Riesling is the grape of Germany and the Alsace region of France. It’s a grape that makes the full range of whites from bone-suckingly dry to sweet enough to make your dentist wince. Rather like politics, I hate the extreme ends of Riesling and prefer to sit in the middle ground.

The perfect style for me is the Kabinetts from the Mosel valley with their 11% alcohol level, waxy palates and masses of apple flavours with just a hint of something plucked from a tropical tree by a lady wearing a grass skirt and flowers in her hair.

The waxy palate is typical of any decent Riesling and it distinguishes them from virtually all their rivals for your barbeque glass in the summer. It gives the wine a rounded, full feel on the palate and allows it to be so flexible with food pairings from shellfish to roast lamb and all manner of vegetarian dishes.

The only way to serve Kabinett by the way is lightly chilled. About 20 minutes in the fridge should do it but don’t put them on ice like Champagne. Too cold and the flavours wither, leaving you with crisp alcoholic water, too warm and you end up with a pungent wine with a flabby palate.

There are cracking Rieslings from all over the world, notably New Zealand, Australia and California. Try these:

Tesco Finest Mosel Steep Slopes Riesling

Close your eyes and you could be in an orchard with that lovely flowery nose. There’s a crispness to the palate that makes it perfect with shellfish.

Tesco £7

Von Kesselstatt Riesling Kabinett

This is absolutely gorgeous and mixes gentle hints of limes and peaches with the traditional apple-dominated palate. Crisp and refreshing on the finish. This

is perhaps the best white wine of the

year for spicy foods. Well done to

the Coop.

Coop £12

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