Pairing Riesling with Food
Riesling is a wonderfully versatile and food-friendly grape. A Riesling can carry you through the whole meal, and you can move from a drier Kabinett to a lusciously sweet Eiswein as you go, if you're so inclined!
German Rieslings are a famously good accompaniment for spicier Chinese or Thai food, but I'm going to show you that the food and wine pairing options for Riesling are much more varied than you might think.
Serve a lighter Riesling, like a Kabinett with low residual sugar, with smoked salmon crostini.
In fact, drier Rieslings are a great match for fish dishes in general, especially sushi.
For vegetarians, the food match for a light, zesty Riesling could be a goats cheese salad. Don't worry, the wine will even pair well with vinegar dressings.
First, if spice isn't your thing, think about goose or pork with a dry Riesling. The lifted acidity in a Mosel trocken Riesling will cut through these fattier meats, keep your palate fresh and your appetite whetted!
Then for spicier mains, off-dry Riesling is your friend. I suggest you consider the following: the hotter the dish, the sweeter the wine. Alcohol and spice are hard to match, as alcohol increases the heat of the spice, while spice makes the alcohol seem hotter, too. The residual sugar in off-dry Rieslings rounds out spice; the sweeter styles of German Riesling are also fermented to lower ABVs, which complements spicy food too.
Riesling with dessert? You won't regret it.
Pair sweet Riesling, like a low-ABV Auslese, with a traditional German apple cake, like Versunkener Apfelkuchen. Riesling has the wonderful ability to retain its acidity even as it gets really ripe. That acidity keeps your palate fresh as you enjoy a sugary pudding and stops any residual sugar in the wine from seeming cloying.
Panna Cotta is another delicious match, as is cheese.
Trockenbeerenauslese Rieslings are so sweet and flavoursome, you could enjoy a thimbleful to cap off your meal.