Saturday, December 8, 2018

Everyday Pairings with German Riesling

It's been awhile since I've had German wines I'm ashamed to say.  Riesling was really my first love from my trips to the upstate NY at the Finger Lakes years ago.  Then I got acquainted with German wines following that and made a couple trips over to Germany as well, but unfortunately it wasn't to the wine regions there.  I was partaking mostly in Oktoberfest activities and visiting some other towns.

Due to the climate in Germany it's best suited for white wines, which is the majority of what it produces, but reds are being produced here as well on a smaller scale.  Your most popular white grape varietals are riesling by far as well as muller thurgau and silvaner.  Today I'm sharing a couple Rieslings and pairings and will be updating this site with more German wines that I have yet to try.

The Land
Germany has 13 different wine regions and the two wines I'm sharing today come from 2 of the most popular wine regions, the Rheinhessen and Mosel.  The first Riesling from Dr. Heyden, comes from the Rheinhessen within the village of Oppenheimer.  This is the largest wine region of the 13 comprised of a variety of hills.  Wines of Germany states these wines are "soft, fragrant, medium-bodied, mild in acidity, pleasant and easy to drink".  The other Riesling from Dr. H. Thanisch hails from the Mosel with some of the steepest vineyards around at about 60-70 degrees.  Imagine the hard work that goes into taking care of the vines and harvesting grapes on slopes like that!    

The Wines
2016 Weingut Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Riesling Kabinett
This winery was founded in 1999 by Dr. Karl Heyden and today is run by his wife and 2 sons, Frank and Harry.   This wine is sourced from 2 of their single vineyards, Kreuz and Herenberg.  Made of 100% riesling this straw colored wine has an nice bouquet of stone fruit and citrus.  Dry, crisp, clean with firm acidity and well balance with fruit.  Kabinett is a level of sweetness indicating an off-dry wine.  ABV 11.5% SRP $13
Dr. Heyden winery
2017 Dr. H. Thanisch Feinherb Riesling
This winery's history goes back 350 years.  They are located in the prestigious Mosel valley named after the Mosel River that flows through the land and for over 150 miles.  The winery owns about 40 acres of land and exclusively produces riesling on their steep slopes.  They believe in purity and expression of their terroir and also practice sustainability by not using herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers in the vineyards.  The 2017 Riesling is more of their entry level wine at an affordable price.  Straw colored with florals and lemon on the nose.  A light bodied, delicate wine with refreshing acidity.  This wine weighed heavier on the citrus than the previous where the stone fruit showed more.  ABV 11% SRP $14
slate soil for riesling
Slate soils of Dr. Thanisch
Dr. H. Thanisch winery German Riesling
The Pairing
I played around with a few pairings with these wines.  I played the easy route on a Friday night where we did chinese takeout, which is always such a great pairing.  
chinese food pairing with riesling
I also prepared a cream shrimp topped haddock dish, but this dish didn't work out as well.  It strangely overrode the sauce and made the fish taste more fishy. 
cream of shimp topped haddock
The surprising pairing that worked out really well is what I call my slow cooker Tex Mex chicken.  Being a working mom with 2 little ones  I do what I have to do to feed my family, which typically will involve one crockpot meal a week.   I prepared it with a side of spanish rice.  The sweetness in the wine complimented the spice in the dish and integrated together quite well.
Tex Mex Chicken wine pairing
 


*All wines were provided as samples, but as always opinions are my own.  Winery pictures copyright of WineSellers LTD.