We all know Oregon is known for Pinot Noir but many of Tualatin Valley’s wineries are making other varietals including many that aren’t necessarily know for being grown here. Riesling is one of those. The cool climate of the North Willamette Valley creates the ideal conditions for Riesling grapes. Tualatin Valley is also the perfect place for the perfect Riesling wine pairing: Spicy Asian food.
Flavors of Riesling
Riesling is a traditionally sweeter and highly acidic white wine best served chilled, but not ice cold. The flavors in Riesling are a range of lime, Meyer lemon, pineapple and apricot with aromas of other fruits like nectarine, honey crisp apple and pear.
Riesling Wine Pairings
Rieslings are versatile with food but the sweet acidity helps cleanse the palate between bites and makes it pair well with spicy food. It is especially great with Asian Cuisine and luckily Tualatin Valley happens to have some of the best Asian restaurants around!
Skip the pad Thai and pair Riesling with spicy Thai dishes like pad ki mao (aka drunken noodles), tom yum soup or pad prik. Head to Khao San in Bethany Village for authentic Thai street food or Thai Bloom in Beaverton for a more traditional meal. If you like Indian, try it with vindaloo or phaal curry from Chennai Masala or Swagat Indian Cuisine. It would also complement spicier Chinese dishes like dan dan noodles or kung pao chicken from Frank’s Noodle House or Taste of Sichuan.
For charcuterie, Riesling also pairs well with salty meats, delicate flavored cheese and dried fruit because it contrasts with the fat and brings out the nutty flavors.
Where to get Riesling in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley
At David Hill Vineyards and Winery, the 2018 was grown on one of the oldest Riesling plantings in the Willamette Valley. It has “beautiful floral aromatics with notes of tangerine zest and stone fruit on the palate.” Elk Cove’s 2018 was also grown on some of the estate’s oldest vines — dating back to 1975 — which give the wine a “delightful complexity not often seen in domestic Rieslings.”
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate recommends drinking its peachy and orange zesty 2015 Riesling with spicy salmon rolls. Alloro’s 2019 tastes clean, crisp and dry — great with Thai, Vietnamese or Indian food.
Other Tualatin Valley wineries offering Riesling: