Another underrated wine is the Riesling, often overlooked, mistreated, and certainly disrespected. But as I have widened my wine palate, Riesling seems to have garnered greater appeal. Or maybe the Rieslings are better now?
There is a lingering perception of inexpensive German wines that has “tainted” our minds and palates over the years. Its spiritual home is the Rhine and Mosel regions, two of Europe’s great wine rivers.
From the Reverse Wine Snob: Riesling, often seen as the wine connoisseur’s white, is a rather amazing variety that can range from sweet to dry, from simple to complex and from young to age-worthy. It offers a fascinating (and delicious) look into just how different the same variety can be expressed in different areas with different winemaking techniques. And while many of these wines can be quite expensive, in our list of the best Riesling we’ve highlighted some very affordable and delicious picks under $20.
Originally from Germany, where it still prospers, excellent examples are also found in nearby Alsace and Austria. Not nearly as widely grown as grapes like Cabernet and Chardonnay, the variety needs the right conditions to really prosper. Outside of the aforementioned regions, we’ve also found remarkably good Riesling in Australia and New Zealand. Closer to home both Washington state and the Finger Lakes region of NY state produce some of the best domestic Rieslings.
Most wine people agree the best Rieslings come from Germany (Alsace), and Australia (Eden and Clare Valleys).
For me, the style I prefer is on the drier or less sweet side. But fortunately for all of us, there are many in between. But most people prefer the “leaner” tasting Rieslings. The best temperature for Riesling is 43 degrees F. And best of all, most Rieslings are under $20. Sparkling wines are also made from Rieslings.
Pairings are always based on personal preference, but here are a few suggestions. Cheese choices would be the soft cheeses, and less aromatic. Spicy foods, including the hotter curries, like Thai and Indian cuisine would work well too. The perfect pairing in Wine Folly is a spicy duck leg and a Riesling. Dried fruit and freshly grilled vegetables are also excellent. Meats would be duck, pork, bacon, chicken, fish, and crab. I picture a nice Crab Louie with my Riesling.
Here are a few recommendations from the Reverse Wine Snob:
Emma Reichart Dry Riesling (I want to try this!)
Loosen Dr. L Riesling
I have tried several Rieslings, from Washington, California, and Germany. Whether sweet or dry, they all seem to have a rather tart finish.
I am still looking for the perfect Riesling. Let me know if you find one!