Wine of the Week: Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling

Kung Fu Girl riesling is truly a wine without borders.|

International cuisine – from Asian to Middle Eastern to Mexican – requires a savvy wine that has pairing prowess, a world citizen of sorts.

Our wine-of-the-week winner – the Kung Fu Girl, 2016 Columbia Valley riesling – is definitely a wine without borders.

The riesling, priced at $12, marries well with food across the board because it has impeccable balance; it has great minerality and crisp acidity coupled with notes of white peach, apricot and lime.

This is a smart pick whether your feast focuses on foods from afar or celebrates traditional dishes.

“Lively acidity cuts through everything from roast turkey and acorn squash to creamy mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, providing a refreshing finish and kick- ass complexity along the way,” explained the unabashed vintner Charles Smith.

The founder and winemaker of Wines of Substance in Washington State is something of a global citizen himself. Smith, 56, spent the ’90s traveling throughout Europe managing rock bands, including the famed Danish duo, The Raveonettes. Wining and dining while on the road became a catalyst, and in 1999 he moved back to the United States, opening a wine shop on Bainbridge Island, just across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle.

“On a road trip in late 1999, I passed through the small town of Walla Walla and met a young Frenchman and winemaker named Charles Bieler and we later collaborated on an award-winning line of wines, Charles & Charles,” Smith said. “I was eventually convinced to move to Walla Walla and make my own juice. What started as selling wine out of the back of my Astro van has grown to become the largest independent winery in Washington state.

Smith has had no formal training as a winemaker, but he said he has 35 years of work experience, and he continues to reel in accolades. Wine & Spirits was one of the first to recognize his efforts in 2008 naming his winery one of the best in 10 years.

The well-traveled vintner said he’s a great fit to produce riesling.

“I have a profound love of the grape and a personal history spending time in the regions where those wines are produced, such as Germany and Austria.

What’s more, Smith likes the surprise in riesling.

“People think that all riesling is sweet, but that is just not the case,” he said. “Riesling is also one of the noble varietals and one of the most diverse and compelling wines in the world.”

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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