Riesling has long been a stalwart for anyone frantically searching a wine list to pick a bottle that would pair well with everyone’s dinner. Riesling is hard to beat when you need a versatile food-friendly wine that can be easily found in styles ranging from sweet to bone-dry. In the past this varietal has labored under the misconception that the lower-quality sweet offerings that filled store shelves was the best this grape had to offer. This
view of Riesling has begun to change as world-class Riesling are being added to restaurant wine lists, websites and store shelves worldwide.
Riesling is a cool climate grape that has excels in rocky soils, like the ones found in the Rhine Valley and Mosel Region of Germany and the Alsace region of Northern France for centuries. Wine makers in the Columbia Valley of Washington, the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York have found great success with their Riesling vineyards. All three regions produce very good Riesling, each with its own special personality that is sure to please any wine lovers palate.
You could make a strong case that Riesling with its many incarnations is the most food-friendly of all wines, either red or white. It is the safe choice when following the rules for white wine by pairing it with seafood, chicken and salads. My favorite twist is to pair a sweet Riesling with spicy Mexican, Chinese or Thai cuisine. The extra sweetness cuts through the heat to give balance to your meal.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Dry: Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2016. (From a legendary FLX winery that received a Robert Parker Wine Advocate 90pt rating)
Off-Dry: Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling (A trendy favorite with a Wine Spectator 89pts)
Sweet: Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Riesling 2016 (Wine Spectator 87 pts and a bargain at $10.00 or less)
Seven Springs Mountain Resort will be hosting the Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyards Wine Dinner in their Slopeside restaurant at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday March 20th, 2013. This dinner will feature a wine pairing for each course from the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. I have posted the menu for your convenience. Reservations can be made by calling 800-452-2223 ext.6000. Seven Springs Mountain Resort is at 777 Waterwheel Dr. Seven Springs, Pa 15622.
The 14 Hands Vineyard in Paterson, Washington produces one of the best blended red wines made in the United States. This red was once only available to restaurants in selected markets but now can be found in wide distribution due to overwhelming demand. Hot to Trot is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvgion, Mourverde and Petite Verdot grapes harvested from vineyards in several of Washington’s AVA regions including Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope and the Yakima Valley. It is made using techniques that are usually reserved for more expensive wines, these include cold soaking, performing a daily pump-over to extract color and flavor followed by aging in both French and American oak barrels. This extra care produces a medium body red wine with flavors of very lightly oaked red berries and dark fruit with a hint of vanilla giving way to refined supple tannins followed by a pleasant lingering spice and mocha finish. Reds from WashingtonState can be pricey but this blend always delivers a well crafted wine at a great price and its ability to pair flawlessly with a range of food makes it very difficult to beat. 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend can be found at P.L.C.B. stores for $12.99 with the product code 5213. I suggest using the in store product locator on the website www.finewineandgoodspirits.com to check for availability of this wine because of demand.