Sweet—But Not Sickly
Is there more to life than bone dry wines?
Ironstone Obsession Symphony 2012 $18
Oh, how my mother loves Caymus’ groundbreaking Conundrum. An early adopter, she stuck with the wine as it crept up in price over the years—it now hovers at around $25 a bottle—and she, admirably, she was undeterred when fashion moved towards drier wines in the last decade. And I feel more consumers are coming around to Mom’s view: not on Conundrum, which these days is unlikely to elicit and respectful nod from most sommeliers, but on being comfortable moving away from the sea of Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Gris towards a wine that has a touch more residual sugar and is frankly, sweeter. They often have less alcohol than their dry brethren and they definitely pair better with spicy foods. And there’s a growing number of choices for people who want to move towards sweet but not dive right into the confected mess that is most moscatos. If you want to relive the first Clinton administration there’s still always Conundrum (sorry Mom) but for less money you can get any number of white blends that walk the line between light and floral and candied and heavy. But there’s only one that’s made from the Symphony grape. Yes, that’s right there’s a grape called Symphony and I know this because I looked it up about 5 minutes ago. It’s a hybrid from California that crosses Muscat of Alexandria (by far the most Game of Thrones of all the white grapes) and grenache gris and the result is a wine that Mom would love—waves of floral notes, fresh apricots rolled in honey and dipped into crushed peanut brittle. Sweet? Yes, sir. Sickly, not at all. And I can confidently say it’s the single greatest Symphony I’ve ever had.