Wine of the Week

From bone-dry to honey-sweet, Rieslings create complex marriages of flavor

Riesling Everywhere, but How To Choose?

Two items struck me this week. First, a nice bottle of dry to just barely sweet Riesling would have paired perfectly with most of the Indian restaurants we read about in last week's paper. Second, that same Riesling would also match up impeccably with Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, with the exception of Champagne, no wine is more food-friendly. Of course, what makes Riesling so accommodating is the fact that it is a stylistic chameleon. You can buy everything from bone-dry to a version that would challenge honey for sweetness. The fragrance can also range from fruity to something close to the aroma of diesel fuel. Because of the breadth of choices, some wine lovers just throw their hands up and walk away from this delightful grape. Instead, you should seek some guidance. Riesling is one of the best arguments I can make for finding a wine salesperson you trust and letting them guide you.

But, just in case you need a bit of help to make your own start, here are a few wines that are distinctive and delicious. One of the U.S.'s best bargains is Chateau Ste. Michelle's Columbia Valley Riesling ($9), a simple but balanced wine with big apple aromas. A step up the price ladder, Handley Cellars Mendocino County Riesling ($18) is dependably among the five best in the U.S. for under $25. For a little bit more, you can buy from one of Germany's great wine producers, Joh. Jos. Prüm. The aroma of their Riesling Kabinett ($23) is a complex marriage of green apples and spring flowers. If you want something really special for your holiday meal, consider a bottle of Prager Riesling Steinriegl Federspiel ($35). This Austrian wine carries that whiff of petroleum that would marry nicely with a Jalapeño Apple Crisp Pie from RO's Outpost Bar-B-Que. And for those who can swing the freight and find a rare bottle, Trimbach's Clos Sainte Hune (available locally from $170-$233) is a glimpse of heaven. Many a Master Sommelier will say it ranks with the greatest wines on earth.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Wine of the Week
Wine of the Week
Superb Spanish Wines at Bargain Prices
Superb Spanish wines at bargain prices: Bodegas Franco-Españolas reds

Wes Marshall, Oct. 18, 2013

Wine of the Week
Wine of the Week
Homefront Red: grapes for a good cause

Wes Marshall, Sept. 20, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Riesling, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Handley Cellars, Joh. Jos. Prum, Prager, Trimbach

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle