Ten Reasons To Love Riesling

July celebrates the 31 days of German Riesling campaign from Wines of Germany, so we ask the question, why does everybody love Riesling wine so much?

Below we explore a few reasons why it is universally popular.

  1. Germany continues to reign supreme in the world of Riesling growing 60% of the world’s crop, however the rest of the world is quickly catching up. Australia comes in a clear second with 12%, with our own clos Clare’s Watervale Riesling 2016 (part of the Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines) standing out from the
    Vineyard with Riesling grapes on Mosel river in Germany.

    crowd in our portfolio.


  1. Contrary to popular belief, two thirds of German Riesling made is dry and has incredible acidity levels. Riesling also has universally low alcohol content.


  1. Riesling grows best in rocky, steep terrain where the vines can get a great deal of sun, such as in the Rhine or Alsace.


  1. Riesling’s roots date as far back as 1435, when a German count bought six Riesling vines – making it the first documented varietal sale.


  1. Riesling is a brilliant test of terroir. Due to its light body and low alcohol they rarely come into contact with oak which means, when you get a good Riesling, you know the winemaker has planted them on the best soils.


  1. Riesling can be the base for amazing dessert wines. A high level of Tartaric acid in Riesling grapes allows the wines, no matter the sweetness, to have a wonderful fresh acidity.

  1. Riesling pairs very well with spicy foods – its low serving temperature and crisp finish makes it the perfect wine for Thai, Indian or Chinese foods. When serving Riesling with meat, choose white meats, such as chicken, turkey or seafood, such as crab or shrimp.


  1. Riesling has a unique acidity, minerality, and fruit flavour with aromas of wet stones, smoke or even petroleum (a highly prized note in aged Riesling). The chemical compound for this petrol characteristic is ‘1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene’ – aka TDN.


  1. Riesling grapes can be used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling makes excellent dessert wines and is typically thought of as a sweeter white wine. But that there are many “dry Rieslings” that are in fact very crisp and food-friendly, similar in body and style to a light, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc.


  1. Riesling has some of longest life expectancies for wine due to its low pH (high acidity). The high sugar levels also increase the longevity of this wine. In Bremen, Germany – they have Riesling back to 1653!
They say it takes 30 days to acquire a habit…  #31DaysofGermanRiesling

Jon Harris’ Top Picks From The Mediterranean Roadshow

On the fourth and final leg of Hallgarten’s Mediterranean Roadshow we welcomed guests to the 29 Glasgow , where they were treated to a range of 95 wines to taste.

The tasting featured the unique flavours of many indigenous varietals from countries on the Med’s shores – the South of France, the Maremma, Southern Italy and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily including wines from the more marginal Mount Etna.

From the more exotic and adventurous Eastern Mediterranean, we will showcase wines from Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Lebanon, countries which have emerged on to the UK wine scene over the last decade.

Jon Harris, Sales Director – Scotland, picks out his Top 3 wines from the day…


Château Ksara, Blanc de Blancs 2016 Blanc de Blancs, Château Ksara, Bekaa Valley 2016


“Perfect for summer, fresh and bright with a surprisingly rich finish”


San Marzano, ‘Tramari’ Primitivo Rosé Salento 2016 'Tramari' Primitivo Rosé Salento IGP, San Marzano, Puglia 2016


“As with everything these guys do, exceptional, looks great, tastes even better. Defines the term “Brosé” – a rosé wine acceptable for men to drink in public!”


Colomba Bianca, Kore Nero d Avola 2016Nero d'Avola 'Kore' , Colomba Bianca, Sicilia DOC 2016


“Excellent example and perfect for BBQ season. Big, bold and spicy but not over extracted.”

A Gourmet Evening at Chapter One

Chapter One is what fine dining is all about. Exceptional food in a stylish setting. An extensive list of carefully chosen wines. Impeccable service with meticulous attention to detail. Outstanding value for money.

The Chapter One team also hold three exclusive Gourmet Evenings each year, with each course being specially matched with a particular wine.

Hallgarten’s Adrian Needham was on hand to guide the guests through each wine…

Hot and Cold Canapés

 Bernard Remy, Brut Carte Blanche NV

‘Lively and intense with a delicate and persistent mousse, refreshing notes of lime and lemon combine with floral nuances, honey and a touch of mint on the palate.’

Customer’s verdict: “Perfect start.”

