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Any restaurant looking to book Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Bob Bertheau for an event should make sure Eroica Riesling is on the menu. “Whenever I do wine dinners – and I’ve done hundreds – my slogan is ‘I’m not doing a wine dinner unless Eroica is at the dinner,’ ” Bertheau says.
Last week marked the first anniversary of the official worldwide observance of March 13 as the birthday for riesling, the noble grape of Germany that’s such an important chapter in the biography of the Northwest wine industry.
Riesling, the noble grape of Germany, might be the quintessential Pacific Northwest wine. It is crafted in a broad range of styles, from bone dry to sweet nectar, and the resulting wines pair deliciously well with Northwest cuisine, particularly seafood and Asian-influenced dishes.
As we march toward Thanksgiving, it’s time to start gathering wines for the big feast. One bottle you should consider making room for is riesling. The reasons are many. Germany’s noble white grape is versatile and offers crowd-pleasing flavors. Many of examples come loaded with the acidity that will help it pair well with everything on your table. Washington and Oregon both do riesling particularly well, so it’s a good hometown choice.
Washington has long had a reputation for crafting world-class riesling, with the first plantings as early as 1880, pre-dating statehood. Today, riesling remains a force in Washington, being the No. 4 grape, trailing cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay in total tonnage harvested.
Rocket Market owner Alan Shepherd sings the praises of his favorite varietal
Let me state my case for making Washington riesling your summer sipping wine: It's painfully cheap. It's bursting with a fruit salad of flavor. It's a great companion for the grilled chicken and salmon of summer barbecues. And - did I mention? - it's dirt cheap. I recently picked up a bottle of Paul Thomas riesling for $3.39. Most releases ring in at about $4. You can buy some of the best riesling in the state for under $6.