning Syrah. His second label, Charles Smith Wines, was started in 2006. This label was created with the intention making wines that were meant to be enjoyed now. Charles Smith is a world traveller and self taught winemaker that fell in love with the Walla Walla area, and decided to make his own wine there. I am sure glad he did! Not only was his first label K.Vintners named winery of the year in 2008 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, but he continues to make delicious and affordable wines today.
Riesling and I have an interesting relationship. I appreciate the sweet versions bursting with honey suck flavors but I am also drawn to the more fruit forward and crisp creations. This wine was definitely a nice balance of these two worlds. On the nose I smelled overly ripe pears and white fruits (like peaches). I initially suspected this wine would sweet since the grapes were grown in a warmer climate, and the nose was so aromatic. It was definitely more middle of the road though. The first taste – which carried a lot of the white fruit flavors like peaches and apricots was sweet, but then it had a fresh acidity to it on the end. This wine was so fresh! I loved the crisp finish with hints of citrus flavors, like lime peel. Needless to say, this bottle didn’t last too long in my house.
For those wine drinkers out there who prefer their wines on the dry side, don’t be afraid to try a medium-sweet riesling like this one. In a sense it was a traditional riesling (much like those I’ve had from Germany), but the acidity really created a unique beverage here. The balance was impeccable. Even if you prefer wines on the sweeter side, you’ll love this wine. Charles Smith Wines also produces some other wines that are not only delicious but in our frugal price point. The Velvet Devil Merlot is a great example, at only $12 a bottle.
There are so many excellent options below $20, especially in the Pacific Northwest. The best part is that each wine (even each vintage!) is so unique. The 2013 Kung Fu Girl Riesling is not only a great buy, but was perfect for any occasion. With summer coming up, having crisp white wines ready to sip on any time is essential! I picked this up at my local grocery store, for about $14. It was a real steal. Cheers!