Producer: Charles Smith Winery
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Tasting Notes: Lychee, white peach, lime
Pairings: Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian Cuisine, Mauritian grilled lobster, blackened swordfish with mango chutney
Price (approximately): $10
I love Riesling. Complex, wonderful fruit flavors, balanced acidity, aging potential. There is much to appreciate. With the ever expanding and experimenting New World, you can also find a decent bottle at a good price outside Alsace or Mosel.
Enter Charles Smith's Kung Fu Girl, produced in Columbia Valley, Washington. This Riesling is wonderfully aromatic with notes of lychee, white peach, citrus lime and some floral accents. Oh, and did I mention lychee? Sweet but balanced with good acidity and minerality. Wine Spectator made this a Top 100 wine of 2016. Not sure I would have gone that far, but it is a good, sweet Riesling and, at $10, worth picking up. You won't be blown away by its complexity or depth, but hey, you also didn't just spend $40 (unless you bought 4 bottles).
One of my favorite aspects of Riesling? Pairing potential. Pair with Southeast Asian cuisines that contain tropical and citrus elements, such as Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese and Cambodian. The sweetness of the wine will balance heat intensity characteristic of these regions, while lychee notes will complement tropical and citrus elements commonly contained in the dishes, such as lime and coconut. Other great pairings would include Mauritian grilled lobster and blackened swordfish with mango chutney.