Pairing: Try Scribe Riesling with Thai, Indian cuisine

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Our Wine of the Week, Scribe 2018 Estate Riesling ($38), makes me wish I could do handsprings or cartwheels. It’s an exhilarating find. With alcohol weighing in at a modest 11.5 percent, it makes a fabulous summer quaffer. Without the heat and sweetness contributed by high alcohol, the subtle flavors and refreshing characteristics of this beautifully made wine take center stage.

On first sip, you’ll notice citrus, especially Eureka lemon. Next comes engaging minerality, with suggestions of wet river rocks, cement and concrete after a morning rain, mixed with a bit of coastal fog. Interestingly, the wine was fermented in both stainless steel and concrete; there’s no oak at all and so no hint of vanilla or toast. It is all brightness and acidity, with a finish that is as refreshing as it is long. There’s a depth to the wine, too, that never grows cloying or flabby.

Because of the wine’s alluring depth, pairing possibilities are wider than with more floral or off-dry rieslings. Although this lovely wine will work well with Indian, Thai and Vietnamese foods, they are definitely not the only options for a great match.

When it comes to Thai, the wine pairs perfectly with traditional larb, especially one that uses squid instead of pork or chicken. Vietnamese bün, that refreshing rice noodle salad, welcomes the wine alongside, too. A well-made Indian biryani with raita (a savory yogurt-based condiment) alongside is a fabulous partner.

Yet you’ll enjoy this with a wide range of seafood, from oysters on the half shell and Peruvian-style ceviches to seafood salads and pan-fried fish finished with citrus and capers. Vegetarians will love this wine with thinly sliced celery sautéed in olive oil and finished with a squeeze of lemon. When it comes to cheese, look to the freshest goat cheeses you can find.

You can even enjoy this wine with a steak, should you be so inclined. To do so, grill or pan fry a ribeye to no more than medium rare — rare will be better — and add a generous spritz of lemon juice seconds before serving it on a bed of just wilted spinach. The pairing is stunning.

For today’s recipe, I’m taking inspiration from the raitas that are a part of so many Indian meals. They are delicious, of course, with curry, dal, biryani and such, but they work well in other nontraditional contexts, too, including roasted or fried chicken, pork tenderloin and vegetable stir-fries.

Celery Raita

Makes about 1½ cups

3 large celery ribs, trimmed cut cut into very thin diagonal slices

— Kosher salt

1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed

1 teaspoon brined green peppercorns, drained and lightly crushed

1 teaspoon celery seed

— Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup whole milk yogurt, such as Strauss

2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

½ teaspoon chopped fresh spearmint

Cut the celery slices in half or, if particularly wide, in thirds, and put into a medium bowl. Season with a little salt and add the coriander seed, peppercorns, half the celery seed and the lemon zest.

Add the yogurt and stir until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the parsley, cilantro and spearmint.

Taste, correct for salt and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle the remaining celery seed on top and enjoy right away.

Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at michele@micheleannajordan.com.

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