Summer is back with a vengeance here in Hong Kong, but we’re glad to see it coincide with the return of Riesling Weeks, now in its fifth edition.
We had the pleasure of joining the kick-off celebration with German Wine Princess Christina Schneider in a Riesling celebration hosted at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel in Wanchai. In a walk-around tour of more than 150 wines in one convenient setting, we merrily travelled and sampled tipples at booths manned by super-knowledgeable German vintners and distributors. As we went on a virtual journey of sorts across Germany’s vineyards, we tasted different variations of the ever-popular German Riesling but also some lesser-known varietals from Germany including those from the Pinot family (Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder and Spätburgunder), Sauvignon Blanc and more.
Wine fans will be familiar with Riesling’s characteristics of high acidity and an aromatic finish, making it an ideal pairing for Asian foods. In addition to more traditional offerings including off-dry delicate white Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett and tangy Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese from the Mosel region (available at The Fine Wine Experience), we had the opportunity to walk a bit on the wild side of Riesling and see a different side of this surprisingly versatile varietal.
A standout during our drinking, er walking, tour was a dry Reisling that was crisp and round with a subtle hint of passion fruit, peach and lime and a lovely nose and finish that presents a wonderfully refreshing alternative to the standard Sauvignon Blanc for those hot, humid days in Hong Kong. One of our favourites was the Karl May 'Gold Digger' Osthofener Riesling 2015 from the Rheinhessen region.
Oh how we love our sparkling wines, so we were excited to see a few stellar offerings including Raumland Riesling Brut. Dry with a medium yeasty, long finish, we could imagine ourselves sipping this refined alternative to beer in the summer sun. Another yummy sparkler was Ratzenberger Riesling Brut from Fine German Wines.
The hot, sticky summer has properly arrived in Hong Kong, and now with a tour of the German wine region under our belt, we can’t wait to see what’s next. As June sees a month-long celebration of Riesling all over the city, foodies can check out various outlets around Hong Kong to pair this deliciously refreshing German varietal and other German wines with creative menus.
Big thanks to our friends at Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel for the invitation and hosting our tour, along with the distributors and vintners at Riesling Week's kick-off celebration on 2 June 2017.