There's a lot to love about a crisp riesling. Especially when it provides bang for your buck.The variety, which originated in Germany, copped a bit of a reputational beating during the 60s, 70s and 80s due to the avalanche of cheap, sweet versions produced back then. There's a reason people drank it with a glass full of ice.
Ditch those dated "rizza" stereotypes. Bone dry, off dry, sweet, spritzy, aged … it is a versatile variety that pairs well with grilled fish, Korean barbecue, or a chicken tagine with preserved lemons. Winter, oysters and an acidic riesling is also a winning combination.
Give these beauties a whirl. They're available online and deliver flavour, class and character – without breaking the bank.
Rieslingfreak No.12 Flaxman Valley Riesling 2021, Barossa Valley, South Australia, $37
This otherworldly stunner was made using fruit from select rows in vineyards owned by Eden Valley growers Michael Mason and Ben Zander. Aromatically, it is a flurry of lemongrass, delicate Asian spice and white blossoms. Crisp green apple and citrus follows. So delicate, so pure. If it is ever released as a perfume, I'll be first in line.
Drink with Kingfish crudo
Find it at rieslingfreak.com and select restaurants and wine merchants in Melbourne
Living Roots Wine Co Off-Dry Riesling 2019, Finger Lakes, US, $26
Seb and Colleen Hardy are based in the US where they run their Living Roots winery and cellar door in downtown Rochester, New York. There, they make rich whites and sparkling from the nearby Finger Lakes region. This off-dry riesling is the aromatic equivalent of Carmen Miranda's headpiece; tropical fruit up top and a lush, rich palate and mouth-watering acid down below. A holiday in the glass. Goodness knows we all need it.
Drink with A candlelit dinner party
Find it at livingrootswine.com and through Australian wine merchants from July 14
Tomfoolery Cut 'n Run Riesling 2021, Barossa Valley, SA, $25
I'm a big fan of new guard Barossa winemaker Ben "Chippy" Chipman's reds (his cabernet franc and tempranillo are winners) but he also makes a mean Eden Valley riesling. Chipman was mentored by Australian riesling legend Andrew Wigan and it shows. Close your eyes, swirl, and think of Germany. There's lime in the air, razor sharp acid and a whisper of seductive sweet nothings. A steal at this price. Buy one to drink now and hide one away to see how it ages.
Drink with The afternoon sun on your face
Find it at Prince Wine Store (Melbourne), The Old Clare Hotel (Chippendale), The Commodore (McMahons Point), Kepos Street Kitchen (Redfern), Barny's Fine Wines & Ales (Rosebery), D'Vine Cellars (Blue Mountains)