August Kesseler ‘R’ Riesling Kabinett 2019, Rheingau, GermanyVinePair
One of my favorite fish stews is based on a recipe for a dish called “Shrimp Americana,” published years ago in one of those paperback, spiral-bound cookbooks distributed by countless churches in this country with contributions by their members.
Shrimp, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and okra are the basic ingredients of the dish, which I like to season with powdered cumin, curry, and a dash or two of cayenne. Served over a bed of white rice, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s a simple recipe. But the wine pairing? That’s more complicated.
With lots of bold flavors, namely the tomatoes and the spices, I want a white wine with good acidity, maybe just a touch of sweetness, and most certainly no oak — a wine that complements but doesn’t clash. That pretty much rules out Chardonnays with their oak aging and Sauvignon Blancs, most of which are too dry and herbal for such a dish.
On a recent evening, the perfect match turned out to be a German Riesling I was holding for just the right occasion. August Kesseler’s 2019 “R” Riesling Kabinett from the famed Rheingau region is a lovely, $15 wine that has considerable complexity.
When you see “Kabinett” on a German Riesling label, it denotes the lightest (and most popular) Riesling style, with the wines ranging from dry to off-dry. This one fits into the latter category, its ABV of just 10.5 percent signaling a touch of residual sugar.
And that’s just what I wanted with my bold and spicy shrimp stew. This wine has so much going for it: a touch of sweetness, a crisp but round acidity on the finish, a wet-stone mineral note, and lovely, lush fruit tastes ranging from pear to pineapple to citrus, and touches of honey and licorice. A slight spritz when first poured makes it all the more refreshing, and I would consider this wine for all kinds of fish dishes and as a summer aperitif.
Riesling doesn’t often get the respect it deserves in this country. But there are those who consider it among the best — if not the best — white variety. We can debate that another time. But on this night and with this dinner, August Kesseler’s inexpensive yet delicious “R” Riesling was about as good as it gets.
The article August Kesseler ‘R’ Riesling Kabinett 2019, Rheingau, Germany appeared first on VinePair.