A lot of promotional junk lands on my desk, and just as swiftly lands in the round file under the desk (or goes to feed our giant ovens in the F&W test kitchen, which look somewhat like this). But every once in a while, a random pamphlet or what have you turns up that just impresses the heck out of me. Yes, that's right, the heck. Most recently, it was a little book called Riesling Rules, which is put out by Pacific Rim Riesling, as near as I can tell with the idea in mind that if people are given a Schott's Miscellany-style compendium of Riesling facts, figures and whatnot, then they'll rush out and buy lots of Riesling.

I have no problem with that. I'm all for Riesling. In fact, if a powerful alien force were to inform me that it was about to eradicate all white wine varieties from the earth but one, and I could choose which one got to live, Riesling'd be my baby.

Anyway, the book (it's only 40 pages long) has various nifty factoids such as global Riesling case production (Germany's Nahe region apparently has slightly fewer acres of planted Riesling than California, etc.), that the section of the grapevine inside the xylem and the annual ring is the ray (I approve of this), and that the petrol or diesel scent in some Rieslings is caused by the compound 1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronapthalene, which you'll be mighty relieved to know appears naturally during the aging process, as opposed to being injected into the bottle by sketchy fellows employed by Vladimir Putin, say.

And what the hey, you can get Riesling Rules free. I'm not usually into promoting promotional materials, being an upstanding journalist & full-time skeptic, but in this case I'll make an exception.