Foods to pair with riesling

Nick Baum
By Nick Baum
about 1 month ago
4 min read

Riesling - it's a dream of a drop to pair with most things you'll find at the table, whatever the bottle you're pouring.

From dry to sweet, youthful to aged, there's not much a riesling can't handle - but here's seven delicious matches where it really excels.


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Barbecued prawns

Riesling’s light body makes it a natural match for seafood, especially barbecued prawns. You don't want something too heavy overpowering that delicate protein - but with enough about it not to fade into the background completely. Plus there's that hint of fruit in even a dry riesling that just ties everything together, complementing the slight sweetness of the prawns perfectly.


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Thai green curry

We’ll start with the pairing that lays claim to being riesling’s greatest hit - dry or off-dry riesling and Thai green curry. If you’ve had it, you’ll know - and if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. It’s going to sound overhyped, but it’s one of those first-tried-never-forgotten things. Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Probably - but don’t let this be a recommendation that you park for a rainy day. Carpe diem, carpe thai green curry and riesling. The lemongrass, coconut-creaminess and green chilli heat of the curry is already an explosion of taste that makes you sit up, but when you add the bright floral and citrus, green apple or even stone fruits of riesling you’re on another level. 


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Roast pork belly and pickled green mango

This is a great one too - pork being that meat that’s not quite light enough to be considered alongside chicken or turkey, and not quite red-blooded enough to be in the lamb and beef camp either. If in doubt, reach for the riesling, and pairing crispy, succulent pork belly with a pickled green mango salad ticks all the boxes. The slightly sweet-sour green mango salad will be a great match pairing to a dry or off dry riesling, whether it’s on the more citrus end of the spectrum or leaning towards warmer peach or apricot territory. The acidity of a riesling will also really help lighten up the fat of the pork belly, and contribute to that melt-in-the-mouth texture. 

We’ve gone more island inspired with this pairing, but riesling is also a great wine to pair generally with Thai, Vietnamese or southern Indian flavours (often clumsily lumped together as “Asian” cuisine). It’s a massive disservice to cram all of these vibrant and regional variations into one umbrella term, so grab your flavour passport and go taste-backpacking; just make sure to pack the riesling.


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Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart

A provincial pairing that’s got flavour in spades; caramelised onion and goats cheese with a dry or off dry riesling is a winner for all the right reasons. Fruit sweetness adds a complementary match to the caramelised onion, and a bright point of contrast against the salty and sharp goat’s cheese. It’s your next goat-to try pairing (we had to, sorry). 


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Lobster/crayfish/crab rolls

A perfect summer (or anytime) pairing, the sweetness of the lobster/crayfish/crab meat (delete as appropriate depending on how decadent you’re feeling) goes hand-in-claw with a dry or off-dry riesling. Throw in a toasted brioche bun and a creamy New England dressing and you’re all sorted - the acidity of the wine will keep each mouthful indulgent-yet-light.


Pan-fried trout and green apple & avocado salad

Another winning seafood combo, tried and tested by us - a fresh, flaky trout, lightly pan fried, served with an apple and avocado salad. The green apple in the salad will match the bright citrus and green apple flavours of the riesling, and the light body and refreshing acidity won’t overwhelm the fish or the avocado. A light and delicious dish meets a light and delicious wine - what's not to love there?


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Fried chicken

We’ve hidden this at the bottom away from prying eyes - if you’ve got this far, fried chicken is probably what you’ve been looking for. Be honest. The floral aromatics and fruit sweetness of the riesling provides a great counterpoint to the salty, crispy, succulence of the fried chicken. A bucket of deep-fried bird and a bottle of Clare or Eden Valley’s finest and trust us, you’ll be in heaven.


Ready for a riesling? Look no further.

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