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What, Where, & How to Pair

 

 

Define the Wine

 

Riesling is a highly acidic, aromatic, and floral white grape variety used to make all kinds of wine. Dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines, you name it. It is a very versatile fruit and is rarely oaked, leaving it more crisp than silky (like you might expect from an oaky Chardonnay). 

 

Riesling (and its characteristics) are highly influenced by its place of origin, even more so than other wines. Fancy pants wine people call this "terroir expressive." I call it biology. I mean, aren't we all products of our hometowns in some respect?

 

Grapeography: 

 

Riesling originated in the Germany's Rhine region, and in the past decade or so has been the most grown variety in Germany (nearly 21%) as well as in France (nearly 22%). It's also widely found in Austria, Croatia, northern Italy, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, and China, and is most commonly grown in colder regions and locations.

 

 

Plays Well With Others

 

One thing to keep in mind is that there are many variations in flavors and aromas of Rieslings. Just to name a few: Spatlese (off-dry), Auslese (pairs well with rich flavors and textures, like avocado, or goat cheese), and Eiswein (ice wine). Rieslings can be sweet or dry and a number of places in between. For this reason, Rieslings pair well with a wide range of food depending on the type of Riesling you choose and its place of origin. Its acidity lends itself well to pairing with hearty sauces, big meats, and also lighter fare as well. 

 

Also, because of its sweetness and acidity, Riesling pairs amazingly well with spicy food, especially Asian fare. My recommendation? Spicy Pad Thai or Drunken Noodles and a bottle of a crisp, dry Riesling. Perfection.


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