The Originals Washington Riesling 2016

The Originals Washington Riesling 2016, USA

(£9 on buy 2 save 25% or £12, Marks & Spencer)

Pineapple – while undoubtedly delicious – is never an easy fruit. Not to peel. Not to juggle. Not to eat. Certainly not to pair with wine.

So Ching He Huang’s dish of pineapple chicken with guo bao rice on Saturday Kitchen wasn’t the most straightforward. But it did provide an intriguing challenge and one that most was most enjoyable to solve.

Pinot Gris made a good partner – even a drier one like the Les Jamelles from the south of France (not bad value either at £9). But this elegant Riesling stole the show, with its lightness of touch but gentle succulence providing the ideal backdrop for a dish that manages to both be very comforting and familiar yet also quite exotic and adventurous in flavour.

But good Riesling can do that, can’t it? Be both classic but also vivid and dramatic. Ordinarily with Riesling we think of Germany, Austria or Australia. But Washington makes quite a bit of Riesling and is worth bearing in mind. This is a great value bottle from M&S that is worth squirrelling away, especially while it’s on offer.

And especially if you’re a fan of pineapple in your cuisine…

Ching certainly liked it, saying the wine was, ‘Really lovely, it has a delicate sweetness that works with the tartness of the pineapple, so it balances really well – perfect!’ Fellow chef Sabrina Ghayour commented how the was was ‘spot on’.

Cheers to that!

(Peter, 7/10, September 2017)