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Riesling offerings from Germany and France

Riesling is a year-round star. But it's especially appealing now. Maybe it's the ripeness in the apple orchards. Or changes in the main course for dinner. Even the arrival of Oktoberfest.

You'll find some delightful choices from Germany and France. Here are a few winners to welcome autumn, each $20 or less.

The 2013 Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett, Rheinhessen ($15) is a floral, citrusy delight, with more than a trace of sweetness, and an attractive cost, too. The bargain-priced S.A. PrümLuminance Riesling Dry, Mosel ($15), offers notes of tropical fruit, plus peach and citrus, for a charming selection.

And the 2013 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling, Rheingau ($16) uncorks loaded with generous fruit, especially peach and apple, in a medium-bodied package. Consider, too, the 2013 Kruger-RumpfRiesling Trocken, Nahe ($20), with its apple-y quality.

From Alsace comes the minerally, floral and dependable 2012 Paul Blanck Riesling ($18), which delivers some citrus and salinity as well. The 2012 Francois Baur Herrenweg Riesling ($18) unfolds with lychee and lemon, for a refreshing, very satisfying number. The 2011 Domaine Ehrhart Herrenweg Riesling ($15), rich and ripe, is immediately accessible and easy to recommend.

These rieslings complement many dishes. The dry Alsatians are versatile enough to be a match for sausages and sauerkraut as well as spicy Asian cuisine, cured meats and pates. Roasted or smoked pork chops, ham, and smoked or poached salmon find a partner, too. German rieslings, particularly if they have some sweetness, go with duck, goose, chicken, and finfish such as halibut and snapper.

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