Riesling: A Wine for the Holiday Table

Greetings wine aficionados! As we enter this exciting holiday season, my mind starts to conjure up images of beautiful roasted meats, creamy mashed potatoes, and dear family and friends with whom to share it all. Many of you may feel slightly intimidated when it comes to choosing wine to pair with the wide variety of foods that appear at a holiday meal, but I would like to offer what I hope will be a helpful, and perhaps unexpected, suggestion…Riesling.

In the wine world, Riesling is known as the ultimate food wine. It is vibrant and alive and the bright acidity creates a mouthwatering sensation which leaves you eager for another bite of whatever you find yourself eating. Contrary to popular belief, most Rieslings are not sweet; instead they are quite dry, but with dancing fruit aromas that come spilling out of the glass. Some of the best Rieslings in the world come from the northeastern wine region of France called Alsace. Here we find Rieslings that are created to pair with the hearty foods that are native to the region. Alsatian Riesling is richer in style than say, a German Riesling, which is typically more delicate and austere, and pairs more beautifully with lighter dishes, such as seafood. Alsatian Rieslings are deeper and fuller-bodied allowing them to hold their own with the creamy, robust dishes of the area. For this reason, I feel they pair perfectly with our own traditional cold-weather foods, and add a bit of brightness and refinement to each and every mouthful.

For a truly beautiful Alsatian Riesling that is delicious, easy to find, and reasonably priced, choose any of Trimbach’s most recent vintages. Trimbach is one of the region’s most popular producers and consistently puts forth delightful wines year after year. If you feel like splurging, try Trimbach’s Cuvée Frédéric Emile for added richness, depth of character, and overall deliciousness.

Author// Esther Mullet is a Sommelier and dear friend living in Denver, Colorado.  She previously worked as a Sommelier at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs and is currently employed at Barolo Grill in Denver.