One of the sayings I’ve never really understood is don’t judge a book by its cover. While I get that there’s a definite metaphorical component to this saying, when I think about it literally, I judge books by their covers all the time. I’ll look at a mystery and think, yep, that’s a book I could read. I do the same thing with cookbooks. To extend the saying just a bit more, I also judge wines by their labels all the time.
So I’ve decided to write the occasional post I’m calling Judging a Wine by Its Label. This will feature wines I bought entirely because of their labels. I’ll share the good and the bad, along with tasting and pairing notes. First up is Lucky Neko Riesling.
So some context here. Ever since we moved to Oregon back in 2009, I’ve bought most of my wine from Grocery Outlet. This is the quirkiest little chain grocery store here in the PNW that sells a variety of sometimes past their prime groceries, and sometimes some really amazing stuff. The absolute highlight of this store for me is their consistently awesome, but very random, wine selection. I can easily pick up a really good $4 – $5 wine here. These tend to be wines I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Last week, I found Lucky Neko Riesling. Never heard of it before. I was a little suspicious that it would be gimmicky – overly sweet and not very good. But the label! This bottle is label swoon worthy – it’s so weird, it’s just perfect.
Lucky Neko Riesling is a 2014 German Riesling from Rheinhessen. The notes on the bottle state that this Riesling is “crisp, fresh, and elegant with citrus aromas.” It’s fruity and slightly sweet with a long, clean finish. My tasting notes are pretty similar – this is definitely a fruity, crisp wine. I picked up on notes of pineapple, apple, and a bit of caramel. The wine is very clean, with a slightly sweet finish. It’s also a little effervescent and has a slight mineral quality. Basically, it’s my idea of a great white wine.
I would pair this in a heartbeat with dungeness crab or a chicken salad. I’d also pair with a Manchego cheese. That said, I did drink this with lasagna and that worked out pretty well, too.
I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this wine again next week, though it’s as likely as anything that it won’t be there. If it is, I’ll be picking up a few bottles. The wine definitely lived up to its label.