Pear and Blue Cheese Salad … Perfect Paired with German Riesling

Pairing: Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad Paired with a 2014 Selbach Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling

Food:  Comice Pears are starting to appear again in the food markets in New Hampshire, a bit earlier than normal. They are, without any doubt, our very favorite pears … sweet and juicy! Their actual name is Doyenné du Comice and the variety originated in Angiers, France in the mid-19th Century. They are unparalleled in a salad of mixed greens, creamy blue cheese and walnuts, all dressed with a vinaigrette of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. An amazing flavor combination!

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Wine:  The precariously steep, slate-covered slopes of the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr are recognized as among the most prestigious wine growing sites of the Mosel River region of Germany. And the Selbach family have been making wine in this region since the mid-1600’s. But the first vineyards in this area were planted in the 2nd Century by the Romans. The unique terroir of this region combined with the vast experience of the winemakers, passed down through many generations, results in impeccable wines. This Kabinett, made from early harvested grapes, is no exception.

Selbach Oster Riesling

Tasting Notes:  Color is pale yellow with a decidedly greenish tinge. Cut open a ripe honeydew melon, put your nose down close and inhale deeply. That’s it! That’s the nose of this superb wine. Although pure and clean and fresh are not usually descriptors of flavors, they are words that immediately come to mind when tasting this riesling. Now visualize a crystal clear mountain stream rippling over some rocks … take a sip … add some gentle sweetness … aaah … perfection. A truly stunning riesling … and pairs beautifully with every element of the salad, including the balsamic vinegar in the dressing. An exemplary riesling in every way.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pear and Blue Cheese Salad:  Champagne (France), Chardonnay (California), Chenin Blanc (South Africa), Gewürztraminer (Alsace)

Other Food That Pairs Well with a German Riesling:  Apple Dishes, Asian Cuisine, Trout, Shellfish, Hazelnuts

A Great Read on German and Austrian Wines:

A Source:





Pan-Fried Trout and a NY Riesling

Pairing:  Pan-Fried Trout and Hazelnuts with 2014 Knapp Riesling

Food:  After all that holiday cooking, it’s nice to have a simple, easy-to-prepare meal and something very different from turkey. This pan-fried trout fits the bill on both of these accounts. Whole trout is not always available in the supermarkets, so when we see it, we snatch some up and put them in the freezer. Trout freezes beautifully. For this meal, using a heavy skillet, pan fry the fish in butter and a handful of hazelnuts (whole or halved). Ours is served with brown rice pilaf and broccoli. Simplicity.


Wine:  A gift of wine is always appreciated in our household, particularly when it comes from a brother who really knows his way around the many landscapes of wine. This 2014 Knapp Riesling is from the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York, a well known wine area where Riesling is king. Some of the best Rieslings made in the United States come from here. Thanks, bro!


Tasting:  This demi-sec (off dry) wine has a lovely pale gold color. Ripe cantaloupe melon is prominent on the nose. And there is a pronounced flavor of that same orange melon along with honeysuckle blossoms and hazelnuts (likely brought out by the buttery hazelnuts in the dish). Very nice!

Other Foods That Pair Well with This Wine:  Asian Cuisine, Bluefish, Apples, Blue Cheese, Brie, Curries

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Food: Chenin Blanc, Chablis, Pouilly-Fumé, Champagne.

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A Source:  The winery itself.