A few years ago I tried to buy a case of wine, anonymously – not that hard, frankly, when your name is as ubiquitous as mine – from Yapp. The plan was to give a rough brief over the phone and see what they came up with. I spoke to someone, they made some suggestions, I handed over my card details. Within five minutes I had a call back from Jason Yapp. “I hear you’ve been ordering wine.” I was momentarily silenced. How did he know it was me? He paused, then, drily, “The phrase ‘garden wines’ rather gave it away.”
Well, this riesling is the consummate garden wine. And what do I mean by that? I mean that on a hot, blue-skied Sunday like this it’s a bottle that it would be a sheer pleasure to open in the afternoon or early evening and sip as you meander through the garden dead-heading the roses. Or as you meander through the garden with a salt shaker annihilating slugs. Or as you meander through the garden picking up brightly coloured plastic toys. Whatever.
Pure and girlish, Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett 2010 Mosel, Germany (Majestic, £8.99 down from £9.99 when you buy two) has the typical, light-stepped lift of riesling from Germany’s Mosel. It tastes of sweet dessert apples, with a lick of lime curd on the finish. It spangles. And it’s a bit sherbetty, in a good way. At 8.5%abv it’s also low in alcohol. It’s not dry – and I know that for those not already committed to the riesling cause not-dryness can be an issue – but on a hot day I always find a little sweetness quite welcome, particularly if it’s yoked to a brisk, cleansing surge of lemon-lime citrus, that, as in this wine, makes it refreshing, like homemade lemonade. If you’re wondering what to have for dinner then sesame noodles or Asian salad with a sweet-sour dressing incorporating lime juice, nam pla and perhaps a little palm sugar would be lovely.