31 Pairings of German Riesling

Pair your white wine perfectly all summer long

31 Pairings of German Riesling

Go visit one of the restaurants participating in the 31 Days of German Riesling this July to try German Riesling by the glass. Now everyone can enjoy a perfectly paired meal with these suggestions. 

Boulevard Restaurant, San Francisco

Boulevard Restaurant’s pan roasted quail is a rich, complex dish that includes quail sausage, honey and Lambrusco roasted Bing cherries, root vegetables roasted with pancetta, chicken dumplings, and gribenes. A Trocken Riesling hits the right notes because its mineral notes and hints of ripe fruit tones down the bitterness of the cabbage and turnips and marries with salty pancetta. The wine’s acidity is a foil to the meats and keeps the cherries from making the dish too sweet. 

Bourbon Steak, San Francisco

Foie gras with a dessert wine is a classic pairing and Eiswein’s naturally intense honey flavors are the yin to foie gras’ yang and complement the yogurt’s rhubarb, strawberry, and pepper flavors. The earthy meatiness of the silky, luxuriant foie and the wine’s acidity make this feel like a dish fit for a king.

Bright Les Clos, San Francisco

Elaine N., Yelp

Canoe-cut bone marrow topped with caviar is a decadent, meaty dish that also has strong salty, fish flavors, so a Trocken Riesling is the right wine pairing. The crisp zip of acidity hits back at the unctuous marrow like a prizefighter and the ripe grapes tone down the salty caviar.

Café Majestic, San Francisco

Butter Chicken is a classic Indian dish loaded with butter, lemon, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and cooked in tomatoes. A bright Kabinett Riesling with this dish will balance the spice of the dish and revive and clean your palate.

Commonwealth, San Francisco

Elaine N., Yelp

The pungent, briny, creamy green flavors of sea urchin, horseradish tofu, garden herbs, fresh wasabi, and asparagus velouté need a Trocken Kabinett because it is light and fresh and can counteract the heat of the horseradish and wasabi without drowning out the delicate flavors of the urchin. A heavier, sweeter wine would make the sea urchin taste too fishy and not be as refreshing.

Ella Dining Room and Bar, San Francisco

Any time you see chilies in a dish you know “it’s packing heat” so go for a ripe, complex Spätlese. It can handle the corn and saffron with crispy chili-lime hominy, and smoked pimenton oil. The fruit whacks the funk of the saffron and the spice out of the peppers while acidity keeps the sweetness of the corn from taking over the dish.

Farallon, San Francisco

Blue Hills Bleu sheep’s milk cheese is a firm, tangy, creamy, rich, aged cheese that pairs well with a honey sweet Trockenbeerenauslese. The sugar in the wine tames the fungal nature of the cheese while the acidity keeps the cheese from being too fatty—it’s the perfect ending to any meal.

Island Prime, San Francisco

What do you pair with a licorice-infused dish of steamed local mussels with tomato, roasted fennel, melted leeks, and Pernod? A light, ripe, fruity Kabinett. It keeps the sweet mussels from being too sweet, stands up to the licorice flavors, and offers crisp citrus notes to satisfy your thirst.


Le Colonial SF, San Francisco

Elaine N., Yelp

Vietnamese food is complex; it has multiple textures and combines a range of sweet, sour, salty, and umami flavors as in Cha Gio Tom Cua Crispy rolls. They are filled with Dungeness crab, minced shrimp, chicken, taro, vermicelli noodles, wood ear mushroom, and nuoc cham. Kabinett’s grapiness and dry character make the crab and shrimp succulently sweet and take the umami down a notch on the nuoc cham. Plus, the high acid in the Riesling will balance the oily notes of the fried rolls.

Viognier Restaurant, San Francisco

It’s usually not a good idea to pair desserts with a sweet dessert wine, unless the dessert is not very sweet. In this case, the strawberry Pavlova with dirty girl strawberry consommé, meringue, and pistachio is balanced by the fig and raisin of a Beerenauslese, which complements the eggy Pavlova and pistachios. 

Nectar Wine Lounge, San Francisco

Raw fish, tangy cucumber, pungent ginger, and umami sesame and soy are all in this Ahi tartare, so go for a Trocken Riesling. It can be the conductor of this dish’s symphony of savory flavors and textures; and, the wine’s acidity will keep the vinaigrette from being too harsh. 

Soif Wine Bar & Merchants, San Francisco

A balanced cheese plate that includes soft, creamy Camembert, tangy, peppery goat cheese, salty, pungent blue cheese, funky sheep’s milk cheese, and beer washed hard cheese calls for a Spätlese. Its ripe fruit can tame all of the competing aromas, textures, fat levels, and flavors into a harmonious blend that’s delicious with just bread.

