I know we’re getting to obscure grapes now, but Kerner is just a natural fit here. A cross between Riesling and the pale red variety Schiava, Kerner is like a richer Riesling.
Grown in Germany, but reaching its peak of expression in Italy’s Alto-Adige, Kerner is similar to Riesling yet with softer acidity and more innate richness, two issues that residual sugar had tended to mitigate. With relatively pronounced flavors of orchard fruits, tropical fruits, melon and spices, there’s a lot to like in Kerner. Unfortunately, there is usually also a lot of alcohol, an argument for leaving a bit of sugar in the wines, since leaving unfermented sugar in a wine lowers the wine’s potential alcohol.
I love a good Kerner; it’s offbeat, yet familiar, but it may not be for everyone, so if you’re looking for something that may be a little sweeter and a bit more mainstream check out…
Photo courtesy Bruno Girin via Flickr/CC