Top riesling food pairings
Riesling - it's a cracking versatile drop that pairs well with most foods, but here's seven pairings where it really excels.
Riesling’s light body makes it a natural match for seafood, especially barbecued prawns. You don't want something too heavy overpowering that delicate protein, after all. And the lightness of the wine means it won't fill you up too fast, leaving plenty of room for more prawns (and more wine, of course). Plus there's that hint of sweetness in even a dry riesling that just ties everything together, complementing the slight sweetness of the prawns perfectly.
Thai green curry
We’ll start with the pairing that lays claim to being riesling’s greatest hit - dry or off-dry riesling and Thai green curry. If you’ve had it, you’ll know - and if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. It’s going to sound overhyped, but it’s one of those first-tried-never-forgotten things. Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Probably - but don’t let this be a recommendation that you park for a rainy day. Carpe diem, carpe thai green curry and riesling. The lemongrass, coconut-creaminess and green chilli heat of the curry is already an explosion of taste that makes you sit up, but when you add the bright floral and citrus, green apple or even stone fruits of riesling you’re on another level.
Roast pork belly and pickled green mango
This is a great one too - pork being that meat that’s not quite light enough to be considered alongside chicken or turkey, and not quite red-blooded enough to be in the lamb and beef camp either. If in doubt, reach for the riesling, and pairing crispy, succulent pork belly with a pickled green mango salad ticks all the boxes. The slightly sweet-sour green mango salad will be a great match pairing to a dry or off dry riesling, whether it’s on the more citrus end of the spectrum or leaning towards warmer peach or apricot territory. The acidity of a riesling will also really help lighten up the fat of the pork belly, and contribute to that melt-in-the-mouth texture.
We’ve gone more island inspired with this pairing, but riesling is also a great wine to pair generally with Thai, Vietnamese or southern Indian flavours (often clumsily lumped together as “Asian” cuisine). It’s a massive disservice to cram all of these vibrant and regional variations into one umbrella term, so grab your flavour passport and go taste-backpacking; just make sure to pack the riesling.
Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart
A provincial pairing that’s got flavour in spades; caramelised onion and goats cheese with a dry or off dry riesling is a winner for all the right reasons. Fruit sweetness adds a complementary match to the caramelised onion, and a bright point of contrast against the salty and sharp goat’s cheese. It’s your next goat-to try pairing (we had to, sorry).
New England lobster/crayfish/crab rolls
A perfect summer (or anytime) pairing, the sweetness of the lobster/crayfish/crab meat (delete as appropriate depending on how decadent you’re feeling) goes hand-in-claw with a dry or off-dry riesling. Throw in a toasted brioche bun and a creamy New England dressing and you’re all sorted - the acidity of the wine will keep each mouthful indulgent-yet-light.
Pan-fried trout and green apple & avocado salad
Another winning seafood combo, tried and tested by us - a fresh, flaky trout, lightly pan fried, served with an apple and avocado salad. The green apple in the salad will match the bright citrus and green apple flavours of the riesling, and the light body and refreshing acidity won’t overwhelm the fish or the avocado. A light and delicious riesling is perfect for this light and delicious fish dish.
We’ve hidden this at the bottom away from prying eyes - if you’ve got this far, fried chicken is probably what you’ve been looking for. Be honest. The floral aromatics and fruit sweetness of the riesling provides a great counterpoint to the salty, crispy, succulence of the fried chicken. A bucket of deep-fried bird and a bottle of Clare or Eden Valley’s finest and trust us, you’ll be in heaven.