It all comes down to Thursday’s match. A win captures the group and punches our ticket to the next round. Even a draw sends us through, but the Great Jürgen says we won’t be playing for one.
In an effort to predict tomorrow’s outcome, we headed to Solo Vino last Friday to wage a German vs. US wine taste-off. We figure if an octopus named Paul can predict match results, well then so can St. Paul’s finest wine drinkers.
We had Chuck Kanski select two wines, which we brown-bagged, marked ‘A’ and ‘B’, and presented simply as “rieslings”. The order of the tasting was reversed halfway through, in case one wine suffered for being sampled after the other. Here’s what our vino oracles had to say:
2012 Pfeffingen Dry Riesling (Pfalz, Germany)
“Nice fruit, dry green apples, bright acids. A touch of that riesling-petrol flavor. Lean, angular, and tart. Very clean tasting, maybe a touch austere, but a compelling crispness with a very dry finish. More drinkable on its own than the other.”
2012 Chateau Grand Traverse Whole Cluster Riesling (Michigan)
“Smoother, less bite. Rounded and rich, with stone fruit flavors. Less perfumed, less oomph than the other. More residual sugar, fruitier, lighter, straightforward. Less complicated, which isn’t a bad thing. Probably better with food than on its own.”
The Prediction: Germany 2, US 1.
Two-thirds of our tasters preferred the German riesling to the domestic one, though it should be said that both were very nice. The difference may have been residual sugar, with the off-dry domestic riesling tasting a bit more one-note than the fully dry bottle from Pfalz. When it comes to rieslings, as with fútbol, Germany has the experience and the prowess that will take a mighty effort to overcome.
Side note: We were also set to hold a Ghana vs. Portugal wine taste-off, but Kwesi Nyantakyi demanded a kickback in exchange for supplying biased wine drinkers. For now, The Growler must refrain from comment, pending a FIFA investigation.