Taste and Learn: Alsatian Riesling

I think one of the reasons I like starting my Wine World studies with Germany is because it’s my backwards way of gearing up for one of my favorite French wine regions, Alsace. The two regions have much in common—one of them being Riesling. That’s why I thought, if I’m going to deep-dive into the stylistic difference’s of Germany’s most recognized wine grape, I’m absolutely going to compare how the expression(s) differ from it’s neighboring French region, where the variety wear’s the “noble grape” crown.

Alsace, France; Fernando Beteta

To explore those differences between the wines, we must (of course) explore what makes Alsace a unique wine region.


Taste and Learn: German Riesling

I don’t know why, but I found that, during my WSET Level 3 studies, starting with Germany was really helpful. Maybe because the regions are completely foreign to me; the wines not regularly available in my area. Perhaps, embarking on a whole new adventure was the way to jump in. And, now, studying for my Diploma, I find the country calling to me again.

When I first started posting about my studies, I began with an exploration of major German regions via the country’s most popular grape. The kind of “dry” tasting notes, if you will, gave me a good idea of what kind of climate and terroir each individual region has. (See German Riesling: Location Matters) But Diploma studies are so much more detailed.

Indeed, this exploration, though it follows the same path, is going to dive a bit deeper and, for fun and educational purposes, I want to actually experience a few of the wines myself to see if I can actually taste what I’m reading about. Hence, “Taste and Learn.”

Germany Wine Region Overview; Fernando Beteta
Germany Wine Region Overview; Fernando Beteta


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 29—September 4

Hello my people and happy weekend. I’ve been a bit silent on the posts lately, studying feverishly for those WSET exams. Not to worry, I’ll have some fresh (educational content) lined up for you this next week.

Good news from the Sonoma home front is that fire containment continues to improve, with the larger Wallbridge Fire currently at 88% containment as of 7 a.m. this morning (Friday), according to SoCo Emergency. For those in the Ag sector, please take a look at CAWG’s list of resources detailing safety and training measures during fire season.

There’s a lot going on locally, nationally, and abroad. So, scroll through, catch up on some news, get some independent insight from the Blogs. And of course, as always, I’ve hidden one or two fun and/or amusing tidbits amongst it all.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 22—August 28

Hello and happy weekend. I hope this post finds everyone safe and healthy and hopefully happy. Lots going on here in wine country—fires continue to rage on, but despite the smoke in the air bars, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms are still attempting to serve people outdoors, per COVID rules. And in the midst of it all, earlier ripening varieties are ready for harvest, while later ripening varieties are being tested for potential smoke taint. Oi. Wine Spectator does a great job rounding up all these issues and more (such as labor shortages and the danger to our fieldworkers in the midst of our smokey-COVID environment).

In Sonoma, the Wine Industry Reckons with Wildfires and the Pandemic
WINE ENTHUSIAST: In Sonoma, the Wine Industry Reckons with Wildfires and the Pandemic READ MORE… The Walbridge Fire as seen from Santa Rosa, Sonoma County / Alamy

Over in the blog-o-sphere, Jason Haas of Tablas Creek talks about why wineries and tasting rooms—and their guests—should expect intermittent closures for the foreseeable future. (Just be prepared.) Monty Waldin speaks to the injustices to vineyard farmworkers around the world. And Eater gives us more info on why we won’t be seeing any James Beard awards awarded for at least another year.

Of course, you know me, I always like to share some happy news as well. Like this story from Eater about a Taco Truck feeding undocumented workers. And, I know this isn’t really wine-related, but I can’t help but include news about recent research showcasing the benefits to painting faces on cow’s butts. (Just read the article.)

As always, there’s tons more—so scroll through, catch up on stuff, have some fun. And don’t be shy…drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing and what else you’d like to see on my site. Cheers.



Tablas Creek Newest Releases: 2019 Picpoul Blanc, Picardan, and Bourboulenc

This is part deux in a two-part series featuring Tablas Creek Vineyards new (Summer 2020) releases. If you didn’t get a chance to read the winery’s background story and reviews of their red wines, hop over to Tablas Creek Newest Releases: 2018 Counoise, Grenache, and Mourvédre.

Sadie in Green Vineyard
Sadie in Green Vineyard

Did you know: Tablas Creek Vineyard is certified both organic and biodynamic? I think it’s a testament to the integrity of both certifications that they don’t flaunt these facts. Indeed, many folks I speak to who are familiar with the name and wines don’t realize these amazing efforts. Fun Fact: In February of 2019, Tablas Creek began taking part part in a pilot program of yet another, new farming practice called Regenerative Organic.


Welcome to Briscoe Bites! Join 12,000 other subscribers: Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts.

You have successfully subscribed to BriscoeBites.com

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Briscoe Bites will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.