Why Spring Time is Riesling Time
Let’s be honest – any time is the right time for a Riesling. There are many types of wines in the marketplace today, and it can be difficult to choose just one that is ideal for Spring wine. Many wine lovers claim, however, that if there is one wine that is considered to be the best for Spring, it has to be Riesling. While in the early days, most consumers believed that Riesling was just a sweet wine, the reality is that this wine is available as an elegant bone-dry wine as well as a delicately sweet wine, but, in all cases, its distinctive trademark charge of acidity is always present.
Riesling is native to Germany, where the grape is grown in the Moselle and Rhine Valleys. But today, Riesling is grown all over the world, especially in locations that have a cool climate, such as Washington state, Austria. New Zealand, Canada, and even the cooler areas of Australia. Rieslings to try can be enjoyed at a young age or at a more mature age. For those who prefer a more distinct acidity, the aged Riesling might be the best fit.
FINDING RIESLINGS TO TRY
Rieslings are popular wines and you really don’t need a reason, or even a specific season, to try each and every one. Each can pair well with a variety of foods or you can just drink Spring wine alone. It is arguably the most diverse wine among white grapes. A dry Riesling pairs nicely with white meats, cold cuts, fish, or pork, while Riesling “J” does great justice to more flavorful foods, such as Mexican or Chinese cuisine. Sweet Riesling works well with spicy Caribbean or Thai foods. Dessert Rieslings go wonderfully with fruit salads, desserts, or blue cheeses.
The Taste of Riesling
The taste of Riesling depends on where it is produced. The original German Riesling from Moselle Valley contains exquisite notes of blossom and green apples. The Riesling from the Rhine region has a rich, fruity, and earthy flavor, while the Australian Clare Valley tends to have delicate lime notes. The Rieslings from Washington State have delicate flavors that include hints of peach, citrus, lime, orange, apricot, and a mild tinge of spice. As Riesling ages, it tends to develop nutty flavors with notes of honey.
How Should Riesling Be Served?
In general, Riesling does not need to be decanted. Great for any season, this Spring wine should be first chilled by placing it in the refrigerator for an hour prior to serving. Remove it approximately 15-20 minutes before serving. After pouring everyone’s first glass, place the wine bottle in a bucket of ice to maintain the chill. The best temperature for serving Riesling is about 55F (13C). The sweet or aged Riesling can be served slightly warmer at about 60F (16C). Overchilling is not recommended as it will prevent the wine from fully releasing its bouquet.
Pairing Riesling with Food
Rieslings are very versatile wines that can be paired with many foods. In general, Riesling pairs well with foods that contain citrus notes (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit), kaffir lime, or lemon grass. Some food and Rieslings to try include choices that pair well with Asian, Indian, and Thai cuisines.
- If you are consuming a dry Riesling, it will match well with most seafood, fish, and white meat dishes, including chicken.
- A semi-dry Riesling, which is a little less acidic, tends to pair well with fruity dishes or lightly spiced foods. Think light Indian and Thai curries, pork, white meat, sauerkraut, lamb, etc.
- A sweet Riesling will pair well with all types of desserts, fruity tarts, pies, cheeses, and charcuterie.
A terrific place to start for Spring wine is with a Riesling. There are Rieslings to try for every occasion or event, or, better yet, no occasion. Just cozy up with a good book and your favorite Riesling wine.
If you are looking to try some new Rieslings, then visit our Shop Page and read about all of our options!