Luce at the Intercontinental San Francisco

Jasmine green tea infused panna cotta, apricot preserves and black sesame just screams for an Auslese wine. The wine has just enough sweetness to balance with nuttiness of the sesame with the sharp flavors of the green tea and the wine’s crisp nature makes the fruit and panna cotta taste creamy and silky

FIG, Charleston SC

Tom M., Yelp

Trocken wines are an easy choice when serving a fish stew in cocotte with shrimp, squid, mussels, Carolina gold rice, and rouille. You will want to eat more because the dry wine is refreshing.

Husk Restaurant, Charleston SC

Tom M., Yelp

Halbtrocken is the right choice to serve with American Spot Heritage Pork*, pan roasted cabbage, sweet onion, red pepper juice, heirloom bean salad. It’s medium dry notes cut through the porcine fattiness while smoothly pairing up with the tangy green beans and cabbage.

McGrady's, Charleston SC

Delicate, fresh, and not too heavy Kabinett is the choice to pair with shrimp, zucchini, charred shishito, finger lime, shiso. The hint of lime from the wine mirrors the dish while the off-dry notes keep the sweetness in the shrimp and zucchini. Easy dish to eat and an easy wine to drink. Be sure to order two bottles of the wine, it goes down easy.

Death & Taxes, Raleigh NC

It takes a sumptuous, multi-faceted Spätlese from Germany to blend the earthy, creamy, garlicky flavor of escargot Carbonara, the leafy green of nettle, and toothsome tagliatelle. 

On the Square, Raleigh NC

Trocken is the wine of choice to pair with Carolina soft shell crab with sweet corn ragout and asparagus. A dry wine can help counteract the effect of asparagus' natural acid, which tends to make wine taste metallic or bitter if it's too dry. The light fruitiness of the wine is uncomplicated so the light, delicate, sweet nature of the crab can shine through.

North Plates Neighborhood Kitchen, Raleigh NC

Crab and sweet potato beignets with curry aîoli are a dish with a lot going on in the flavor department, plus some spicy heat. The goal is to keep the wine light with just enough sugar to fight the curry, and that calls for an off-dry QbA.

Uncorked Wine Bar, Raleigh NC

No matter what the fruit is in season, a fruit pastry is a good excuse to sip on a magnificent Beerenauslese. The intense flavors and aromas of spice and dried fig will bring you closer to Nirvana each time you take a sip. 

Clark's Oyster Bar, Austin TX

Cool, zesty, sweet, and spicy, this cucumber and dill gazpacho with marinated clams, Thai chili, and Espelette croutons is a candidate for a Kabinett’s gentle touch of sugar and zesty dry flavors. The wine’s hint of citrus keeps things cool on your palate too.

CRU Food & Wine Bar, Austin TX

Pear and gorgonzola pizza with Comice pears, caramelized onion, basil honey, and parmesan is so multi-layered with flavors and textures just serve a Kabinett and keep things simple. Its light sweetness won’t overpower the dish’s sweet and salty balance, while cutting through the fattiness of the cheese.

House Wine, Austin TX

With roasted mozzarella balls served with olive tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted French bread, a dry (Trocken) or QbA Riesling will stand toe to toe as it has high acidity.

Josephine House, Austin TX

Burrata with local cantaloupe, garden basil, mint, Serrano wildflower honey, Texas olive oil, and sea salt has all the flavor components in one dish, so serve Spätlese, keep the flavors harmonious, and balanced with just a bit of sweet.

LaV Restaurant and Wine Bar, Austin TX

A bottle of bubbly is the best way to begin and end a meal, so serve a dry German sparkling wine – called Sekt – with “Bananas Foster” frit vanilla cake, bourbon banana ice cream, candied hazelnuts, and torched meringue. 

Max's Wine Dive, Austin TX

Truffle fries topped with white truffle oil, parmesan, and chives. Check. Savory, sinful Spätlese. Check. Earthy truffle, meets fried potatoes and all’s well with the state of your palate.

Parkside, Austin TX

Lemon crostata, blueberry, almond, basil, coconut sorbet. What always goes with fruit and can be like a sorbet interlude? Beerenauslese, of course.

Red Room Lounge, Austin TX

Sometimes you just want something simple to pair with your wine, like sliced meats, a baguette, Champagne mustard, seasonal fruit preserves, seasonal pickles, and candied pecans. This calls for Trocken and more than one bottle please.

Uchiko, Austin TX

Machi cured smoked yellowtail, yucca crisps, Marcona almonds, Asian pears, garlic brittle, and…Trocken wine. Tuna tempts you but Trocken seals the deal.

Whip In Wine & Beer, Austin TX

Sip a Spätlese, or two, with Windy Hill goat patties with roasted jalapeno and Greek Feta. You will dream of warm sunny islands and ripe fruit hanging from the vine. Complex, aromatic, and flavorful, the wine, and the food match.  

Wink, Austin TX

The moment you crack the glassy seal on a vanilla laced crème brûlée you are hooked. But then you will need the right wine to make the experience complete, reach for an Auslese and its very ripe, very crisp body and fruit.