kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Dry and delish

Although many people equate "Riesling" with "sweet", Rieslings come in styles which run the gamut from bone dry to super sweet dessert wines. What all of them have in common, though, is good acidity to balance any sugar present in the wine (Riesling is a grape which retains its acidity, so as the grapes ripen on the vine and sugar levels increase, acidity levels still stay high, unlike many other grapes whose acidity drops off as sugar levels get higher.)

I really enjoy all Rieslings, and those with a hint of residual sugar go really well with spicy Asian food (the sugar counters the heat in hot Indian and Thai curries and other spicy dishes.)

Chateau St. Michelle has been a great American producer of Rieslings for years now. Their Columbia Valley Riesling is off-dry, with just a touch of sugar, along with peach and apple flavors. Their Eroica offering, a collaboration of CSM and Dr. Loosen winery from the Mosel region, is gorgeous, with minerals, rich fruit and great acidity.

For those of you who like Riesling's fruitiness and acidity, but prefer dry wines, try CSM's Columbia Valley Dry Riesling. More along the style of a dry Austrian riesling, the wine is full of beautiful apricot, mandarin orange and apple flavors, along with a bit of minerals. It is full of flavor but finishes dry. Try it all by itself, with a cheese and fruit plate, or with Asian food.