Every once in a while I realise my education in practical Englishness is lacking. A PhD in English history only gets you so far and serious gaps remain that studying early modern pamphlets will never close. Among the things they won't prepare you for in university is sherbet. You may think this is not overly relevant, especially not in the context of German wine - and to be fair so did I (or would have, had I been aware of sherbet). Turns out sherbet actually matters, at least if you are English and for the first time in your life exposed to Nahe Riesling.
Meet the wine that tastes like sherbet.
We Wine Ramblers hold the wines from the Nahe vineyard of Frühlingsplätzchen in high regard. This is of course because the Emrich-Schönleber winery turns out one stunning wine after the other, but it is also because the name. "Frühlingsplätzchen" translates to either "little place of spring" or "little spring biscuit" - what's not to like about that? A little while ago, when spring still had failed to make its entrance in London this made the 2009 Frühlingsplätzchen look like the ideal choice to educate an English friend about Nahe wine. Little did I know that it was mostly yours truly who would be educated.
It all started pretty harmlessly, with a cool, sharp and fresh nose full of citrus and stone fruit aromas and spiced with herbs. Not bad, I thought, and tasted the wine - with much delight: it is sharp, precise, a little tight, has some depth, good fruit and a touch of green vegetable. The acidity is lively and the finish rather nice with a mineral end that makes your gum tingle.
However, before I could write any of that down my drinking companion informed me that "this tastes of sherbet". My immediate reaction was to assume that "sherbet" might be an English plant and could relate to the green flavours I was just thinking about. Turns out that could not be further from the truth. While millions of English mothers would have loved their kids to eat more veg, what the kids actually wanted is sherbet: "Sherbet, kali (Northern English), or keli (Scottish) is a fizzy powder sweet, usually eaten by dipping a lollipop or liquorice, or licking it on a finger." (says Wikipedia)
So now it was my time to be educated and following a little research into sherbet I can now confirm that there was a similar product in Germany when I grew up (Ahoj-Brausepulver), but the technique of dipping a lollipop or liquorice was new to me. Anyway, with its fresh acidity and fruit I can see why the Frühlingsplätzchen might make you think of sherbet, but I know which of the two I would prefer - unless the dip was significantly more exciting than lollipop perhaps. Until then I will stick with cool, precise and fresh Nahe Riesling.