There are only so many times one can #RoséAllDay before yearning to uncork something different.
At least, that's what riesling wants you to think. In contention to be "the new rosé," the often overlooked other "R" wine is here to spare you from poolside-beverage monotony, vying for attention with its high acidity, aromatic nose, and crisp notes of stone fruit and honeycrisp apple.
Unlike rosé, which grows with abandon in California, the grapes needed to procure riesling are far more selective, sprouting from soil compositions found predominantly in the wine regions of Germany, though Australia and France have been known to have some success with the varietal. Of course, regardless of where they're grown, there are ample rieslings being uncorked right here in San Francisco. Here's where to give what may soon be your new summer favorite a swirl.
1601 Bar & Kitchen
Chef-owner Brian Fernando is a master of Sri Lankan-fusion cuisine, making suggestive connections to both French and Spanish influences for a mouthwatering menu that's refined and rustic yet experimental. For date night, opt for their curries for two.
What to Wine: 1601 has several rieslings on offer. If you're going for a bottle, try the 2006 Reinhard & Beate Knebel Winninger Rottgen Riesling ($72). For just a glass, we like the 2014 Josef Rosch Riesling Leiwener Feinherb ($13).
What to Pair: Real winos know that slightly sweet dry whites pair beautifully with smoked meats. Place an order for the baby pork ribs ($16) to go with the 2014 Josef Rosch. With its hints of stone fruit and overall dry finish, the wine plays off the char of the ribs and reveals the sweeter undertones of the meat.
// 1601 Howard St. (SoMa), 1601sf.com
From the culinary mind that brought us Aziza, Mourad is as much an architectural indulgence as it is a treat for the palate. Chef Mourad Lahlou has created an eclectic upscale Moroccan menu that's accompanied by a rather lofty wine list.
What to Wine: Mourad offers a hearty selection of seasonally offered bottles and half-bottles from Germany and Australia (from $40 half-bottles and up). Get your feet wet with a glass of 2016 Dönnhoff Estate Riesling ($17).
What to Pair: For a well rounded meal, order Mourad's scallop entree ($42)—sautéed until the spiced honey glaze caramelizes and then served alongside sunchoke, red cabbage, and a garnish of dill. The minerality and smooth acidity of the 2016 Dönnhoff will do justice to the clean, crisp textures and taste of the bivalves.
// 140 New Montgomery St. (SoMa), mouradsf.com
A modern, minimalist wine bar with an ever-rotating menu of seasonal a la carte pairings, Parigo has become a gastronomic mecca of sorts for vino-savvy San Franciscans.
What to Wine: You can't go wrong with a glass of the 2016 Dreissigacker Organic Estate Riesling ($16). You could also opt for the White Wines From Down Under flight ($19) which, in addition to pours of sauv blanc and Marsanne, includes a taste of the Aussie riesling The Courtesan.
What to Pair: Embrace your cheat day with Parigo's much-loved hush puppies ($7), or the sommelier's cheese plate ($8) at happy hour (7-8pm, weekdays). With a pale lemon hue, the 2016 Dreissigacker will complement the fatty richness of each, cutting through both flavor profiles with hints of grapefruit and mild acidity.
// 3232 Scott St. (Marina), parigosf.com
Situated just one block from AT&T Park, District offers a menu of small, shareable plates, pizzas, and house-made charcuterie—but you're likely here for extensive list of diverse wines and whiskeys.
What to Wine: 2014 Karl Joh. Molitor Riesling ($10/glass, $40/bottle)
What to Pair: Pizza and wine exist under a universal common denominator. Order up a Margherita ($17) or guanciale pie ($18) and tip back a glass or two of this aromatic, citrusy varietal hailing from Germany's Rheingau region.
// 216 Townsend St. (SoMa), districtsf.com