Friday, June 4, 2010


This actually happened to me at a Thai restaurant on King William Road recently.

Upon arrival at the restaurant I perused its wine list and was extremely pleased to see bottles of Peter Lehmann's 2008 Eden Valley Riesling available for $26. A fine match for Thai food and a bargain to boot - decision finalised!

A minute or so later the waitress promptly returned with said bottle of riesling and two, frosted wine glasses. From sight alone it was evident the glasses had been stored in some sort of fridge, which immediately gave me minor concerns about what temperature the wine was going to be served to us at, but when she placed them in front of us, it was glaringly apparent these empty wine glasses also bared fragrance. She proceeded to pour one glass, leaving the other empty, then exited.

On first sniff the Eden Valley Riesling gave off a cold, muted aroma reminiscent of lemongrass, ginger-root and shallots, with perhaps more minor suggestions of chilli, basil and garlic. Now I'd already drunk several bottles of Peter Lehmann's 2008 Eden Valley Riesling before, none of which, possessed such unusual aromatics. So, with an empty glass sitting next to me, I took the unusual step of smelling it. Yep, it smelled of lemongrass, ginger-root and shallots, with minor suggestions of chilli, basil and garlic. At this point I sipped my riesling, whose true varietal character had been absconded by whatever food and climatic conditions the glass had been sleeping with.

My partner then went to pour herself a glass of riesling, but I quickly stopped her. I told her to get as much water as she could through the glass and to let it aerate. Over the next half an hour I slowly sipped at my chilled-glass riesling, which, with time, air and warmth, was beginning to become more varietal.

I think it was nearly an hour into the night when the riesling and paired glassware really started to shine. Once again with the air, time and warmth applied to it, the glass had returned to a more neutral state, and the riesling started to smell, taste and feel as it should. Eventually it made a stunning compliment to the Thai food; if only the bottom half of the bottle.


  1. Asian restaurants aren't exactly famous for their wine service are they? It's amazing how many Chinese joints around town have winelists chock full of Fosters brands and nothing else.

  2. Good points. We certainly have similar concerns with Asian restaurants running Constellation brands over here in Adelaide as well. You should see the place across the road from the Hardys' HQ!