Cheers July/August 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 30 of 43 31 July/August 2016 • has the 2012 Boxler riesling from Alsace for $85 a bottle and the 2012 5 Boxler "Grand Cru Summerberg" riesling for $170 a bottle. AMERICAN OPTIONS Other regions are emerging as standouts for riesling, such as New York's Finger Lakes. "This region is exciting right now because of a younger generation bringing in worldly infl uences," explains McDonald. "Along with new investment and the knowledge going into it, this region is defi nitely one to watch," he adds. McDonald plans to offer rieslings from Finger Lakes producers including Dr. Konstantin Frank, Hermann J. Wiemer and Ravines Wine Cellars. Majors cites the Finger Lakes' Seneca Lake region in particular, which he says boasts a terrain and climate similar to Germany's Mosel and Ruwer regions. He has the 2014 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry riesling ($14 a bottle) and the 2015 Anthony Road Yellow Dog Vineyard ($40 a bottle) on the list at Stake Chophouse. Oregon, long known for its pinot noir, is now getting into the aromatic white grape game as well. "The riesling coming out of here has just enough sweetness to satisfy [its] reputation, without being too sweet," says McDonald. He carries the 2011 Brooks Ara Riesling ($58 a bottle), and the 2013 Brooks Bois Joli ($50 a bottle.) Norton agrees, saying Oregon is "able to produce rieslings with nearly the same range of styles as Germany and maintain a similar freshness and vibrancy." Plus, their bracing acidity acts as a preservative: The wines can age a long time, which coaxes out secondary and tertiary aromas like stone and petrol. A POWERFUL FOOD PARTNER Riesling has always been viewed by wine professionals as a powerhouse when it comes to pairing with food. "Well-made riesling is always brimming with acidity and usually crystalline in its purity, so it is a perfect accompaniment to myriad dishes," says Jennifer Knowles, wine director for the 50-seat Plume Restaurant at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. "Wines with lower alcohol and some residual sugar calm the heat and bring focus to the other nuances of a [spicy] dish," she points out, while the very dry versions wash away the richness of cuisine with higher salt and fat contents. "As with all wine, you want to either compare or contrast the fl avor," says Griffi n-Hoist. Hard, salty cheese served with a fruit compote or fresh honeycomb will be both foiled and complemented by riesling; ditto for the saltiness in pork dishes. "Old riesling will surprise you and can be enjoyed with charcuterie," she says; it's also amazing with Asian cuisine like Japanese, Chinese or Indian food. "With its wide range of styles and mouthwatering acidity, riesling is arguably one of, if not the most, food friendly wines out there," says Norton. He likes dry styles with buttermilk fried oysters or a seafood tower, any kabinett rieslings for brunch dishes and spätlese with spicy andouille in shrimp and grits. Above all, riesling just might be the perfect wine, says Knowles, even if you are pairing it with nothing more than a patio and some friends. "I think that the fact that riesling is so incredibly versatile and can be made in so many extraordinary styles has just offered more choices than you would see with any other grape." Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer and wine educator in the Washington, D.C. area. "With its wide range of styles and mouthwatering acidity, riesling is arguably one of, if not the most, food-friendly wines out there." — Tony Norton assistant general manager and wine buyer for High Cotton in Charleston, SC. For the 50-seat Plume Restaurant at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C., riesling is a perfect accompaniment to myriad dishes. Downstairs at the wine-centric Soby, operated by Greenville, SC-based Table 301.

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