Some favorite riesling wines

Riesling, the queen of white grapes?

Riesling, the queen of white grapes? (Credit: AP, 2004)

Riesling often is called the queen of white grapes, with chardonnay dubbed the king.

You can have a wine-fueled debate about preferences, from degrees of dryness and sweetness to the distinctive qualities provided by the land where the vineyards grow. And you'll come up with favorites.

But, put a cork to my head, and you're likely to hear a confession about Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in northeastern France, specifically its Riesling.

Zind-Humbrecht produces sensational gew├╝rztraminer; excellent pinot blanc, pinot gris; attractive muscat. The Alsatian winery, however, is in the royal family of dry Riesling.

The 2009 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling is a light, delightful introduction to the grape and the producer. Immediately accessible, the 2009 is dry, but not aggressively so. There's fine fruit and a hint of the herbaceous. Try it with finfish, such as sauteed sole or trout. Fine with turkey, too. A bottle is about $25.

Crisp and balanced, the 2010 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Turckheim elevates the style and adds mineral notes. Easy to enjoy, the Turckheim offers plenty of flavor and is a terrific wine with scallops, roast pork or ham, even seviche. Turckheim comes in at $44.

And the 2010 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Clos Windsbuhl delivers complexity, ripeness, an education in winemaking. This is a very dry Riesling and one that may become even more so over the years. It's an age-worthy wine, but outstanding drinking now, too. You could have the Clos Windsbuhl with sashimi of fluke, poached salmon, sauteed shrimp, creamy cheese. About $90.

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