Much has been written in the wine press about the greatness of Riesling. According to many wine writers and Masters of Wine it’s the greatest white grape of all. So why then has it not been embraced so warmly by the Australian consumer when it’s a perfect fit for our climate and food?
Fitting wine with food or occasion can become a really overthought and laboured subject. This is where Riesling comes in. Think about the take away food you buy – Thai, Chinese, Pizza, Sushi, Vietnamese, BBQ chicken, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian, Greek and any others you might mention. Riesling in some shape or form will work with any of these meals, even entirely different dishes from the same place.
So why will Riesling do the job on just about anything you throw at it? Firstly the acidity adds freshness and makes your mouth water – perfect when you’re about to eat. Secondly, no oak to overpower more delicate dishes. Thirdly, the varying levels of sweetness – from bone dry to super sweet make it the most versatile grape around.
And another thing that makes Riesling so suitable to Australian drinkers is our climate. Who doesn’t enjoy a long lunch or BBQ in bloody hot weather? There’s no better wine for such a (frequent) occasion than a lovely, crisp, cool dry Riesling or a Kabinett from Germany with an alcohol level of 9%. White wines with high acidity are great session wines to sip, drink or gulp, without tiring of the flavours and textures. There are other wines that will do this such as Hunter Valley Semillon, Muscadet, Chablis and Pinot Grigio, all favourites. But Riesling will please more people and match with a greater variety of dishes than any other.