Flower Power

Indulge Your Senses With Aromatic Riesling  
BY KATHY CASTEEL

Pour a bouquet into your wineglass with Riesling. The pleasures of this fragrant white wine will take your senses on a stroll through the garden with its floral aromatics and fruitful flavors.

Riesling is one of the “noble grape” varieties. The versatile fruit produces a wide variety of wine styles — from very sweet dessert wines to dry brut — but the most recognizable is the sweet style produced in Germany’s Rhine Valley. Riesling thrives in the well-drained soil of cool-climate areas such as Germany and France. In the United States, Washington has built a reputation for delicate Rieslings with floral aromas and fruity flavors.

Here are some good Rieslings to serve whenever you want your spring table to blossom.
Bloom
The name says it all. A vibrant floral aroma leads to a taste of crisp, fruity flavors and a hint of sweetness. This offering from Precept Wine is a medium-sweet Riesling from grapes grown in Walla Walla, Wash. Enjoy the fragrance of honeysuckle and the taste of peaches brightened with crisp acidity. Serve it chilled to accompany light salads, barbecued chicken and spicy Asian cuisine.

Bloom Riesling comes recommended as a “best buy” from Wine Enthusiast, The Wine Buzz and USA Today.
Pacific Rim White Flowers Sweet Sparkling Riesling
Another Washington Riesling, Pacific Rim’s sparkler comes from the Columbia Valley. The pale gold wine has floral and apricot aromas, followed by vivid flavors of lemon pie, jasmine and honey. The clean finish is refreshing.

Served well chilled, it goes solo as an excellent patio cocktail, but it also pairs well with food. Try it with spicy Thai dishes or fruit desserts.
Snap Dragon Riesling
From California’s Mendocino and Paso Robles appellations comes a sweet and food-friendly Riesling. This delicious blend carries floral aromatics on the nose with a fruit flavor reminiscent of juicy white summer peaches. The underlying citrus notes give it a crispness that offsets the sweet. A splash of Gewürztraminer (10 percent) adds a spicy twist and intensifies the lush fragrance. Serve chilled with lemon chicken, spring salads or any dish with fiery spice.

Wine Enthusiast named Snap Dragon Riesling to its Best Buy and Top Value lists.

Riesling ages very well — up to 100 years or more. The cellar of the Bremen, Germany, town hall has some barrels of Riesling that date back to the 1653 vintage.

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