Many wine drinkers stop sipping and pairing white wine with meals about the time the weather cools and they stop wearing white pants. That’s not the case in our house. We sip white wine all year long which means we’re enjoying them with meals year round as well.
So, what wine is as easy to sip on its own while preparing a meal as it is to enjoy with a meal regardless of the season? I have to nominate Riesling. We recently received two Rieslings from Mosel producer Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof as tasting samples that prompted us to pair them with a variety of dishes. We found both to be delicious on their own and very versatile food partners. Our experience left us wondering why we don’t drink more Riesling.
Nik Weis is the third generation of his family to lead the winery established by his grandfather, Nicolaus in 1947. The winery was originally named St. Urbans-Hof after the patron saint of winemaking, Saint Urban, and now also carries Nik Weis’ name as well.
Six estate vineyards total 111 acres and are located above the Mosel and Saar Rivers. The oldest Riesling vines are 115 years old and are planted in soil types that include blue, grey and red slate.
2019 Nik Weis Urban Riesling, Mosel — pale yellow in the glass with aromas of stone fruit and crushed gravel. Flavors of white peach, ripe pear and hints of pineapple combine with stony minerality and are supported by lively acidity. The wine tastes and finishes off-dry with a tart component and lingering juicy acidity. 10% abv. SRP $13.99
Riesling is sourced from neighboring village of Mehring where Riesling is planted in blue-slate soil. This affordable Riesling is easy sipping with medium complexity and enough acidity to balance the off-dry finish.
On a 90-degree day this is exactly what I’d want to be sipping as I sat in the shade on our patio. It’s bright, refreshing and flavorful. This time of year this Riesling is what I want to sip as I cook and then enjoy a glass with bean soup or stuffed delicata squash. I’m partial to white wines with soup.
2018 Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Kabinett, Mosel — pale yellow in the glass with generous aromas of ripe peaches and apricots with notes of pineapple. Flavors are generous with yellow peach, ripe pineapple and pear. Hints of kerosene blend with stony minerality and juicy, lingering acidity. Flavors are complex with a bit of roundness and an off-dry finish with plenty of acidity to balance the sweetness. 9% abv. SRP $19.99
There is a noticeable increase in complexity with this Riesling and a bit more roundness as well.
Riesling is sourced from an estate vineyard planted in 1905 in the village of Wiltingen in the Saar Valley. The red-slate soils are rich in iron. These old vines produce grapes with thick skins, which accounts for the wine’s complex aromas. Fermentation proceeded with native yeast adding even more complexity.
Honestly, what won’t pair well with this wine pair? For a fancy but easy pairing try sautéed scallops and zucchini noodles. You will love the savory-sweet flavors of the scallops and buttery zucchini noodles with the Riesling. For a less fancy, but stellar, pairing try pear and gorgonzola pizza. The flavors and sweetness of the pears balanced with the bite of the gorgonzola are absolutely fabulous with this Riesling. If you want a German-inspired pairing consider sausages with sauerkraut, bacon and apples. This pairing will put you in the fall mood.
Truth be told, I’m the white wine drinker in our house. Peter is more inclined to reach for a red wine than I am, but it was Peter who remarked, as if surprised, how delicious both Rieslings were and how well they paired with food. You know that put a smile on my face.