clean wine and glass_white 1

RIESLING is a crisp, clean wine with green apple, pear and lime flavors. The best offer pleasing mineral qualities as well. With age, Riesling takes on honey flavors and attractive oily aromas. Riesling grows well in Germany, the Alsace region of France, the Finger Lakes region of New York, and parts of Australia and Washington State.

Riesling pairs nicely with spicy foods, poultry and pork. Try it with Thai food.

There are three main styles:

Inexpensive young rieslings
Here the flavour of lemon and apple is more obvious than the characteristic lime which makes them a great match for raw and lightly cooked shellfish like prawns, crab and seared squid or light noodle dishes with seafood.

Also try: smoked salmon, fish and chips and light Mexican-style seafood dishes like tacos.

More mature dry rieslings
Like the Peter Lehmann Wigan riesling I wrote about in today’s Guardian which have developed a more intense lime and kerosene flavour (much nicer than it sounds). These can handle a fair bit of spice but are still relatively low in alcohol so won’t overwhelm delicate ingredients such as crab or crayfish. They’re especially good with Vietnamese food.

Also try: milder Thai dishes such as Thai beef salad, raw Asian fish dishes such as sashimi and fish tartares and seared tuna with sesame.

Some people go for creamy sauces with this style of riesling but I’m not convinced. Dairy seems too heavy with this style of wine.

Medium-dry rieslings with a touch of sweetness
These can handle hotter food such as the Sichuan food I cooked for the Chinese New Year this year or the Indonesian rijstaffel I was eating the other day in Amsterdam.

Written by: Fiona Beckett  – www.matchingfoodandwine.com