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Wine 101: Riesling

Riesling is one of the great white grapes. It produces wines that vary dramatically by region, but they share a great many admirable traits. Riesling is often highly fragrant, very delicious and totally food-friendly.

German Rieslings balance impressive acidity with apple and citrus fruit flavors, and range from dry and refreshing to sweet and unctuous. Alsace and Austrian Rieslings are higher in alcohol, which makes them more full-bodied, but they are quite dry, full of mineral notes.

Australia’s Rieslings (the best are from the Clare Valley) are zippy and full of lime and other citrus flavors. Those from Washington State tend to split the difference, offering juicy, appley fruit and lively acidity, with a hint of sweetness. Rieslings are extraordinarily versatile with food.

In general, pair lighter, crisper Rieslings with delicate (or raw) fish; more substantial Rieslings are good with Asian food, chicken, salmon and tuna.

Tart, Citrusy Riesling

Sesame Chicken Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

Top Bottles

  • Annie’s Lane (Australia)
  • Mr. Riggs (Australia)

Recipe Pairings

Vivid, Lightly Sweet Riesling

Cider-Braised Ham with Apple-Onion Compote

Top Bottles

  • Dr. Loosen Dr. L (Germany)
  • S. A. Prüm Essence (Germany)
  • Covey Run (Washington State)

Recipe Pairings

Full-bodied, Minerally Riesling

Olive Oil-Poached Salmon with Fresh Horseradish

Top Bottles

  • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbés (France)
  • Weingut Bründlmayer (Austria)

Recipe Pairings

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