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Riesling: The Perfect Holiday Wine?

What’s the perfect wine for the holidays? If you ask Chateau Ste. Michelle vice president Bob Bertheau, he’ll say Riesling.

“You can serve it to your Aunt Harriett from Indiana as well as wine aficionados,” he says. Riesling pairs well with ham, turkey, fruit and pies. Sweeter versions like Ste. Michelle’s Gold Capsule and Ice Wine are delicious with Stilton cheese and deserts like Bread or Christmas pudding.

“It’s about the love of the fruit and diversity of the styles,” says Bertheau of the company’s winemaking. “We have so many ways of expressing the varietal, so many world-class wines.”

Chateau Ste. Michelle has made Riesling in Washington for nearly 50 years. In a 1974 Los Angeles Times blind tasting of 19 White Rieslings, Ste. Michelle’s 1972 Riesling ranked first, vaulting the winery and state’s wine industry into the national spotlight. The awards have been pouring in ever since.

“We are the king of Riesling in the U.S.,” says Bertheau. “We own the American category. No other winery comes close to our size and diversity.”

The winery produces some 1.3 million cases of Riesling per year, far beyond any other domestic producer. Offerings range from affordable, everyday drinking Riesling to small production versions such as the award-winning Eroica series and its latest incarnation the XLC, made in partnership with renowned German Riesling producer Ernst Loosen.

Check out Ste. Michelle Riesling with your holiday meal, whether the affordable 2017 Riesling, the classic Eroica series, or the decadent Gold Capsule and Ice wines.

Nicholas O’Connell is the founder of He will teach a Travel, Food and Wine Writing Class in Rioja May 17-23.

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