“If you drink Riesling, you will be a better person,” says Manhattan restaurateur and sommelier Paul Grieco. This singular belief drove Grieco to take on New York City’s palate five years ago when he created Summer of Riesling—a program that celebrates the variety by solely offering Riesling by the glass for customers of his wine bar Terroir, beginning the first day of summer and ending on the last.
While radical, the decision was a success—so much so that since launching, the program has expanded beyond Grieco’s restaurants to include more than 200 participating establishments across the country. Last year, the Summer of Riesling program was adopted by restaurants in Australia and New Zealand, and this year, it has spread to the United Kingdom and Germany.
Here are ten Riesling pairings to order at participating restaurants before summer’s end.
Kansas City, Missouri
Weingut Max Ferd. Richter’s 1991 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett Riesling from Mosel, Germany, paired with Seared Ahi Tuna with Asparagus Tempura, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Ginger-Sweet Soy Sauce.
The Black Pig
Schloss Gobelsburger 2011 Gobelsburger Riesling from Kamptal, Austria, paired with a Báhn Mì Sandwich of country pâté, chicken liver mousse, braised and seared pork belly and slaw of raw Ohio vegetables.
Von Buhl Forster’s 2009 Jesuitengarten Spätlese from Pfalz, Germany, complements the 12 Month Jamón dish, served with avocado, harissa powder and cherry vinaigrette.
Ravines’s 2011 Dry Riesling from Keuka Lake, New York, works well with Truffled Egg Toast and fontina fontal.
Peter Jakob Kühn’s 2007 Sekt Riesling from Rheingau, Germany, is paired with Sweet-and-Sour Local Kingfish dressed with Riesling vinegar and cold rice-noodle salad.
New York City
Steinmetz’s 2010 Spätlese Wintricher Geierslay Riesling from Mosel, Germany, is served with Red Snapper Crudo with Sunchokes and Smoked Jalapeño Dashi.
Culver City, California
Keller Grosses’s 2009 Gewächs Kirchspiel from Rheinhessen, Germany, complements the Garlic-Dobanjian Pork Belly, served with rice cakes, cabbage and garlic chives.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Fritz Haag’s 2002 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Kabinett from Mosel, Germany, with fried Whole North Carolina Flounder, served with chilies, garlic, tamarind, fresh lime leaf, carrot salad and jasmine rice.
Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg’s 2009 Rottland Riesling Spätlese from Rheingau, Germany, paired with Roasted Vermont Quail with baharat, barberries and pistachio.
Eugen Muller Forster’s 2010 Mariengarten Kabinett Riesling from Pfalz, Germany, complements with Skate Wing Schnitzel, cooked with brown butter, charred lemon and capers.