Pairing with raw rhubarb isn’t easy
Rhubarb at my house means desserts in spring, so the first course at a restaurant in Lucerne last week surprised me: a thick cord of fresh goats cheese with slivered pink and white raw rhubarb.
For more on ways to serve rhubarb raw, check out this Smithsonian article. It’s one thing to pucker up and eat it, another to drink wine with something this sharp.
Riesling-Silvaner vs Räuschling
I was having lunch at with the Junge Schweiz Neue Winzer (young Swiss wine producers), some of whose wines were presented to the group while we sipped them. The rhubarb salad was served with a Riesling-Silvaner from Aargau made by Susi Steiger-Wehrli, Esprit Küttigen, and a Räuschling (CHF23) from Zurich made by Mathias Bechtel. Both were good with it; I preferred the more aromatic (grapes, mango) Riesling-Silvaner (CHF13.50) but only slightly.
Räuschling was once Zurich’s most common grape, and it is making a comeback but is still produced in relatively small quantities. When made dry, not oaked, its acidity and lemony notes make it wonderful with lake fish. This version is from quite ripe grapes and spends 10 months in acacia barrels, which softens the wine, and it complemented the rhubarb nicely.