To say that I had low expectations when I ordered a Riesling from Idaho during the DC food blogger happy hour at Vinoteca last night would be quite an understatement. But the 2008 Sawtooth Riesling came with a high recommendation from Jenny from Eating with Pleasure so I decided to give it chance. And I’m sure glad I did.
The saying is “you learn something new every day” right? Well, I learned that there’s more to Idaho than potatoes! The Northwestern state produces a decent Riesling! Apparently, Idaho has a long wine producing history, with the first vineyards there being planted here in the 1860s. The prohibition essentially wiped out their wine industry and when it resurrected in the 1970s, Idaho began producing cool climate white varietals like Riesling, Ice Wine, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. The majority of the state’s wineries are located in the Snake River Valley, west of Boise, and that’s exactly where the Riesling I tried last night was from. Sawtooth Winery is Idaho State’s second largest winery and it produces several European wine varietals, including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The fresh, off dry Riesling, which features hints of pear and peaches, is available for $8 ($5 during happy hour between 5-7pm) by the glass and $32 by the bottle at Vinoteca. Try it next time you’re out there, you might learn that you like it too!