Wine: What's inside

By Brittany Kress Gibson
From the August 8, 2013 edition

It's what's inside that counts. Right?

No — actually, the outside of a wine bottle is what suckers us in. And so, we thought we'd bring nothing but our gift of sight (and all the judgment that comes with it) to the wine-shopping experience and, every so often, pick a pretty or otherwise interesting bottle and share what we find inside.

The first, Frisk Prickly Riesling ($12 at Sher Bliss), is tall and slender, with a label that looks like it could be the sign outside a Short North boutique. The little bird logo also appears on top of the twist-off cap.

And that cap, when twisted, gives off a burst of air that backs up the "Prickly Riesling" name. This is a sweet-but-effervescent wine: spritzer-like, with a bit of a green apple or pear flavor undercutting the sweetness.

Despite being a mostly dry wine drinker myself (as is, even more so, my drinking companion) that carbonation made the bottle immediately inviting. How could I forget how good a little bit of bubbly is? And to have it on a weekday, in wine form and for $12 a bottle, no less? Pour me another glass, please.

Serve it with appetizers like bruschetta or some delicious cheese and crackers — or just have it solo after dinner and you'll be even happier.

The verdict? Behind this trendy bottle label is a sweet and spirited little number.