Treat yourself to a Washington riesling this Valentine’s Day

It’s been a while since we’ve recommended a wine that goes well with dessert. Lucky for us, the pairing for Ann Vogel’s Pear and Apple Tart with Almonds didn’t require us to dust off too many cobwebs to come up with a recommendation.

As Washingtonians it would be blasphemous to recommend anything but a Washington riesling for this pairing.

Riesling is viewed by some as part of the backbone of the Washington wine industry, largely because it was planted 20 years before Washington started making headlines for its prime wine-growing real estate.

While merlot and cabernet sauvignon brought widespread attention to Washington thirty years ago, the state’s riesling production has earned much-deserved recognition over the last decade.

One of Washington’s largest wineries, Chateau Ste. Michelle, deserves credit for riesling’s resurgence in recent years. The winery produces varying styles of this varietal ranging from sweet to dry. Its wines also range in price from affordable to what some might consider a “special occasion” price.

The Washington wine mogul can attribute its riesling success to a partnership it entered into with Ernst Loosen, an acclaimed winemaker from Germany. Loosen is the winemaker behind Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Eroica label.

To honor Loosen’s and Chateau Ste. Michelle’s contribution to Washington’s riesling industry, we recommend the Eroica semisweet Riesling for this Valentine’s Day dessert. The sweetness of the wine will compliment the dessert, while the citrus flavors found in the wine — including hints of peach and a tartness of grapefruit — will pair perfectly with the pear or apple filling.

The wine can be found at any local grocery store. It runs in the “special occasion” price range — about $17 to $20 — but hey it’s Valentine’s Day, you’re suppose to splurge.