For a better appreciation of the nature and versatility of this wine style, begin with the Germans.
Life is filling in time between meals, and a meal without wine could only be breakfast,” my doctrine and usual sign-off in correspondence. It often sparks facetious replies, predictably involving champagne.
Occasionally, I encounter more compelling responses, such as this from Schloss Johannisberg: “About breakfast, I can only quote former US president Thomas Jefferson on his journey to the Rhine in 1788: `On our way we lodged at Rudesheim at Johannisberg Abbey, and breakfasted the next morning on samples of Johannisberg wine. It is the best made on the Rhine and is incomparable and costs about twice as much as the oldest Hochheimer. The 1775 vintage is the best. What a delicious liquor, sir, it is!”‘