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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, April 20 2017

Top Ten: Riesling

By: Anthony Gismondi & Treve Ring
Steely dry to lusciously sweet

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.

Written By:
Anthony Gismondi & Treve Ring
Anthony Gismondi & Treve Ring

Every week Treve Ring and Anthony Gismondi collaborate on our Top Ten list, released on Thursday morning, often with a timely theme. If you count carefully the list will more than likely exceed ten names but only because we believe if any wine is tied by a score that makes our list it should be included. We know many of you are wine savvy and can do your own sleuthing to locate our weekly picks but for those who asked: BCLS means it is sold in government retail stores; when we say private wine shops we mean it could be in any private wine shop or liquor retail store (LRS); winery direct means check with the winery online. If it’s not sold in BC we usually try and give you a suggested retail price. Prices change hourly in BC – the price we post is what we are given at publication.