“Müller-Thurgau” isn’t a name that inspires a lot of confidence. It sounds like the last name of a German politician or a fancy dog breed Jane Lynch might train in Best in Show. Hunty doesn’t get a lot of attention because most wine advocates in the United States are still busy hustling Müller-Thurgau’s mamma, Riesling (M-T is the daughter of Riesling and Madeline-Royale, who is definitely a third-tier contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.) I’m here to tell you that not only should you be taking a look at Mrs. Müller-Thurgau, you should be drinking it from Oregon. (Sorry Merkel.)
Most of the German Müller-Thurgaus I’ve tried are perfectly nice, but they are unchallenging, quaffable wines that tick the ‘crisp and refreshing’ box. They’re Sunday brunch with the in-laws: free meal, don’t talk politics, walk away feeling like you’ve done a good deed. For the most exciting expression of the grape you have to look to the Beaver State, which like its expressions of Pinot Gris, takes the grape and brings out its fruity-feisty side. We’re talking full Eevee to Flareon evolution here.
Oregon Müller-Thurgau tastes like orchard angels. Airlie Vineyards’ Müller-Thurgau might as well be called All Pears Go to Heaven. In Oregon, the grape gets a ripeness that is so effing delightful. The wine has such a distinct fruit vibrance that it appears deceptively sweet (dare I say honeysuckle?), where it is actually very dry. The wine has less acidity than Riesling, but don’t think it’s unbalanced – it’s flashy and a little trashy, but it knows how to give you what you want.
It’s also HELLA cheap.