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Spring Food and Wine Pairings

Riesling and Light, Spring Food Pairings

Springtime in Chicago is a very uncertain time of the year.  But, one thing you can count on is this list of spring wines and spring foods.  We have compiled four different Riesling wine and food pairings to help you plan your next springtime luncheon.

What to Pair with a Riesling

Dry Riesling and Chinese Chicken Salad
Rieslings are not all sweet. These rich, dry Rieslings pair well with most Chinese food, so to stick with our spring wines and salads, pair a dry Riesling with a Chinese Chicken Salad.

Dry Riesling food pair

Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe.  You will need:

  • 3 ½ boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 head lettuce, torn
  • 4 sliced green onions
  • 4 thinly sliced celery stalks
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 6 ounces crisped Chinese noodles
  • 6 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup peanut oil

Combine chicken, lettuce, green onion, celery and walnuts in a large salad bowl.
Add sesame seeds.  Set aside.
For dressing: In a separate bowl.  Dissolve sugar and salt in vinegar.  Shake well.
Add oil.  Blend well.
Add dressing to salad before serving and toss to coat.

Off-dry Riesling and Spicy Shrimp Salad
Off-dry, or semi-sweet, Rieslings are very universal.  In fact, Riesling is arguably the most versatile of wines because it pairs well with a number of foods.  Try a medium-bodied, aromatic, off-dry (semi-sweet) Riesling with any seafood that has a little kick, such as a Spicy Shrimp Salad.

Off dry Riesling food pair

Spicy Shrimp Salad Recipe.  You will need:

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound cooked and peeled small shrimp
  • 1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers (red, yellow and/or green)
  • 1 cup seeded, thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/8 cup chopped basil
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 cup chopped mint

In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, canola oil, light brown sugar and crushed red pepper.
Add shrimp, bell peppers and cucumber.  Toss.
Add basil, cilantro and mint.  Toss once more to coat.

Sweet Riesling and Peach and Spinach Salad
Sweet Riesling goes well with sweet salads.  Salads topped with fruit slices, or salads of just fruit, are the ticket to enjoying a sweet Riesling to the fullest.  Try pairing it with this Peach and Spinach Salad.

Sweet Riesling food pair

Peach and Spinach Salad Recipe.  You will need:

  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 peeled and sliced peaches
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup poppyseed salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange pecans on a cookie sheet and drizzle with honey before putting in the oven. Roast for 7-10 minutes or until they begin to darken.
Combine peaches, pecans and spinach in a large salad bowl and toss with poppyseed dressing until evenly coated.

Sweetest (Dessert) Riesling and Strawberries and Cream
Typically, the most expensive of wines made from Riesling are dessert wines.  These wines are very citrusy sweet and go well with apricots, pears, peaches, lemons and limes.  Since it is often consumed as dessert on its own, try pairing a glass of dessert Riesling with something simple: Strawberries and Cream.

Sweetest Riesling food pair

Strawberries and Cream Recipe.  You’ll need:

  • 3 cups halved strawberries
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Whip the heavy whipping cream until partially stiff.
Stir in vanilla and sugar until truly stiff.
Alternate spooning layers of strawberries and cream into a serving dish.

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