My friend Penny is a sweet wine drinker. I prefer dry wines. Today's weekend wine recommendation is one that I can’t wait to introduce Penny to. I think it’s a bottle we can share, and I enjoy the experience of sharing a bottle with a friend.

Jekel Vineyards Riesling is a medium-dry Riesling with plenty of fruit flavors like peach, green apple and lemon along with a bit of sweetness, but not as much as many other Rieslings I’ve had. This wine has a strong but not overwhelming taste, and it would go really well with spicy foods. The Jekel 2012 Riesling is a bottle I’d definitely drink again.

I learned something while reading up on this wine that’s made from 100 percent Riesling in Monterey, California. The International Riesling Foundation has created a taste profile scale “to help consumers predict the taste in a particular bottle of Riesling.” Not all makers of Rieslings use the scale on their bottles, but Jekel does. I appreciate it since Rieslings can be anywhere from dry to sweet. I’ll definitely be looking for this scale on the back of bottles of Rieslings from now on.

One thing I’ve been learning over the past year or so as I’ve tasted many bottles of wine is that I have to stop saying, “I don’t like Pinot Noir or Riesling” or whatever variety I’ve decided that I don’t like as a whole. I have limited my choices that way and probably missed out on some wonderful wines. Now I’m trying everything and deciding bottle by bottle.

Jekel Vineyards was recently approved as a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA). They went through a rigorous self-assessment process, adopted CCSW best practices, and received a third-party review. In addition, Jekel’s wines are made in a CCSW-Certified winery.

 “By embracing certifiable sustainability practices,” Jekel winemaker Charlie Gilmore says, “we can ensure that Jekel remains a vital part of the landscape for decades to come. We are honored to have our vineyard CCSW-certified and we look forward to implementing even more methods to keep our operations environmentally sound, conservation-focused and socially equitable.”

Jekel Vineyards 2012 Riesling has a suggested retail price of $15.99 but is often found at a discount. Jekel also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Wine, beer and spirits disclaimer: I am not paid by any producer of wine, beer or spirits to write about their product, although the company may provide me with a sample of the product. I am not a professional reviewer of wine, beer or spirits. I'll write about the product if it's something that I like and if I think the producer is working toward making the product in an environmentally friendlier fashion.

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