New York City sommelier and restaurateur Paul Grieco set out some time ago to bring Riesling to the attention of more consumers in the United States. Grieco’s efforts, along with various other wine bars and retailers that came along, led to the Summer of Riesling (previously highlighted here by David White) – a campaign to showcase its flexibility and quality at all ages, sweetness levels and versatility with a wide range of cuisines.
Riesling’s not just a wine for the summer though, as perfect as it may seem for a blazing July day with relatively low alcohol, often gentle or moderate sweetness and bright, refreshing acidity.
A powerful, layered dry wine such as a Brand Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht, or a Hochrain Smaragd from Franz Hirtzberger can be sensational in winter with a warm, braised dish. So can a mature, smoky and savory Auslese or Spätlese from a great Mosel or Rheingau producer with choucroute or other hearty winter fare.
Perhaps with this in mind, another celebration of Riesling has been scheduled in New York, this time during the chilly winter: Rieslingfeier.
Sponsored by various importers and retailers of Riesling (among others), Rieslingfeier is a series of dinners and tastings across the weekend of February 15th and 16th that aims to showcase the grape in Germany as a reminder why the greatest German Rieslings should stand beside Bordeaux, Burgundy or Piedmont’s finest reds as some of the most thrilling, complex and age-worthy wines in the world. Full program here.
With this in mind, there’ll be some more focus on this great grape in the next couple of weeks, leading up to Rieslingfeier. And those in New York City, or nearby, should keep time on their calendar on Feb 16th for the Rieslingcrawl – a series of free/open to the public tastings across various Riesling-championing retailers across the city, with the chance to meet various winemakers such as Klaus-Peter Keller and Florian Lauer.