Wine Pairing: Riesling


Riesling is one of my wife’s and sister;s favorite wine.  I have to say that it is a nice change of pace from the heavier red wines that I enjoy as well.

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Riesling is made from a white grape with the same name.  It originates in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are never oaked so they have a natural flavor with nothing added to it. Riesling is on the rise and right now is the 20th most grown grape around the world.

There is a difference between the northern versions and the southern versions.  The Northern Version tend to be lighter and fruitier where the southern version of the Riesling will be a bit bigger in flavor and fuller in nature.  Non-European versions of the Riesling will provide a more fruitier aspect to the wine.

Depending on the style, Northern or Southern, you could get a wide range of foods.  The Northern style wines go better with ham and veal, leaner meat, and also some shellfish that are not to rich in nature.  The Southern style wines, will incorporate the rich shellfish like lobster and will also pair well with chicken and poultry dishes that are not too complex.

This wine is generally not used with red meats, or heavier dishes.  Also, the cream sauces is usually a no go as well.  Depending on the level of sweetness of the Riesling, some of these Riesling’s could be designated as dessert wines only.  There are five levels of sweetness.  Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese.

The first two will go well with the meal portion of you night, but the Last two are really designed for dessert only due to the sweetness.  The Auslese is in the middle and could go either way, but it does have some sweetness to it that it will be able to be considered a dessert wine as well.  Your taste and dinner comes into play with this level of sweetness.