Riesling Food Pairing: Options Galore

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Bowl of spicy asian chicken over rice with 3 spice bowls around it.

Riesling is one of the most versatile wines to pair with food. Its high acidity makes for easy food pairings. And because it’s produced in a range of sweet to dry, this opens up a variety of paring possibilities.

When pairing food and wine, think about how you describe the wine and how you describe the meal. If you use similar descriptions, then it will likely pair together well. To take it further, consider the meal preparations and seasonings for the dish. This can make or break the pairing.

We’ll break down the pairing for Riesling into two layers. The first layer is the Meal Base or the protein for the meal. The second layer considers food preparation, seasonings, and sides.

Riesling Taste Characteristics

Before we dive into the food pairings for Riesling, it’s important to understand the taste characteristics of this wine. It will help guide you to the best food pairings.

Riesling is a light bodied wine with high acidity. It has notes of citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit and pear along with stone fruit notes of peach and apricot. It’s produced in a range of dry to sweet.

Light preparations and seasonings pair best with a light bodied wine. At the same time an off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling pairs nicely with hot spicy dishes because the sweetness counteracts the heat in the dish. This high acid wine pairs easily with high acid foods like tomatoes or ingredients like lemon or vinegar. Consider pairing a Riesling with a salad dressed with vinaigrette.

A sweet Riesling is also the perfect go-to when pairing with desserts. The rule of thumb is that the wine should be sweeter than the dessert in order for the pairing to work.

Riesling Food Pairing Matches

Layer 1: Meal Base