“At the beginning of the 19C Riesling wines were among the most expensive in the world” and frequently graced the tables of monarchs and emperors alongside highly valued wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy.*
They were knocked from this prominence as politics and world wars took center stage but thanks to some ambitious German winemakers, a “Riesling Renaissance” in the late 90 helped restore prestige and Germany is still considered the home of Riesling today. There is even an International Riesling day celebrated on 13th March for the simple reason that one of the first authenticated documents, which mentions the Riesling vine, was found on an invoice from a winery in Rüsselsheim in Germany to the Count of Katzenelnbogen dated 13th March 1435.
Spring and Riesling
We bring this to your attention as spring is taking hold. Thick winter coats are being pushed to the back of cupboards and we start seeking fresher foods. Asparagus, spinach, artichokes and wild garlic are coming into season and while Grüner Veltliner is a smash hit to pair with these flavours (we maybe a bit biased) Riesling is a worthy contender!
Similar to Pinot Blanc the character and flavour of Riesling varies enormously depending on the site it is planted, the climate and the time it is picked. The result is a range of flavours from fresh apple and lime to fuller bodied floral, honey and sweet. The naturally high acidity of the Riesling grape also means they age very well.
At Hoepler we produce a crisp, aromatic, mineral style of Riesling, which suits lighter dishes, finger foods, spicy canapés, fish and it pairs well with the saltiness of feta. The balance of acidity and sweetness in the wine also means it can pair well with pasta and rice dishes, which use tomato or coconut in the sauce.
So once again – ‘cheers’ to this wonderful grape. Keep exploring and do let us know how it goes