A riesling top ten is long overdue and no matter how underrepresented it is as a varietal wine on restaurant wine lists, this week we encourage you to bag, bottle and drag a bottle of riesling to your favourite Thai, Chinese, Indian or Pan Asian restaurant and experience how well it accompanies the food.
We are year round fans of riesling at GOW, but for many, their first favourable exposure usually comes when the weather turns gloriously warm, and spring is now well upon us.
The biggest issue surrounding riesling is that it comes with baggage; the image that all riesling resembles the cheap, bastardised, sweet versions that used to be all you could buy in wines shops still remains. Although it has long since been supplanted by chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, riesling has never lost its nobility as a grape, rooting hope for its return to stardom, or at least store shelves and restaurant lists.
There's certainly a time and place for riesling to be sweet and fruity, but there is far more to this fascinating grape. Germany has long been the homeland of this nervous white, but extreme viticulture has revealed countless examples from Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, the United States and beyond.
Call it a revolution, or an evolution, but as more and more varietal wines begin to look alike, riesling is returning to the limelight with its electric personality and uncanny ability to pair well with a variety of multicultural cuisines and flavours that Canadians enjoy daily.
The better news is the once dismal government selection has been overhauled of late, while private wine shops continue to fill the void matching a growing interest from their customers. No matter how you view riesling it is now a bona fide, varietal wine choice in British Columbia. Best yet, local wineries are paying attention to rising consumer interest in riesling and many are beginning to tailor their production style to the drier, crisper, fresher, food-friendly, riveting styles that will lead the revolution / evolution.
Here are some of our recent favourites, from home and abroad.