Pea Bavarois With Mint, Pea Shoots & Mint Oil

Vina Ventolera, Litoral Sauvignon Blanc 2016

‘Fresh and bright, brimming with lime, guava, and passionfruit flavours. A touch of freshly cut green peppers and gooseberry lead to the full flavoured palate, which is well balanced and wonderfully vibrant.’

Customer’s verdict: “Heavenly!”

Baked San Marzano Tomato Tart With Cornish Cock Crab & Basil

Kayra Wines, Beyaz Kalecik Karasi 2015 

‘Pale pink in colour, with delightful notes of citrus, orange flower, pink grapefruit and ripe red fruits. The palate echoes the nose with wild strawberry and raspberry dominant and a lively, crisp finish.’

Customer’s verdict: “Very pleasantly surprisedby a Turkish Rosé!”

Ricotta Agnolotti Girolle Mushrooms, Broad Beans & Belper Knolle Cheese

Ca’Rugate, Valpolicella DOC Rio Alba 2016

‘Concentrated aromas of red fruits, ripe blackberry and deep cherry flavours, with floral notes and a hint of spice, supple on the palate with a velvety texture.’

Customer’s verdict: “widely appreciated for it’s quality and lightness”

Josper Grilled Rib-Eye Of Australian Beef, Sautéed Spinach, Australian Truffle Potato Purée, Roasted Roscoff Onion & Bordelaise Sauce

Perez Cruz, Carmenere Limited Edition 2015 

‘A spicy wine with vibrant notes of blackberry, blackcurrant and a hint of mocha. Elegant and complex on the palate with supple tannins and a savoury finish.’


Customer’s verdict: “Massive hit! Perfectly paired with the Rib-Eye and truffle.”

Scorched Apricot With Almond Ice Cream & Almond Brittle


Kentish Strawberries With Elderflower And White Chocolate Creameaux & Strawberry Sorbet

 San Silvestro, Moscato d’Asti DOCG NV 

‘Made from the Moscato grape, this sparkling wine is fresh, fragrant and delicately sweet with a fine mousse.’


Customer’s verdict: “Very impressive and surprised by just how well this finished the evening!

What to serve with your strawberries at Wimbledon

The quintessential pairing of strawberries and cream is traditionally served alongside Champagne, but what are the alternatives? Here we look at the other strawberry based dishes that could be served up over Wimbledon and what is best to serve with them.


Strawberries and cream

Although it is traditional to serve Champagne on Murray Mound or Henman Hill with strawberries, a sparkling wine with a bit of residual sugar will be equally delicious, such as the San Silvestro, Moscato d’Asti DOCG NV which has 88g residual sugar. This sparkling wine is fresh, fragrant and delicately sweet with a fine mousse.


Unsweetened strawberries or served plain with a little sugar

Perfectly ripe berries, especially wild strawberries can be delicious with an off-dry sparkling wine such as Carpene Malvolti, 1868 Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene NV which is lively, with a crisp acidity and 16g residual sugar.


Strawberry tarts or shortcakes

The additional sweetness you get from the pastry or shortbread means your wine needs to be that bit sweeter. We’d pair either of these desserts with Berton Vineyard, Botrytis Semillon 2015 with its luscious, honeyed flavours of peach and apricot.


If you’re not a fan of strawberries, you can still embrace Wimbledon’s Britishness with Bacchus and serve a glass of New Hall, Bacchus Reserve 2016, from Purleigh in Essex. New Hall’s vineyards benefit from a very special microclimate and Purleigh is one of the warmest and sunniest spots in the country (unlike centre court).


WOTM: Weingut Johann Donabaum, Johann Grüner Veltliner Federspiel, Wachau 2015

In a nutshell:

A fabulous, restrained wine with apple and lime characters combined with white pepper and spicy minerality.

The Producer:

After only a few years, Johann is carving out a formidable reputation for concentrated, mineral laden white wines. His wines are always in high demand. The production from his five hectares of hillside vineyard in the Spitzer Valley is miniscule, but despite this his prices remain really competitive.

The Wine:

100% of the fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, with a minimal use of sulphur, in order to create a wine which ultimately expresses the terroir. A natural slight CO2 remained in the wine to lift and freshen the palate. ‘Federspiel’ denotes that the wine has been made in the classic style, fresh and mineral, with a maximum of four grams of residual sugar.

The Tasting Note:

A fabulous, restrained wine with apple and lime characters combined with white pepper, cardamom and spicy minerality. Balanced and refreshing.