Austin restaurants make Riesling the wine of summer

Sway is one of the local restaurants participating in the Wines of Germany's Summer of Riesling program.

The Thai-focused Sway is one of the local restaurants participating in the Wines of Germany’s Summer of Riesling program.

As a traditionally sweet wine, Riesling hasn’t always been the drink of choice among wine lovers, but 16 local restaurants are hoping to change that with a special running through August this year.

The Summer of Riesling is offering diners who want wine with their meal the chance to try German-made Rieslings by the glass. Each participating restaurant will have at least two of these wines available. Plus, several of these places, like Perla’s, Whip In and Sway, will also be pouring a third German varietal (which is being kept a surprise) and educating their guests about Riesling through tasting programs.

One master sommelier whose group of restaurants is partaking in the Summer of Riesling program wants to make a few Riesling converts out of her customers. June Rodil, beverage director for the McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group, has brought this program from the Wines of Germany to several McGuire Moorman dining spots, including Jeffrey’s and Josephine House, because of her deep love for the white wine.

“By opening up a fun and accessible dialogue with our guests, we hope to encourage them to shed any negative images they have of this amazing wine and, more so, encourage guests to learn a little more about their own palates ’cause there’s a Riesling for everyone,” she said. “I could go on and on about the nuances and versatility and ageablity of the grape, but frankly — it’s just damn delicious and refreshing. Quite simply — Riesling is my desert island wine, and sometimes Texas seems like a desert in the summer.”

Participating Austin restaurants include (in addition to the ones already listed) Lenoir, Otto’s German Bistro, Parkside, Red Room Lounge and Trio. For the full list, visit germanwineusa.com/news/summer-of-riesling-returns-its-all-german-all-summer/.

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