RKS Wine: Postcards from The Edge: Greetings from Riesling Rehab Part 1: God Bless the Okanagan Valley Liberation Front!

Where did my vicious downward spiral begin with Ontario Riesling? As a loyal soldier in the German Riesling Badder Than Meinhof gang all was humming well particularly my missions in the Pfalz warm weather Riesling area of our dear Deutschland where my comrades and I waved our revolutionary flags and gobbled pig knuckles and munched on the crispy buggers hoping in vain the good citizens of the capitalist West Germany decadent state would join our revolutionary brothers in East Germany. Oh the joys of Pfalz Riesling full of wet slate and apricots! Alas the Berlin Wall fell and I was assigned to Toronto Ontario as a mole in the Canadian German Friendship League.

Then a bad bolt of lightning struck me. My cover was to act as a wine writer a position of great power and wealth in Canada where fame and fortune were guaranteed. One fateful night I was assigned the role of a moderator in the great Canadian German Riesling showdown otherwise known as the “Judgement of Beamsville”. 20 Rieslings from the fatherland against 20 Rieslings from Niagara. Independent judges, at least those we didn’t encourage friendship with by offering free trips to Dresden, preferred Ontario Rieslings to those from the fatherland. Shaissa! It was then that a bad case of Post Traumatic Riesling Disorder descended with a vengeance. Awful flashes of judges raising Ontario Riesling to their snouts and actually smiling. My mind could not wrap around the fact that Ontario grapefruit juice was superior to the Rieslings of our fatherland. I had difficulty sleeping realizing the only chance for my sanity was to advocate sussreserve to make Ontario Rieslings up to snuff with German Rieslings! This suggestion earned me a tidal wave of abuse by Canadian wine writers who said I knew nothing about wine. How insulting considering my Doctorate in Wine was from the Karl Marx University in Dresden. Germany has been making wines for hundreds of years but Canada more or less just got off the bus.

So with all these flashbacks of sour tasting wine being lapped up to critical acclaim the Liquor Discontrol Board of Canada had me committed to a Riesling Re-Education camp in Wa Wa Ontario. I was forced to drink five different Ontario Rieslings a day and join a circle of disenchanted Ontario Riesling drinkers and chant how great Ontario Riesling was over and over until I felt like Frank Sinatra in the “Manchurian Candidate”. Upon retiring for the night loudspeakers blared the indisputable greatness of Ontario Riesling. But some commandos from the Okanagan rescued me. God Bless the Okanagan Valley Liberation Front which offered me my freedom!

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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