Wine Wednesday: German Riesling | Buzz Blog

Wine Wednesday: German Riesling

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In the autumn, when we’re beginning to feel a slight chill in the air, that’s when I return to Riesling. Not that it doesn’t serve as a perfectly good spring and summer wine – or, all-year-round wine, for that matter – it’s just that Riesling seems to work so well with fall flavors and dishes like grilled brats, choucroute garni, schnitzel, späetzle and the like.

Indeed, Riesling is so versatile and food-friendly that, when I once asked the French sommelier at the renown 3-star Michelin Paris restaurant Taillevent what his favorite everyday wine was, he said “Riesling from Germany.” Sacré bleu! 

Let’s dispense of the biggest Riesling myth: that they are sweet wines. Wines made from the Riesling grape can be sweet, but most aren’t. Many are bone-dry (trocken) or “half-dry” (halbtrocken): when you see either of those words on a German Riesling label, you know you’re in dry white wine territory. At the other end of the spectrum are indeed sweeter renditions of Riesling like eiswein and trockenbeerenauslese, but these are in the minority in terms of overall production of Riesling in Germany. 

Selling at a mere $9.99, St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling from the Mosel is a good place to start. It’s rich and concentrated, with pretty peach flavors and racy, citrusy acidity. A third generation German winemaker, Nik Weis produces economical Rieslings that are some of the best bargains around. I really like this one when I’m enjoying rahm schnitzel. 

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