When riesling’s bad, she’s horrid, but when she’s good, she’s incomparable. The grape is also a true chameleon, able to excel in a variety of styles depending on the winemaker’s preference. What all solid rieslings share, regardless of sugar content, is firm acidity and brilliant fruit expression. These three dry examples are guaranteed to be perfect seafood complements.
Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, 2014
Sourcing fruit from Seneca Lake, and with the longest track record of riesling excellence in the region, Hermann J. Wiemer fashions a wine that shows just a touch of discernible sugar to soften the edginess of its lively acids. Winemaker Fred Merwarth shapes the abundant notes of lime, peach and Granny Smith apple into a medium-bodied wine. It is naturally suited for milder curries or salads featuring fruit and chicken or pork.
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling, Alsace, 2013
From the family estate of French master of wine Olivier Humbrecht, who may well be the finest producer of white wine not only in Alsace but in the world, the grapes for this wine are cultivated biodynamically on limestone soils. The wine’s aromas are classic, redolent of tangerine, apple, lemon and green herbs. Ripe and minerally on the palate, the fruit is beautifully balanced by razor-sharp acids and an echo of citrus rind on the finish. It’s ideal with raw shellfish.
$32, Marty’s Fine Wines, Newton
Ravines Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, 2013
If you’ve visited the Finger Lakes region, you know the climate can be harsh and forbidding. Planting vines near the moderating influence of the lake shores is critical. This riesling, made by one of the region’s budding stars, Morton Hallgren, has pinpoint acidity and mineral expression, but with a floral, apple blossom-like aroma. It has great intensity with crisp tart fruit to complement its distinctly chalky
character. This bone-dry riesling tastes delicious with cold seafood salads.
$18, The Wine & Cheese Cask, Somerville
Sandy Block is a master of wine and the vice president of beverage operations for Legal Sea Foods.