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Which Are Your Favorite Riesling-Based Culinary Pairings?


Riesling Food Pairing

You have a beautiful, delicious bottle of Riesling, and now you’re ready to enjoy it. You may be asking yourself, though, what food goes best with Riesling? The good news is that there are a wide variety of foods perfect for eating while you enjoy a bottle of high-quality Riesling wine! Here, we discuss Riesling food pairing, and how to determine whether sweet Riesling or dry Riesling is best for your intended meal.

All About Riesling

Originating from the Rhine region in Germany, Riesling is an aromatic white grape considered one of the top three white grape varieties, alongside Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. You can find Riesling at different sweetness levels, which include dry, semi-sweet, sweet, sparkling, and late harvest. The semi-sweet style is the most famous Riesling, boasting a fresh acidity and hints of sweetness, with notes of citrus, beeswax, and jasmine. When you’re pairing Riesling with food, you’ll need to consider the sweetness: dry Riesling food pairing will be different than pairing food with sweet Riesling.

Food Pairing With Riesling

Riesling is versatile, and its high acidity and hint of sweetness allow it to pair well with many different types of food. When choosing food to pair with Riesling, consider the defining characteristics of this wine. Because of its very high acidity, Riesling can be paired with fatty and/or acidic food, and it’s good with salty foods. Because it’s aromatic, it can be paired with flavorful dishes. Finally, because of its hint of sweetness, Riesling can be paired with a sweet or spicy food, making it a good choice for Asian and Mexican dishes.

Riesling With Spicy Dishes

Spicy food may be the very best type of dish to pair with Riesling. This makes it a bit unusual, and many wines don’t pair well with spicy dishes. Riesling, along with other slightly sweet white wines, go well with flavorful and spicy dishes, which opens up a wide variety of cuisines. Served cold, Riesling tempers the heat in the food because it is sweet and has low alcohol content.

Cheese and Riesling

What’s more delicious than wine and cheese? Riesling is a wonderful wine to accompany many cheeses, including Munster, Morbier, Raclette, Taleggio, and Livarot. These cheeses are strong and pungent, with a semi-soft texture, and their strong flavors are perfectly balanced by the sweetness and acidity of Riesling. For light, salty cheeses like Feta and Mozzarella, or soft, creamy cheese like Brie, a dry Riesling is the best choice. Semi-dry Rieslings go with semi-hard, medium-aged cheeses like asiago, Colby, fontina, Monterey Jack, and Swiss. Sweet Rieslings go well with salty cheeses like gorgonzola, parmesan, or gouda, and significantly sweet Riesling goes well with strong blue cheeses like Stilton and Roquefort.

Riesling With Fish and Seafood

An off-dry Riesling is an excellent option for heavy, flavorful fish dishes, like fish curry, grilled fish, and oysters with hot sauce. Dry Riesling pairs well with lighter fish dishes and seafood. It is also a good option for sashimi and sushi, because the high acidity melts away the raw fish fats, and the fruit and flower notes bring out the oceanic flavors.

Riesling and Vegetarian food

It can be challenging to find the right wine for vegetarian dishes, but Riesling offers many delicious pairings. An off-dry Riesling is lovely with Indian vegetarian and vegan dishes, for instance. For salads and vegetables, opt for a dry Riesling.

Pasta and Riesling

Is Riesling a good choice to pair with pasta? Absolutely! If you’re having pasta with tomato sauce, a Riesling is perfect, because the sauce will be acidic and slightly sweet. However, be cautious about drinking Riesling with overly heavy sauces, as they can overshadow its delicate flavors.

Desserts and Riesling

No matter what dessert is on your menu, it will pair well with late harvest Riesling. In fact, any sweet Riesling is a wonderful choice for a dessert wine. The rule of thumb for dessert pairings is that the wine must be as sweet as the dessert or even sweeter. Since Riesling is a sweet wine, it’s easy to pair it with just about any dessert. Light desserts like lemon meringue pie and other fruity desserts go well with off-dry Riesling.

Find Your Favorite Riesling at Aurora Cellars

Maybe you’re reading this guide, but you haven’t found your perfect Riesling yet. If that’s the case, we have a treat for you: James Suckling-approved, best-in-class Riesling from Aurora Cellars. This sibling-owned-and-operated vineyard is on a unique and exciting property in the heart of the Leelanau peninsula, where compact clay soil and rolling hills provide the perfect place to grow and produce world-class wines in a spectacular setting. Visit us to enjoy a premier wine tasting experience, whether you prefer a flight of wines or wine by the glass. In addition to world-class Riesling, we offer an assortment of award winning sparkling, white, and red wines, as well as Michigan-grown heirloom apple cider. Whether you want to come for a wine tasting tour or you’re looking for an outstanding venue for a wedding, party, or corporate event, Aurora Cellars is the place to be.  Contact us through our website for general information or reach out for availability and pricing.