$10 Riesling

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Helfrich.

Continuing on with my Riesling tastings…mmmm, Riesling…I pulled a bottle of the 2007 Helfrich Riesling from the basement a couple weeks ago. (I’m REALLY behind on posts after my time in Portugal since I wasn’t posting anything but Portugal updates during that time! And there’s lots more Portugal to come, I just don’t have the time to write those up this very second.) The wine clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and I see it available online for about $10. $10 is a good value for this Riesling.

On the nose I fond lemon, flowers, gravel, prickly pear, and spice. The nose was a bit reserved.  In the mouth I got lemon, tropical notes, stones, pear, and crisp apple.  I found it to be tart with good acidity. It had just a hint of sweetness, so if you are looking for a bone dry Riesling, this is not for you. However, for $10, if you are looking for a good, everyday value wine, this would be a really good bet for you.

A Few of My Favorite Portugal Shots

Just some of my favorite shots from the trip! I’ll have some more comprehensive posts soon, but I’m still recovering from the trip and starting to prep for my new job that starts tomorrow.

Can't you just picture Druid-type priests here?

Not Druids.

Split cork tree.

The cow took off running shortly after I took this picture.

Our only sunny day, the sky was gorgeous.


Crab I would NOT want to meet in the ocean.

Moor Castle, my favorite!

Top 10 Things I Learned in Portugal

1.) Food is an event, not a means to an end.

2.) Cured meats before every meal is a tradition I can totally get behind.

3.) Wine at lunch. Need I say more?

4.) Vinho Verde is not effervescent in Portugal, at least not the 10 or so we had.

5.) If you are trying to join the Century Club, Portugal has many native grapes to help you on your way.

6.) A visit to a cork montado is a must.

7.) Even one café after dinner will keep me up all night.

8.) Eating Pasteis de Nata at Casa Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon is essential. (SO GOOD!)

9.) Multi-use agriculture is the norm.

10.) I need to return when it is sunny and soak up all the gorgeous architecture and culture.

I’ll be expanding on some of these in upcoming posts in the next weeks. Suffice it to say for the moment that I had a wonderful trip, learned a lot about Portugal, and very much enjoyed our hosts at Enoforum Wines.

Portugal Day 6 in Pictures

Our last day in Portugal! Like most of the trip, it rained again, but that didn’t stop us from getting out and about to the sights.  We visited the Pena Palace in Sintra.  I would love to go back in the sun some day and see this place as I imagine it is just stunning on a clear day. Not to mention the view from the top of the castle would be spectacular.  Also in Sintra we went to the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) which was easily my favorite of the castles we visited. The wind was whipping about fiercely though and we didn’t stay as long as we would have otherwise as it felt like we were going to be blown over the edge of the walls. For lunch we went to a fabulous fish restaurant on the coast (near the Western most place in all of Europe) and had a great clam dish done in a simple broth and a sea bass baked in a salt crust. I’ve enjoyed all the seafood we’ve eaten on this trip, plus wine at lunch is a concept I’d love to see stateside!  Enjoy some of the photos from our last day:

Foggy photo of Pena Palace

Castelo dos Mouros

View of Sintra from the castle.

Selection of (very) fresh fish offered at lunch.

Coastal view.

Not quite a beach day....

Portugal Day 5 in Pictures

Day 5 found us with sun in Lisbon and the surrounding areas! While I love the photos I took in the rain and the rain doesn’t bother me at all, it was nice to be able to spend as much time as we wanted to exploring outside. We walked the entire wall of the Castle Óbidos, which took quite some time but afforded a gorgeous panoramic view of the Castle. In the afternoon we went to Batalha to see the Monastery.  In the evening we went to a beer garden type place for dinner, wandered around downtown Lisbon a bit, and tried to head to bed just a touch earlier, but didn’t succeed!  Enjoy the photos.

Lindsay and me at Castle Óbido

Another view of the Castle.

Very old windmill. We saw new windmills all over as well. Did you know Portugal gets about 50% of its electricity from windmills, dams, and solar energy?

A fish translated as from Dorado as "Golden Bream." Prepared traditionally, just grilled with sea salt. Is Bream right? I don't know what that is.

Monastery at Batalha

Curious Gargoyle on a tomb in the Monastery

Portugal Day 4 in Pictures

Rain! We got poured on everywhere we went on day 4. Good thing we didn’t really care or else we would have missed out on some really cool sights in Lisbon. We went up into the fort where the explorers left from Portugal, saw Jerónimos’ Monastery, ate traditional Portuguese cheese pastries at the place they were invented, went to the aquarium (fantastic aquarium by the way), enjoyed Fado singers over dinner….such a great day, I’d do it all over even in the rain. We also visited a Cork Montado (not really a forest because it’s a multi-purpose self-sustaining ecosystem, so called a Montado) and at the same time saw ruins that reminded me of something from the Druids. With the fog, it seemed as if old Druid priests just belonged there.  Of course, more to come from our adventures when I am home again and have time to compile my notes into coherent thoughts! For now, photos:

Split on the side of a cork tree, so you can see how thick the cork is.

Making friends with a large cork tree.

Pigs in the Cork Montado.

I thought this was an interesting shot from the top of the fort.

Absolutley amazing duck at Clube de Fado


More Pictures!

Loved this use of a vine in Monsaraz

View from the Castle of Monsaraz

Huge barrel at Borba. Holds the "Cork Label" wine we barrel tasted!

Me in front of old bottles of wine. They save one from each export batch with all details of the export.

More exported bottles.

Tasting Enoforum's olive oils.

View from the jail.

Castle in Alandroal