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Wine For Coq Au Riesling

Asked by AlexR06. Answered on 24th February 2017

Full question

Should the Coq Au Riesling be made with a dry or sweet riesling variety? I know Alsace rieslings tend to be dryer than German ones, but they are trickier to find and more expensive. I was given a bottle of Alsace pinot gris (off-dry, almost slightly sweet) which I was hoping to use, but concerned it may be too sweet as a substitute.

Coq Au Riesling
Photo by Lis Parsons
Coq Au Riesling
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Coq Au Riesling (from NIGELLA EXPRESS) briefly cooks chicken thighs in a white wine sauce, rather like a white wine version of coq au vin. Nigella suggests using riesling and we would err on the side of using a dry variety as most savoury sauces are made with dry wines. Although Alsace produces dry rieslings, there are several German producers now as well and you should look for one labelled as "trocken". Austria also produces some dry rieslings.

If you use the off-dry variety and find the sauce a little too sweet then a small squeeze of lemon juice may help to correct the balance. Or if you are adding cream then a slightly acidic creme fraiche could be another way to balance the sauce. Dry riesling is a fruity white wine, so you could try using a sauvignon blanc as an alternative if the riesling is difficult to find.

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